Today was mostly good, but I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked, partly (I admit) through procrastination, partly because I went out shopping and for some reason came back feeling very faint and unwell. I felt better after eating something, so maybe it was low blood sugar. I got into an interesting discussion with Rivki Silver on Hevria about authenticity and identity and my feeling of having a fractured personality. In brief, I feel there are four different aspects of my personality: the frum (religious), the geeky (particularly Doctor Who fannish), the cultured and the mentally ill and not all of these fit easily with the others. In particular, I often feel in frum society that I shouldn’t be geeky and maybe not even cultured, and I feel generally that I can’t share my mental health struggles with others (except online!) which makes it hard to build intimacy and friendship, let alone romantic relationships.
Rivki said that there are many frum geeky women out there, which is good to know, but I really don’t know how to meet them. I’ve only met a couple in person. I’m guessing most of them live in Israel and the US, simply because that’s where most Jews live. There are about fourteen million Jews in the world, six million in Israel, another six million in the US and the other two million spread thinly over the rest of the world, mostly in Europe and Canada. There are only about 400,000 Jews in the UK. Only a tiny percentage of these are frum and only a tiny percentage of that tiny percentage are geeky; divide by two to remove the men and that’s a tiny, tiny bunch of women before you even take into account age, philosophical outlook, marital status, personality etc. – all the things that go into choosing a partner. So the odds of my finding someone easily are not good.
Because of all this, I’ve been thinking for a while of going to a professional shadchan (matchmaker) because I think the chances of finding a wife by myself are slim. I’m thinking of going in about three months time, after I have got used to doing four days of work a week as well as having got through the autumn Yom Tovim (festivals). It’s scary though, as it will be hard to admit to a frum stranger that I’m looking for a geeky wife and that I have mental health issues. I have also heard so many horror stories about shadchanim even for ‘normal’ people! In addition, I don’t know whether to be open to dating women from abroad, given what I said about American and Israeli Jews being the majority of the world’s Jewish population. It’s scary, both to think I might have to move abroad to get married and also because I think dating someone from abroad is somewhat artifical even in the age of email and Skype. I know from my recent ‘relationship’ (which didn’t really last long enough to be a real relationship) that it’s easy to think a relationship is going well based on a few thoughtful texts (no, not flirty ones! Just “How was your day? Something interesting happened to me” ones), but then when you meet in person you suddenly realize you have nothing in common and can’t stand each other (well, I liked her, but apparently she didn’t like me, or at least my social anxieties).
I’m not sure if it’s because of this, but I have drifted back into agitation and pessimism this evening, which is a shame, as things seemed to be coming along better during the day. I’m hoping to go to a science fiction exhibition tomorrow with my Dad, which should at least stop me bombarding you with blog posts (I was hoping only to send one today, but I felt I needed to get this off my chest before I went to bed).