"Soon By You"
First are the people who write “I hope you get married soon.” This is very well meaning but I want to point out that if that is all you have to say then you are confirming that like me you can not think of any way for me to be happy other than to get married. In many ways these people are right because what can take the place of lifelong companionship? Not a career, not friends, not learning Torah, not doing chessed. There are many worthwhile things I can do with my life but none of them can stop me from feeling lonely inside without a partner who loves me and who I can love. My life can have a lot of value from doing other things but I will still be missing something. Two things actually, emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy.
This is not a problem with the Jewish community, I think it is part of human nature. We are social beings. People want to be loved and part of a family. I do not think that Orthodox single men are happier about being single just because they have a “role” in the community that women do not have. Being part of a minyan or learning in the bais medrash does not take the place of a wife. Also I do not think that non-Jewish people or people who are not part of a religious community at all are any more happy if they want to be married and are not. There are many wonderful and lonely non-Jewish people as well.
So I am not complaining that people who only say “I hope you get married soon” are wrong or saying something bad, I am just pointing out that the comment confirms the basic problem in this blog. Still I wish that someone could offer some advice of what I could do if I never get married that will actually make me feel fulfilled. People are saying to learn more Torah and do more chessed but I tell you I already do those things and yes they are very good and fulfilling but I still cry myself to sleep at night.
Second and more problematic is the comment that “I am sure you will soon find your bashert.”
How do you know that? Do you realize that people have been telling me for more than a decade that “I am sure you will get married soon.” They say “You are such a great person I am sure you will get married soon.” They have always said that and it turns out they were always wrong. Just like you are probably wrong.
I think people say that to make themselves feel better not to make me feel better. When you think about it it is a dismissive comment. It is their way of saying that I feel bad for you and it bothers me that you are in pain so I am going to tell myself and you that the problem will soon go away and then I will not have to worry about your pain any more. You are basically saying There there now, the pain is not so bad because if you wait a little while longer it will soon be over.
I want the people who have little girls to think about my pain and let yourself remain bothered and afraid, not for me but for your daughter. Yes there is a singles crisis and if our community does not work hard to figure out its nature and why it is there and how to help people build relationships and get married, then your own daughter who is now being told “Someday you will be a mommy too” or “Of course the boys will love you sweetheart” or “I am sure you will have no problem finding your bashert” may well prove you wrong as well.