I don’t know how to start this post ‘gently,’ so I’ll just leap in: on Sunday I asked E to marry me, and she said yes! It was perhaps somewhat less anxiety-provoking than it could have been, as we’d been talking seriously about marriage for quite a while (we both tend to let our thoughts run away with us), so I knew the chances of her turning me down were slim. Even so, I was really nervous (my parents think I looked nervous for the whole of last week…). I feel a bit bad that it was a long-distance proposal and so not particularly romantic, but I knew we both wanted to get engaged soon, because we know that, with immigration and COVID, our engagement will probably have a some extra hassles and we both wanted to get started on planning things as soon as possible, rather than waiting until I get to the US in the new year or maybe even later if there are winter COVID lockdowns again.

I proposed on Zot Chanukah, the last day of Chanukah, which is supposed to be a spiritual time (and also a time for beginnings if you’re Hasidic and believe that the Jewish New Year season goes on until the end of Chanukah). Of course, because of the time difference, it was still day seven where E was. At least it was still spiritual there from Chanukah and also Rosh Chodesh (New Moon).

After I spoke to E, we both went separately to tell our parents, who are really pleased. I phoned my sister and said that I just proposed to E and she accepted, but there was poor reception and my sister said, “I can’t really hear you. Did you say what I think you said?” which I thought was hilarious, although it’s not objectively that funny. I told my uncle and aunt the next night, also by phone as they live in Israel, and then my rabbi mentor. I think E and I were both pleased that so far no one thinks we’re insane for marrying someone we’ve not spent much time with in the real world. As I said to my therapist, we haven’t spent so much time together in real life, but we probably have had more serious relationship conversations (over Skype) than many other newly-engaged couples. We’ve worked hard to build this relationship despite our differences and issues.

We’re keeping things fairly quiet at the moment, though. In my religious community, people would expect a short engagement and a swift marriage, which, as I said, might not be possible in our case, so I want to keep things private for a bit longer until we get a better idea of when the wedding might be. In particular, I don’t want the rabbi wanting to see me, as we’re pretty certain we don’t want to get married in my shul as it’s not the right type of community for E. My rabbi mentor says it’s OK to shop around until you find a rabbi you connect with, although I don’t particularly want to pick a shul (synagogue) where there is zero chance of us going after we marry. I did decide to post here, as even the people who know me in real-life reading this don’t know my religious community, plus I can’t believe that I won’t need to vent about wedding planning stresses and emotions in the coming months.

I feel really happy and excited. There is definitely some anxiety too. I’m not worried about anything in particular, but about the “unknown unknowns” — the things we don’t know about yet that will cause problems. In particular, I worry about some halakhic (Jewish law) problem arising, while E is more worried about secular immigration law posing problems for us. I told my sister I was nervous and she said that her engagement was a rollercoaster of emotions, so I’m sure there will be plenty to blog about.

Monday was actually a struggle. I wanted some time to process what happened, but I had to go to work and by the evening I was exhausted. Yesterday was a bit better, but I went to get my COVID booster jab and had some other things to do, so today feels like the first time I’ve had free just to process things quietly (albeit while aching from the booster). It feels good to know it’s real and not just a crazy fantasy E and I have.

Stay tuned…

16 thoughts on “OTP (One True Pairing)

  1. Mazal Tov – I’m so happy for you both. Wishing you both happiness and contentment in your lives together.
    As for not having spent much time together – it is not a problem in Hasidic marriages, so why should it be in yours?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! This is indeed happy news. I haven’t read your blog for long, but in that short time I’ve seen you work hard at getting the life and relationship you want. Engagement was a difficult and stressful time for me and I hope your path will be smoother.

    Liked by 1 person

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