The first woman I ever dated (six years ago) is getting married today. I don’t mind so much, as I’ve long since got over her (we only went on two dates. I run into her every six months or so as she’s close friends with my sister and her parents are friends with my parents and I’m fine chatting with her) and she had some difficulties finding someone too, so I’m glad she finally managed it, but it does make me feel a bit… not so much lonely as odd. Well, maybe a bit lonely too. My sister is bridesmaid and my parents are going too, for the reasons given above, so I feel left on my own a bit, although to be honest I wouldn’t really want to go.
The Jewish Chronicle has a regular ‘ask the rabbi’ section where a Modern Orthodox rabbi and a Reform rabbi answer questions. This week they were asked how young people can meet their partners. I was glad to see that even in the less ‘right-wing’ (less strict or traditional) and non-Orthodox worlds people still struggle to find their partner. I’m not glad people are lonely, but I’m glad it’s not just me, or just my community. Although I was annoyed that, as well as giving some practical suggestions, the rabbis both went for the “but young people today are also too picky and commitment-phobic” approach. Maybe some people are too picky, but I’ve always been ready to continue relationships even if it didn’t look like we had a huge amount in common to see where they went unless there was a major values mismatch and in fact got badly hurt thinking I had to keep a relationship going because all problems can be solved with self-sacrifice when it clearly wasn’t working and I was in pain and should have got out of it.
My parents decided that they should speak to the assistant rabbi at their shul (synagogue) about my dating situation (as opposed to the assistant rabbi at my shul, who my therapist wants me to talk to about my feelings of not fitting in to the community – doubtless more about that later in the week). They felt he is roughly my age and might be more likely to know someone for me than other rabbis I’ve spoken to. I was a bit sceptical, but these days I generally let them get on with these type of things so that they feel useful and so that I don’t come across as refusing to do anything proactive. My father didn’t get a chance to talk to the assistant rabbi, but he did talk to his wife and she suggested another shadchan (matchmaker) (I think. I’m slightly confused about how the conversation went, which could be embarrassing down the line). My father seems to think that the rabbi’s wife knew about my mental health issues and that she picked a suitable shadchan with that in mind; I think he’s making some big assumptions there (I’m not convinced she even knows about my issues), so I remain somewhat sceptical, especially after my rabbi mentor was very sceptical of professional shadchanim. Still, I googled the shadchan after Shabbat (the Sabbath) and she is a trained counsellor and her husband, as well as being a rabbi, is a professional psychotherapist, so maybe she will be more understanding and helpful than the others. However, I am not overly hopeful any more.
I seem to have got in the bad habit of sleeping through most of Shabbat, then staying up late on Saturday night because I don’t feel tired and then sleeping through much of Sunday. I did at least get a number of chores done last night before going to bed, but 4.00am was far too late to be up. It’s 2.00pm and I’m still in my pyjamas, having only just finished breakfast. I have a lot of things to do today, so I’m going to post this now and see if I can get away with not blogging again today, as long as nothing goes seriously wrong or something upsetting happens. Famous last words?