Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Not what I wanted to hear

Ziva wrote back with just about the worst possible thing she could have said to me:

wow. this is tough! try to date men that are 7-8 years older than you!

don't give up. I know it is hard. I just received a call from a woman I coached who told me she got engaged. she is in her late 30s. she almost gave up... but I didn't let her. she almost married a man that she didn't love and I didn't let her! I made her brake up the other relationship and within a month she found this man.... Please stay strong!

Ouch. Ouch, ouch, damnation. Seven to eight years older than I am? That is so not what I want. Or what I thought I wanted. But I guess a messy woman in her late 30s doesn't have so many options.

Ziva then wrote:

I think I have two ideas for you. Are you ready to try?

Just remind me again your religious level and age. And if you can add a short description about yourself it would be great!

I wrote back:

I'm ready.

I identify as modern orthodox, liberal, but am open to meeting more machmir types. To me the important thing is shmirat shabbat and shmirat kashrut; the details are open to discussion. I'm happy to cover my hair if it's important to someone.

Smart, funny, fun, interesting. A bottomless well of trivia and passion. Not easily daunted or discouraged. Good listener, since that's what I do for a living -- I'm a clinical social worker. I like going out; I like staying in. I love being an aunt, and I'm exceptionally good at it. I enjoy trying new things, meeting new people, spending time with friends, reading, walking, museums, movies/theater, traveling, and helping people when I can.

I also told her my age, which will soon increase by a year. I guess if the guys are 7-8 years older than I am, I'll have a date or two.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. This is what happens when you entrust your romantic life to religious authorities [didn't she once say that any contact between dating parties immediately cancels out the possibility of them ever marrying? Right. 'Cos EVERYONE who EVER married OBVIOUSLY didn't lay a hand on each other before the chuppah.]

    This underscores my point that one should think twice before using relgious personalities as dating mediums....

  2. Dear Ayelet,

    Everyone's different. If you have dated men 7 or 8 years older than you and you can't see yourself being married to any of them, then you don't have to date any more of them. It's your life. Just be firm about the age range you're willing to date in. Beyond 5 years in any direction changes many life attitudes frames of reference, etc. Its not meaningless to feel your in a different generation than your spouse.

    Now, all that being said, I want you to know that I am 7 years and a month and a half older than my wife. While we joke about being in different generations now and then, our age difference is not an issue to either one of us.

    But again, that is us, and you are you.

  3. "Just remind me again....." Does she actually have an intimate knowledge of who you ARE, other than the stats, with with she is obviously not closely acquainted?
    I agree with Cognitive Dissident.
    One of the advantages of being one of those "creepy guys" over 50 is that I still remember what it was like to date, as well as how things pan out afterwards. I've realized what is really important (the things we either gloss over or deny altogether), and what is trivial (the things we turn into rejection points, but which our ultimate choice usually suffers from in spades).
    Bottom line: setting up "objective" criteria such as age, exact level of observance, profession, etc., or following someone else's guidelines, are both types of avoidance. Ways of setting it up to fail.
    As my son said when he was 9, you have to go for the kernel, not the shell. And your shell criteria do not increase the chances of finding a better kernel.

  4. Don't give up! Things really do work out for the best - I would never, ever have guessed that I would be where I am today even a few months ago. Good luck with everything and just try to keep a good attitude :)

  5. I'd agree with the post above. Also, I bet the reason she is telling you to date older reflects the guys actually in her database, NOT neccessarily who is inherently appropriate for you!

    Go with what seems right to you, not what some sort of expert says. Sorry that's not more eloquently put, I was up with a teething baby all night!

  6. You DO NOT have to date men 7-8 years older than you, unless you happen to want to, or unless you happen to meet someone who's perfect for you but a bit older.



  7. CD, you're probably right that the "experts" don't know any more than we do. I was hoping she'd have access to available men I'd find attractive. I am rapidly losing hope.

    Rabbi Zohar, I know there are happy couples with a 7 or more year age difference. I'm glad it works for you and Rebbetzin Zohar. It just seems that when I go out with men that age, they're all on the South Beach Diet, can no longer eat red meat or they're up all night, and don't like to do anything fun.

    Ericle, I don't mean to slam all men who are over 50. Just the ones that yell at me for not wanting to date them ;) I am trying not to focus on "shell" qualities, but I really seem to enjoy the company of men close to my age more than men who are (much) older. I'm trying to be open-minded and look for the essentials. But enjoying someone's company must be essential, no? And while I'm not particular about exact level of observance, I think shmirat shabbat v'kashrut are essential, not superficial.

    Thanks, Shoshana, and I'm glad you're in a good place. Riva, I'm sorry the baby kept you up all night :( And thanks, S, for sharing my frustration with the dating age double standard.

  8. I did the South Beach Diet a few years ago. If you meet someone on the diet, don't worry, nobody stays on it for long.