Thursday, January 27, 2011

Excluded by name

On Shabbat I had lunch with my friend Elisheva and five of her girlfriends. One topic of conversation was, "Who would date a 50-year-old?" Elisheva's friend Julie davens at Aish, and met an amazing single man there. Julie's dating someone, so she's not available to him, and she was looking for someone to date him.

Normally I'm really not interested in men that much older than I am. But I was swayed when she said that he was willing to date women close to his age as well as younger women -- and that he came from a nice family, had a stable job, and was very kind. So after I broke up with CY I got her email address from Elisheva and sent her a little self-description to send to him.

This was his response:

Sounds like a nice woman. However, need to put on hold for now. This may sound odd, but there's a custom, at least in the Ashkenaz world, for a man not to marry a woman with his mother's name. (I also think a woman is not advised to marry a man with her father's name.) Ayelet is my Mom's Hebrew name and this issue came up once before a few years ago with another woman, and a rabbi I spoke to discouraged pursuing it. I think he just got back from Israel, so maybe I'll ask him again what he thinks in the next week or two. Thanks for thinking of me:)

I shouldn't be relieved, but I sort of am. I didn't really want to go out with a 50-year-old. I can't imagine I'd find him attractive.

In other news: I had another job interview yesterday. In addition to inadequate pay and what sounds like an overwhelming workload, they do not provide LCSW supervision. For now I'm saying no. But filling out the interminable job application made me realize that I've been fired or laid off from my last three paying jobs. I have to remember to put down all of my internships next time, because those I left on blameless terms. Forget my work life before grad school.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Ayelet, there's a couple we both know where the woman took on her middle name after getting married for the reason you describe. That was the first time I heard of this custom.

  2. I know. I wrote back to the woman trying to set us up:

    I've heard of this custom. I actually know of a woman who changed her name when/before she got married because it was the same as her husband's mother. But of course he must do what he is comfortable with. Thanks so much for trying!

  3. I was going to mention the same couple that FTT refers to.

    I think the issue here is less that he's 50 and more his religious perspective. There are a lot of great guys who are 50. I know a number of very happy couples with that age gap or wider. (And in 2 cases, it's the woman who's that much older!)

    The fact that he goes to Aish, is hewing so strongly to this minhag, and feels that he needs to ask a rav about it, is a much stronger indicator, I think, that he's not for you. He sounds too frum.