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The best ways to make an older single feel bad

It’s no coincidence that the Blogging world is filled with shidduch blogs, I would say that they are right up there in popularity as the Israeli political blogs and ex-frum heretic style blogs. They are filled with angst, sadness and stories of people making them feel like crap. Apparently it doesn;t get any better after you’re married, because then those same people who called you picky, will come back nudging you about having children (basically they want to hear “we’re trying” which is closest that frum married folks can talk about their sex lives in public) So here is a list of the best ways to make folks who are statistics in the shidduch crisis feel like crap.

Im Yirtza Hashem By You: How on earth did such a lovely bracha become one of the most hated things by frum singles everywhere? Well it may be that it tends to be said without much sympathy, as a way to remind said single usually at a wedding or other celebration that they are in fact not married. It makes some girls feel so bad that they refuse to attend simchas in order to avoid this bracha. I think they should come up with a new bracha, like may you make the most of your shidduch dates by writing a best selling book or getting a lot of free food out of them.

You’re being too picky: I sure hope you’re being too picky, we don’t want the frum divorce rate to go higher than it is already (the young divorcee’s are overshadowed by the shidduch crisis) Yes, some people are picky, but let them do whatever they want – who are you to judge that they are being too picky – it just makes them feel like poop.

You’re obviously not ready to get married: I hear it all the time and my response (besides for go F yourself) is that if everyone waited until they were “ready” no one would be married. Telling older singles you’re theories as to why someone is not married is beyond terrible – it makes them feel worthless and want to commit suicide. I have no doubt that plenty of older singles have contemplated these thoughts – I myself wouldn’t be willing to give up the kick ass mountain biking in Northern California for an afterlife of beis medrish.

You’re obviously not interested in getting married: That’s another hurtful way to tell someone they are being too picky or too judgmental. Yes, many singles are being picky and judgmental, but it’s probably because they see how miserable some folks are in marriage and don’t want to make the same mistakes.

Don’t be so shallow: I figure that under the right circumstances anyone can get it up long enough to procreate a couple of times, but some folks actually want to feel some sort of attraction to their wives – yes, secular society has crept in teaching us the laws of modern day attraction – skinny, big boobs and a great face and apparently women are also looking to be attracted to their husbands these days as well. A set of good horses and a sawmill just won’t do anymore.

I have the perfect guy/girl: The second anyone says this, it means they know of one random single that they can set you up with. It makes people feel hurt, when they are viewed as desperate, the Blogesphere and Jewish newspapers are filled with hurtful singles telling how much they hate when someone has the perfect match for them. Back in the day I would jump at the opportunity to date these perfect matches, because they were always the most off and therefore most fun.

Trying to figure out what’s wrong with the person: There’s obviously something wrong with the person if they are single and over the age of 23, trying to figure out what is wrong is always a bad move. I’m not even talking about with the person themselves, I’m talking about asking your older single friend what’s wrong with her friend – this implies you think all older singles are screwed up. You don’t really know someone’s story, not everyone starts dating at 24 and not everyone even thought of settling down until their 30’s – though I would argue that anyone who lived in one place for 5 years with a steady job is settled down.

Telling stories of people who wouldn’t go on a second date who got married: I can’t say these stories hurt my feelings, but they piss me off. Whenever I would tell someone why I didn’t want to go out again, the shadchan would tell me some sappy unrealistic story about how some couple never would have seen themselves together who eventually got married. These stories fill up the pages of frum shidduch guides and that really crappy shidduch column in the Jewish Press. You are not making people feel good by telling them how hopeless they are.

Ignore the one single in shul: One of things frum singles feel most hurt by, is the fact that they are not fully part of the community (in 50 years the married folks may be the minority and who will have the last laugh) so don’t just ignore the one single in shul, invite them to your house and make them feel good about themselves – I don’t get depressed, but frum singles are all about wallowing in their sadness and loneliness.

{ 116 comments… add one }
  • Rebecca May 17, 2011, 11:54 AM

    Great piece Hesh – very sensitive and as a single (albeit never on the derekh) gal over the age of 30 (gasp!), much appreciated. I’m going to share it on the Jersey Tribe page.

  • :) May 17, 2011, 11:58 AM

    This was such a great post filled with compassion.

    I didn’t see what the big deal was about being single at 24 until the women started giving me that beloved bracha at simchas. Eventually I did skip out on a simcha or two for that very reason.

  • A. Nuran May 17, 2011, 11:59 AM

    Every once in a while you put up a serious piece. It’s always worth reading.

    • Heshy Fried May 17, 2011, 12:09 PM

      Well sometimes people think my funny pieces are serious – like the sexism piece yesterday.

    • batsheva May 17, 2011, 12:14 PM

      Agreed! I didn’t get married until I was 37. Was engaged three times before that, and I broke it off each time. Not because I was too picky, not ready, or something was wrong with me, but because I knew in my heart that he wasn’t the right person for me in each case. You find them when you find them. That’s how it works. I’m glad I waited until I found him. We celebrate our 10th anniversary on Labor Day, and have the most wonderful child imaginable.

    • Telz Angel May 17, 2011, 12:38 PM

      Agreed. Heshy — this was a great piece. The Jewish community is generally intolerant to singles. You don’t pay enough shul membership. You don’t have kids to pay into the dayschool. And we can’t invite you over when we have other couples since it might make us feel slightly uncomfortable — and we can’t stand that.

      But you are good for one thing (which you could have mentioned as another annoying phrase): “Can we invite you to a Sheva Brochos for this couple you don’t know. We need men.” — Meaning: The misfits don’t have friends and are too cheap to invite couples because that would cause them to have to buy more soda. Who needs women at a Sheva Brochos anyway? We hope you stay single so we can hit you up when we need a minyan and don’t want to hear your excuses that echo from the nagging wife.

      • Heshy Fried May 17, 2011, 12:44 PM

        This Mr. Telz was an amazing comment that should be turned into a post on why singles are a good for the frum community economically.

  • Aliza T. May 17, 2011, 12:27 PM

    one thing i never understood: dont you guys believe in “Bashert”? in which case theres no such thing as too picky cuz theres only exactly 1 person in the whole universe you’re supposed to marry!

    • Heshy Fried May 17, 2011, 12:45 PM

      Where in the Torah does it say anything about this concept?

      Besides there are debates as to how many right persons there are and if there’s exactly one person for everyone – we are all screwed. Some people say there are 7 people, others say there are right people for each age.

      • Aliza T. May 17, 2011, 7:54 PM

        i have no clue where this concept would be found. i dont believe in that crap. its just one of those things that they used ti always talk about in BY

        • ISR May 17, 2011, 10:52 PM

          I believe there is a story out there about an older guy who went to one of the Gedolim in Israel for a bracha for a shidduch and was told that he probably met his bashert some time back and rejected her…….

      • M. May 17, 2011, 10:41 PM

        See Sotah 2a. It’s open to lengthy analysis (indeed, what line of gemara isn’t?), and as is pointed out by Maimonides (Iggros haRambam vol. 1 p. 237) requires careful interpretation. R’ Emden in Hagahos ha’Ya’avetz takes a similar tack. Also see the eighth perek of the Rambam’s Shemonah Peramim. For further iyun, see tosafos in Sotah and corresponding gemara in Mo’ed Katan (18b).

    • OfftheDwannaB May 17, 2011, 6:05 PM

      That’s a spiritual concept. It has very little to do with reality, imo. I’m looking for my bashert- and I just know it’s Ivanka Trump.

      • Avrumy May 19, 2011, 11:12 AM

        Ivanka Trump – who converted under “orthodox” auspices – is now posing, pregnant, in Playboy. Enjoy!

        • OfftheDwannaB May 19, 2011, 11:32 AM

          Seriously? Who says prayers aren’t answered? Avrumy ur like my fairy godfather.

    • A. Nuran May 18, 2011, 2:32 AM

      What an steaming pile of untreated effluent.

    • A. Nuran May 18, 2011, 2:51 AM

      Not you, Aliza, the idea that there’s one perfect mate out there for everyone.

  • Alta May 17, 2011, 12:28 PM

    Nothing was worse than the” nebach” look I got from people in shul after they announced an engagement of a 19 year old. They did not have to feel sorry for me about that. I married an awesome guy a few years later. I was a little north of 30. The sad issues that come along with older marrieds is infertility (we overcame it) and the death of a spouse after less than 19 years of a wonderful marriage. Please wait for the right one, but not for too long. Hatzlacha to all.

    • Realistically Speaking May 18, 2011, 1:01 AM

      I give those to become engaged at 18 the “nebach” look for throwing their childhood away at such an early age. Most 18 -20 year olds have no clue what a marriage entails or have any idea what commitment is all about. They think its all about the ring, the bridal shower, and the wedding gown.A lot of those marriages fall apart because most people that age are not prepared or mature enough to fathom the concept of spending the rest of their lives with the same person and putting up with their quirks. I felt I made the right decision to wait a bit till I was more established to settle down.And yes I had to put up with the “why are you not married yet” crap and people fixing me up with guys who were far from compatible for me. I got married at the ripe age of 24 to my boyfriend of 3 years. In the community where I came from where the median age for marriage was 21, I was considered 3+ years overdue.Not that I cared. Most of my married friends have 2.5 kids and glorifying about motherhood whereas I haven’t gotten around to baby # 1 yet.You should here the the jazz I listen to.
      The point is that most frum communities view single-hood past the age off 22 as an illness that immediately needs to be cured by a rushed marriage. They may cut a little more slack with the guys since they have a larger pool of girls to date but I guess people begin to worry once they reach 25. Its a crap attitude to have and nagging older singles isn’t going to help them get married. Its unfortunate that they are still single in their late 30’s – mid 40’s but all we can do is pray that someone will come along and help them if they ask for it. Singles are people too!

      • A. Nuran May 18, 2011, 1:11 PM

        The kind of girl I wanted in my late teens is not the kind of woman I married in my late twenties, thank God.

      • Lirehagi June 16, 2011, 5:15 PM

        Some people believe in getting old and gray and fighting over closing the toothpaste

  • Telz Angel May 17, 2011, 12:30 PM

    You could always get the women of the community to bake 40 challas for you. The power of the segula has a miraculous spiritual effect on the alignment of the sefirot causing the yesod to grow into the malchus and the yudkay to find the vavkey. and the Shlomo story, and the niggun, and the holiness, and and, pass the bong please. And do I have a girl for you. She’s alive. You’re alive. http://www.frumsatire.net/2010/10/27/40-more-challot-for-the-girl-with-big-hips/

  • Dream Girl May 17, 2011, 12:49 PM

    I’m an older single – yet I refused to be looked at with pity!
    I went to the right schools, started dating at 19 and have yet to find my bashert at 31. In that time I have dated all different types of boys – and men. I take each suggestion seriously and believe each shadchan when they tell me he is “really good looking”.

    He rarely is.

    Knowing that is half the battle as each new opportunity is one step closer to the one who I will meet at the end of the aisle. I have a career now, I am independent and though it used to pain me when ppl would look down on me – I have risen up!

    I look amazing, I feel amazing and have all the freedom to do what I want, when I want. Kids are great and something to look forward to, but I will not sit and become a depressed pile of goo every time i see a bedekin.

    Use the freedom to work on yourself!

    Enjoy life and the ability to go out and do whatever it is you want to do that your married friends can’t.
    If anything, they often look at me with jealousy being thin, spending money and time on myself and the fact that I still have that “meeting your one and only for the first time” ahead of me!!

    Def something to look forward to.

  • Devorah May 17, 2011, 12:54 PM

    Great post, but I’m wondering why simply stating that someone isn’t ready to get married is such a bad thing? The truth is, there are some guys/girls who find fault in any guy you bring up, even before they’ve looked into it/met them. This, to me, is an indication that perhaps they’re not interested in the shidduch scene, and would either prefer not to get married, or would prefer to find a guy/girl on their own.

    This is fine. But just let me know when I’m trying to set you up that you’re really not interested in the moment. Plenty of people don’t want to get married in their teens and early 20s, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I don’t see why it’s taboo to say something along those lines.

    The problem is that we internalize the pain someone feels when they’re lonely. I felt it myself, my closest friends feel it, and you feel somewhat helpless in the face of that pain. You try to fix it by searching, and ironically, it’s that searching that makes the single person feel the most like crap, because then they feel like you think they’re “desperate”.

    It’s not about desperate. It’s not about looking down on anyone else. It’s about trying to make your friends happy, or do something to show that you do understand how they feel.

  • Andrew May 17, 2011, 1:22 PM

    I think you should create a FrumSatire Shidduch Portal where single men and women who identify with your views and philosophy can meet each other. I sometimes read comments of young women on your site and think “wow, why can’t I meet anyone who thinks like that.” I think this could be very successful and make your blog even more popular.

    • Ben May 17, 2011, 3:12 PM

      sawyouatfrumsatire.net

      • Telz Angel May 17, 2011, 5:12 PM

        Like +1

        • Talia May 17, 2011, 10:28 PM

          This is a great idea!

      • LOL May 18, 2011, 5:27 AM

        OMG that is amazingness! please do it!

        • OM-!!!! May 18, 2011, 8:53 AM

          Yes!!!!

  • anonymous May 17, 2011, 3:05 PM

    you left out the best one, although it really applies mainly to single women, “you need to lose weight in order to find a shidduch.” this line absolutely wins the contest of sending single women into a suicidal depression.

    • chubby girl May 17, 2011, 3:58 PM

      Yeah, I was told if I didn’t lose weight I wouldn’t find a shidduch. It took about a year, but now I’m completely off the derech and dating a wonderful Jew who isn’t religious. Interestingly enough I’ve lost about 30 pounds in the process of leaving frumkeit.

      • Aliza T. May 17, 2011, 8:01 PM

        AWESOME!!!!!! they really tell you that you need to lose weight to find a shidduch?!? thats crazy!!! (I left the frum fold b4 shidduch age so I didnt get this super-charming experience) what about all the fat and ugly and/or smoking yeshiva guys?!? are they expecting to date size zeros?!?

        • chubby girl May 17, 2011, 8:20 PM

          Yes, I think many of them are expecting gorgeous wives, and many of them get one.

          But, to be fair, having been told my being overweight was bound to leave me alone forever if I didn’t change isn’t the primary reason I abandoned observance. It’s just one of many culminating factors which lead to a choice I had spent a long time considering.

      • Synapse May 18, 2011, 4:06 AM

        I’m guessing not having to eat so much helps! So much for the idea that what you eat on shabbos won’t make you gain weight!

      • American Sabrah May 18, 2011, 7:35 AM

        A lot of these gorgeous women don’t always keep their figures. In fact, they go through all this trouble trying to lose weight to get a date only to put it back on after they are married.Men are not much in better shape.If its all about looks and dress sizes, then why do people slack off after they’re married? Could someone please explain this phenomena to me?

        • oy gevalt May 19, 2011, 1:39 AM

          I was told I don’t have to lose weight, but I shouldn’t be looking for someone who is very smart, and truthfully I can make someone religious if I give him sex and good food in exchange for keeping basic tenants of judaism.

  • Sickofit May 17, 2011, 6:46 PM

    I think too picky often means “looking for someone who is the kind of person I am looking for and right for me” rather than “Oh no I’m 20 and not married, I better get hopping in the next six months so the next guy I date more than three times is going to be it for me!”

    Ironically I think that dating takes away the Bashert idea…all it makes you realize is that it’s so unlikely to find someone you really like and click with when you are Shidduch dating. What are the odds that a random person you are introduced to by some other person who probably doesn’t know the two of you that well is somebody you can happily spend the rest of your life with and raise a family with?

    It’s a different story if two people have a mutual friend that says “A, my friend B would be perfect for you, I know both of you well and I really see you two together”. In those cases, it often works out beautifully. But that’s not what Shidduch dating is like, at least from what I’ve seen. It’s more like a random person trying to be helpful by setting up two individuals she doesn’t know that well according to “lists”. Even if two peoples’ criteria “match” they may have no connection, while two people who wouldn’t ordinarily be matched up may be perfect life partners. It’s an unpredictable non-science where the odds are highly against you. And it takes so much just to get to one date, which probably won’t go any further anyway. And the pressure to know so fast..doesn’t help you get to truly know the person in a natural way.

    Shidduch dating is good if you just want to settle down ASAP and gave up on the idea of finding someone really special but rather you are willing to settle someone who fits the bill well enough so you can just “get married” like every other Frum Jew is “supposed to” by a certain point. I believe that people who Shidduch date and really find “it” are very very blessed and rare.

    But some of us want more than that. Maybe we don’t want to “settle” so fast but want to wait it out, especially if we are still in our early 20s and in the process of building up our lives and education, like yours truly. Even moreso if you are MO and “Regular” meeting and dating isn’t a chillul in your community (although unfortunately I believe that Shidduch dating and setups have started to overtake the whole community, even the more modern folk).

    I say let’s hear it for “meeting on your own!!” and people who hold by “Don’t settle for the one you can live with, wait for the one you can’t live without”, although I feel like Shidduch dating is not the best means to this end I believe that people who fulfill this will be much happier and have a much more fulfilling marital life. Plus, getting married when you are both 21 in college struggling and/or depending on Mommy and Daddy for the next few years minimum can’t be a breeze.

    I always understood the idea that you are ready to get married when you are able to support yourself…but maybe I’m just being sucked in by the evils of the secular world.

    • Synapse May 18, 2011, 4:12 AM

      I’ll do any kind of dating, shidduch or no. Imo, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two. At the end of the day, unless you’re marrying someone you’ve known all your life from your hometown, the way you meet someone is going to be fairly random. So what the shadchan doesn’t REALLY know me that well? Long as the person meets my basic criteria there’s always the chance of a good connection and even things working out. Not that much different than dating normally where you barely know someone and just ask them out. At least for me it’s a similar process.

      • Sickofit May 18, 2011, 3:51 PM

        Good point….I am sure sometimes it can work out with setups. I guess it’s just potluck. Some people do feel that they’ve been matched up accordingly, even if those people weren’t “it”, while others feel that most to all of their suggestions were way out of range according to what he/she is looking for. I just have experienced the latter at this point, but many factors go into the suggestions you receive as well.

        It’s also about interpretation…you may think that you weren’t too specific or too general and the Shadchan will suggest someone who does fit overall but still won’t work for you.

  • Aliza T. May 17, 2011, 8:02 PM

    OH i get it! only the guy has to be attracted to the girl not vice-versa.

    • Bubba Metzia May 17, 2011, 9:42 PM

      Well the opposite is also true. I’ve been told by women that I need to gain weight in order to find a shidduch.

  • wondering jew May 17, 2011, 8:05 PM

    Hesh,
    I can feel the last point you made- i had to move out-of-town for a job and am basically the only single in the community. Its really tough, and i do get ignored by most of the community- which is not cool.
    so in the process of going through this tikun i have learnt to be much more sensitive to people. how did you cope when you lived in random places out-of-town with not much of a support group?

  • ZoomZoom May 17, 2011, 10:05 PM

    Howz about over 25 out of town and a stalled career? You’re stuck taking heimisha jobs and getting paid less because “you’re a single guy and you donahavafamilytosupporta” Yes, while not making enough money to move outa the house and everyones advice is “MOVE TO LAKEWOOD”

    One more I’m yirtzashem by D’er and someones gonna go postal with that dumb Kesuba the single dude gets saddled with. (Last one I chuckeduped on)

    Oh, and don’t forget Camera Man By Bris. Did it once, got the money shot and they never asked again!

  • Seriously? May 18, 2011, 6:48 AM

    Sorry, folks. Saying those things may be insensitive, and it may not be helpful.

    But in my experience, many of them are true for many older singles. They *are* too picky.

    They don’t understand or respect that marriage changes people beyond all recognition, so that a lot of people *could* be married to a lot of other folks – if they only were willing to put in the effort to make it so.

  • Mike May 18, 2011, 1:31 PM

    Ok here is the solution for the ‘Soon by you’ problem.. read on:
    This girl had a aunt who would endlessly tell her ‘soon by you’ ‘soon by you’ at every simcha weeding or bris, the next time the girl met the aunt at a funeral she walked over to her aunt and politely said ‘soon by you’. That was the last time she ever heard it from her… 😉

    On a serious note i only say it to really close friends who could understand i really care about them and really want them married and happy. Believe it or not some people get offended if you dont say it because it basically implies that you don’t think could get married…

  • Woodrow/Conservadox May 18, 2011, 5:51 PM

    Here’s something else that annoys me (a small subset of Heshy’s third to last example)- when someone says
    “You’ll never be married unless you do [well-meaning suggestion X, which in my experience can be have or don’t have pet X/redecorate your apartment/have more furniture/have different furniture/wear different shoes/work out this way or that way…. well, you get the idea],”

  • Anonymous May 18, 2011, 6:53 PM

    You should try the “Im Yirtzeh Hashem by you” drinking game at the next frum wedding you go to. Every time someone says that to you take a shot, I like to keep my I”YH flask handy. Makes it way more managable.By the chuppah you’re so trashed you think going to weddings is a fabulous idea!

    • prili May 19, 2011, 1:46 AM

      I WANT AN I”YH FLASK TOO. You need to create and market those!

      I like to call those little conversations frum chat-ups so I can leave the wedding and say ooo I was chatted up/hit on by so many of the women. Bahahahaha.

      • Yochanan May 19, 2011, 1:05 PM

        What about an “OMG Mazal Tov!!!!! I’m so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!”
        flask?

        • BF May 19, 2011, 2:52 PM

          At a wedding, vort, etc., step outside or into the hallway and confront the crying older frum single girl. Condescendingly berate her, slandering her as unhappy for the couple or jealous of their blessings.

          As her bawling gets louder, apologize and “comfort” her by offering the many helpful suggestions above, making sure to mention the urgency of taking your advice due to her age and declining fertility.

          Follow her back to the tables as she starts looking for a knife to use on you or herself and talk about how difficult marriage is, how it’s not always happy, that she should enjoy her freedom and the gift of singlehood, and that she’s really immature for believing that marriage will solve all her problems, even though she said no such thing.

          If she puts down the knife and starts crying again, tell her that gratitude causes happiness, so she must be an ingrate, and then tell her that Hashem decides the right time to meet your spouse, so she must be a heretic for questioning His timing.

          Finally, top it all off with a suggestion that she should ignore teshuva/tefila/tzedaka and instead spend a lot of money on casting some sort of magical segula spell that you know she’s already tried, or which is impractical for her to carry out, and then inform her that she’s therefore not serious about getting married.

          If the older single is male and smiling happily, berate him for fooling around and say he’d be married if he’d get serious and become Shomer Negiah. If he smiles insufficiently or unconvincingly, berate him for being unhappy and suggest that he’d be married if only he’d get serious and become Shomer haBris.

          BF

  • sk May 19, 2011, 4:54 AM

    People are picky because they fear the unknown. They fear becoming a divorcee. They want things to be easy. But marriage is not easy. Arguments are inevitable.

    A mature person will learn to work out the differences. An immature person will keep rejecting matches hoping to find Mr. Perfect.

    How often have I been told the cliche “It’s not going anywhere” after a first date? We barely got off the starting line, how do you expect it to go anywhere? Try a second date before you jump to conclusions.

    • Ansy May 19, 2011, 7:07 AM

      in my experience, and those of my friends, “its not going anywhere” after the first date = girl is fugly or couldnt carry a conversation for longer than 5 minutes at any point during the 2+ hour date. The biggest misconception among people who believe singles are “too picky” is that their publicly-given reasons for saying no to someone are rarely exactly the same as the real reason. We aren’t too picky, we just dont feel good telling you that your “very good friend”/”family friend” / [insert connection to girl here] is wildly unattractive, or has a dull personality or whatever. Its just a bad political move: i much rather be seen as too picky than a pompous, insulting Dbag

  • Avrumy May 19, 2011, 11:20 AM

    So, nu, what kind of girl are you looking for?
    Tall, good-looking and with a penis.

    End of conversation.

  • Aliza T. May 19, 2011, 12:54 PM

    I love frum weddings i get all the “oh what happened to her, she was such a good girl” and ppl whisper about me a lot and stare… oh wait thats y i hate frum weddings! (even though these dont really bother me much its more all the ppl who think i must be miserable and want to be “mekarev” me, theyre the worst) and have only gone to 5 since i left the frum fold and they were ppl i was really close with. (my sister, 2 best friends from HS, neighbor and cousin) (To all the people who think im a hater of orthodoxy just for the sake of hating: i actually do dress kinda “tznius” to these occasions so there! i do (to a point) not want to create problems)

  • Ravak May 12, 2015, 6:12 AM

    I was struck reading all the comments from the “older” singles that the people actually do in theory seem to want a shiddukh. Isn’t there anybody here like me, someone who really doesn’t want to get married anytime soon? I’m a more-or-less happy single early 40-something single guy who the “obviously not interested in getting married/not ready to get married” comment actually applies to. I’m not interested and I’m not ready. However,I’m not exactly frum or even shomer shabbos though I play one in shul. (Went through a BT phase in my late teens and 20s, then went off the derekh, and then subsequently even got myself involved in a long-term relationship with a non-Jewish woman from age 28 – 38, now I’m 42, childless and single.) Problem is, I like going to morning minyan, I’ve been a regular at a small shul that has a hard time getting a minyan soon after I broke up with non-Jewish ex-gf and I’ve become close with the rabbi and his family (he’s a Chabadnik, though the shul isn’t a Chabad House) and I often accept invites to Seudot Shabbat/Yom Tov by them and I am a regular at the shul on shabbos/Yom Tov (where I am often needed for a minyan), but I *don’t* like getting nudged by my rabbi and other well-meaning frum married friends as well as the old people at the shul that I need to get married and being told time’s a wastin’). I really don’t want to get married and have kids, at least not at this stage in my life and probably never, and these Orthodox people just don’t seem to get it. I know, puru u’revoo is an important mitzvah, yadda yadda yadda, but it’s not for everyone IMO. It’s becoming really uncomfortable. Last year, on Simchas Torah, the rabbi, who was probably already drunk, after I got my aliyah, picked my hand up in front of everyone said “Shidukh!” After repeated suggestions and questions of “What’s the delay, what’s wrong? You’re financially stable”, and me being evasive and making excuses about why I don’t want to go on this or that shiddukh date, and him asking me for the umpteenth time “Nu, what’s the issue with you?” I finally recently told my rabbi, “Listen, I don’t want to get married and I don’t want kids, definitely not now, probably never, no binyan adei ad/bayit neeman be yisrael for me” he looked at me like I had 2 heads. His reply: “Impossible!” I think he would have more readily accepted me saying that I am gay (which he might think anyway, not that there’s anything wrong with that in my opinion, and if I was, I’d tell him) . But it’s getting to make me feel like not going to shul anymore. My parents had a bad marriage and stayed together for 57 years and it was one fight after another. I had a pretty rocky relationship with my ex-gf as well. And really, the idea of having kids to me just isn’t shayyekh. But I like feeling part of a kehila even if I’m not totally observant, I like davening on shabbos, I like being counted in a minyan. The other thing about this particular shul is that it’s mostly an elderly congregation so even though I am in my 40s, I’m one of the younger regulars (although I’m of course older than the Chabadnik rav who of course has like 6 kids already), and of course these older shul-goers also don’t ease up onthe nudging. Orthodox people seriously need to figure out etiquette.

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