Wednesday, January 17, 2018

She's Out There

A few weeks ago, a regular contributor to a Jewish magazine wrote of an episode which is a common experience for the singles. 

She begins by saying she is a shtikel shadchan, meaning she tries to set up people but has not yet made a shidduch (*cough*). She continues that there is this lovely older fellow her husband learns with, and every woman she has suggested he has politely declined. He happens to be particularly brilliant, and he would like his life partner to share his intellect so they can conversate. 

"Pish tosh!" says she. The usual arguments followed: You aren't marrying a chavrusa. Brains doesn't mean a good mother. If anything, it will make her a neglectful one, since her head will be on loftier matters and she'll misplace the baby. Picky picky picky. 

He remains firm in his resolve. She pities him for his stubbornness, which is obviously preventing a wedded state.

One of the most common questions put to singles is, "What are you looking for?" The single replies, perhaps listing two, three, at most four attributes that are of primary importance, and another one or two that would be perks but not dealbreakers. 

The questioner then poo-poos the responses, and proceeds to sell the inappropriate shidduch. The single wearily wonders, if the answer was to be ignored, why the question was asked. 

This fellow had ONE criteria. ONE. He stated what he would like—nay, needs—in a relationship. Not a laundry list of qualities that is impossible to find in one individual, but ONE attribute. And it's no good. 

Service announcement: We are not all the same. What is important to me is not important to you, and vice versa. But the same way I can tolerate another's love of peanut butter and coconut (ick), I can accept that relationships are not one-size-fits-all. 

I shall cheer on this chap. Don't stop believin'. She's out there.  


Anonymous said...

I read that column too, and found it just as annoying as you.
The only caveat I will give the author is that I know who she and would estimate her to be in her early to mid 40's,maybe 45 or so. So if her husband's friend is about the same age, I have to wonder if he's one of "those" guys who is middle aged but still thinks of himself as being a good decade younger than he is. (I've dated a fair amount of men like that, and I can only come to the conclusion that they don't really want to get married, and so they let themselves get stuck on something like that.) Just the fact that a 40 something single guy would still be learning full time is a red flag, to be honest.
Other than that, I totally agree with you!

Princess Lea said...

Luke's chavrusa is ten years his senior; it doesn't follow that this chap is the same age as the author's husband. She presented him in the light of his one criteria, so that's what I'll go with. :D

Sarah said...

I’m with you on that. I’m sure she’s much nicer than she comes across, but she sounds like an insufferably condescending person. Kudos to this chavrusa for putting up with that behavior!
Also, I’m really insulted by her allegation that intelligence makes for a bad parent. What a nasty, misogynistic (and defensive) thing to say.

Princess Lea said...

A letter writer took her to task, and I don't recall the language of her defense, but she did sound nice. But even nice people sometimes have difficulty seeing things from another's perspective, or understanding that singleness is not always a choice.

Anonymous said...

Often, people who married young and/or married some time ago are simply clueless as to what it's like being a frum older single. Either they just can't relate to the endless bad dating and the toll it takes on a person or they don't fully get just how much things have changed for the single. Being a 30+ person in the shidduch world just isn't the same as a 22 year old.

Princess Lea said...

Yes, very true. Since it wasn't part of their own experience, which B'H, for them, went swiftly and painlessly, they can't understand the older single.