Friday, April 9, 2010

Avoiding Explaining

In case you haven't noticed, most of my posts lately have not been about the shidduch dating scene. That's because my mind just hasn't been focused on that recently. I generally post on what's on my mind. However, a friend of mine just brought something up that happened to him and it brought me back to a time when I was going through the exact same thing.

It is so difficult to explain the way i date to a non-frum relative.

How do you explain to them the reason that you don't ask girls out and wait for them to be set up with me?
How do you make it make sense that you can date three girls in a month (let alone a week) and it's completely normal?
How could I explain to them that I had to break up with someone because she's on a different "level" of Judaism? "Orthodox is Orthodox, right?"

Now, this issue is complicated enough, but I remember the first time I had this conversation with my uncle. I had just gotten out of a relationship with a girl that I had liked, but because of halachic complications (I am a kohen), we had to break up. My uncle was beside himself.

"Wait a minute," he said. "You liked her?"

"Yes."

"She liked you?"

"I think so."

"And she was Jewish enough for you?"

"Well..."

"What do you mean 'well?'"

"She is Jewish enough, but I just can't marry her, so i won't date her and she won't date me. Period."

"Whatever. I don't understand you guys."

You see, I know it's not my responsibility to educate my non-frum relatives, but it just gets frustrating when it comes to something like this, where I need to find someone whom to relate and it can't be someone to whom I relate.

This discussion led to another discussion about what I am looking for in a girl.

"Well," started my uncle. "I guess the first thing is that she has to be Jewish."

I had thought that this was obvious from the conversation that segued us into this conversation, but I went with it. Now I had never thought of that as something I am looking for. It was more of a prerequisite. I guess most of the other stuff wouldn't exactly work if she wasn't Jewish. It was just never an option for me like it was for him. "Yes. That is the first thing. I will try to not date a non-Jew."

It usually gets frustrating trying to explain my lifestyle to my non-frum relatives. Difficulties include Shabbos, Tzitzis and Shomer Negiyah, but dating is by far the most difficult.

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