Monday, January 17, 2011

Why I Won't Settle

So, is it just me or is it impossible to date for more than a year or two and avoid being called picky? Maybe it’s just females who have this issue? Maybe it’s just me? Does everyone who doesn’t find the right person right away get called picky? Maybe I am picky. I don’t think so, though.

There have been times when something someone has said to me implied that perhaps I was being too selective and declining suggestions without a valid reason- sometimes before even going out on a date ("How do you know- you didn't even go out with him!"), or sometimes after only a short number of dates ("How can you know after only __ date(s)!"). I have certain qualifications that are super important to me (around five, in case you were wondering) and if a guy fits those, then I will give them a chance. In pretty much all of those cases I caved in and went on the date or on another date, against my better judgment, and as you can see by the fact that I’m still single, I was right.

Alright, alright, I’m coming off my high horse. Let me quickly get rid of the image you probably have in your head right now, in case I’m painting a picture that makes it sound like there’s tons of guys who are dying to go out with me and I sit in a castle with my nose held high dismissing them one by one. Do not think that is the case at all, as that is quite far from the reality. However, this is not a post about the guys who don't want to date me. No one is blaming me for that. I will say that in terms of the guys I have dated, I would say that about one third of the time the guy was the one to end it, about one third of the time I was the one to do so, and one third of the time it was mutual. What irks people, I suppose, is that sometimes everything seems right and should work, but for some reason it does not. Perhaps that makes me picky. Perhaps I am picky. But if I am, let me at least explain why.

My goal is not to just get married; it is to build a home of Torah with a person with who I love, and who loves me. I would rather not get married at all then end up in a bad marriage, a difficult marriage, or divorced, Chas v’shalom. If it is not the right person, then it’s not worth getting married. If this means I have to wait a very long time, then I will wait.

Trust me; I want to get married very, very, very much. So much that it is painful to be single sometimes. But that doesn’t mean that I will ever give up on my dream of finding true love, or finding someone who I can build a life with because we complete each other and can create so much together. Marriage is about creating, building, growing. “May you BUILD a Bayit Neeman B’Yisrael” we wish to those who are engaged.

Tovim Hashnayim Min HaEchad, writes Shlomo Hamelech in Mishlei. The immense potential that exists when two people come together is much greater than one person all by herself. Two people working together accomplish more than just one. I don’t want to be just me; I want a partner in life.

But not a partner who doesn’t share my goals, my values. Not a partner who I don’t respect. Not a partner who isn’t kind, who isn’t committed to Torah and Hashem and the Jewish people. I am looking for someone who I want to be with, who wants to be with me. Someone I can give to, who I can give happiness to.

I’m not looking for Mr. Perfect. I know that whoever I marry, he will have faults. In fact he better have faults, because I certainly have faults and I would feel too imperfect to be with someone perfect. I also know that he probably won’t be exactly like I expect, and that life will surprise me. I know whenever I find him, we will get into arguments and fights, because life is never smooth sailing. We won’t be one hundred percent happy one hundred percent of the time.

I have faith in Hashem that I will find the right person one day. I try to be as open as I can, but at the end of the day, if there is an obstacle stopping our ability to build a home together, we are not right. Perhaps that makes me picky.

To end off, here is an interesting email that has been making the rounds. Luckily I have never encountered this type of attitude personally, though I have heard of people who are like this, obviously on a less exaggerated scale:

Revelations of a Burnt- Out Shadchan .....

It's so hard to please anyone these days!!!
Here is a partial list of my clients .... I couldn't even get them one date, and that is why I am finally quitting and going into the pickle business.

Avraham Avinu: How can you recommend him to my daughter? Wasn't he involved in a family feud with his father over some idols? Then he left home without a GPS or a viable business plan!

Yitzchak Avinu: His brother is an Arab terrorist!!!

Rivka Imeinu: Sorry, she seems nice but did you hear about her mishpuche??? Her father's a murderer and her brother's a ponzi scam artist... .

Yaakov Avinu: Okay, he sits and learns all day... but his brother is a no-goodnik. And anyway, we heard he has a limp..... .

Leah Imeinu: Her father's a con artist, and she has ophtalmological problems. Maybe it's genetic?

Moshe Rabbeinu: Are you kidding? His parents are divorced! And worse.. they remarried! And we hear he's in speech therapy....

King David: How dare you suggest him to our yichusdike family? Our neighbor Yenti told us that his great-grandmother was a giyoret!!!

Chava: Do you know anything about her family? We never heard of them. No one knows where she came from and she can't come up with any referrals!

Please chevra, judge the person for him/herself - you're going to marry the person, not the family. You're getting married to build your home, not to please your neighbors. And finally, remember that if you are in this world, you are not perfect and neither is your spouse.
(Translated loosely from Arutz Sheva)



  1. You are completely right and I completely commiserate. People tell you your picky for knowing what you want. But at the end of the have to live with have to see him everyday day in and yes you should be picky..this is your life partner we are talking about!

  2. lol good to know I'm not alone in this one. I'm probably the most open minded girl out there...I would GLADLY marry a ger, black, BT, and age doesn't really bother me, but recently someone suggested someone TOTALLY not for me and then got offended when I said no. I'm sorry but contrary to popular belief, just because he's a boy and I'm a girl doesn't mean we're perfect for eachother. But I love those yiddeshe mommas who think so! Once you get past their annoyance...they're really kinda funny...definitely worth their entertainment value ;)

  3. Everyone tends to be blase about everyone else's happily ever after. Sometimes I'm stunned to find myself think, "Why doesn't she go out with him?" about someone I wouldn't consider. These shadchanim are just more overt about those feelings.

  4. Amazing post, sterngrad! I totally, TOTALLY sympathize.

    Recently, I was called picky twice in the same month by two different shadchanim. At first, it hurt a little bit, and it make me re-think my priorities. But then I realized -I'm right. These shadchanim are not the ones marrying the guy. I am.

    Totally 100% agree that it's better to be single for longer and deal with the pain rather than to get married to the wrong person.
    B"H you should find your special guy as soon as the right time is possible!

  5. aminspiration- Thank you! I'm glad you agree!

    FeistyFrummy- "just because he's a boy and I'm a girl doesn't mean we're perfect for eachother."
    I agree! I would add that just because he's a nice boy and I'm a nice girl and we have a lot in common STILL doesn't mean we're perfect for each other. (PS I like your name, welcome to the blog :) )

    Bookworm- you make a good point. I am guilty of having those thoughts as well, which is essentially calling other people picky.

    Sefardi Gal- it's crazy. It's like "You're just being picky" or any form of it is the new cool thing to say.
    "B"H you should find your special guy as soon as the right time is possible!" Amen! And to you as well.

  6. Sefardi Gal - "And to you as well." Amen, thank you! :)
    Well, some shadchanim think it's even "cooler" to give you a whole speech...and...IMPLY that you're picky. I mean, implying is wayyyy cooler than saying it outright.
    Scenario from 2 months ago:
    after a shadchan suggested 3 guys that I said no to within 2 minutes...
    Shadchan: You know, Sefardi Gal, when I first met you, you made it clear that Torah and middot are your top priorities. But now, I think that looks and physiciality are more important to you.
    (Basically, you're shallow.)

    Sorr-ay for wanting to be attracted to my spouse. So, so sorry, Mrs. Shadchan.

  7. Sefardi Gal- Ouch!! I can't believe someone said that to you. No one has said that to me, but you are quite right- IMPLYing is just as bad.

    People do act like we have no right to want to be attracted to our spouses. It's as though because we are female we are supposed to not care what the guy looks like. But guys, on the other hand, are allowed to demand super-models and nothing less. And people just go, "What? They are just being guys."

  8. I've noticed that many shadchanim take a rejection of their suggestion as a personal affront. They perceive your turning down the shidduch as an insult to their taste and opinion. The bizarre thing is that this even happens when the shadchan barely knows the boy or the girl and there is thus absolutely no reason to trust their opinion. I will often go out with girls suggested by people who know me well, even if they don't fit every last bulletpoint on my list, but why on earth would a shadchan who doesn't know me expect me to place that same trust in her? It's time for shadchanim like that to unplug the ego and remember why it is they got into shidduchim in the first place.

    Primum Non Nocere: Taking Care of Busines

  9. PNN- good insight. Perhaps next time I'll make sure to mention to the shadchan that it's nothing personal!

  10. SternGrad - "It's as though because we are female we are supposed to not care what the guy looks like. But guys, on the other hand, are allowed to demand super-models and nothing less. And people just go, "What? They are just being guys."

    YES! It's a major double standard. A few months ago, I wrote up a VERY angry post about this subject.
    The worst is when people give me an hour long speech about how the attraction can "grow" -- simply because I'm female.
    The answer is, it can only grow if it has potential to grow.
    And then I'm typecast as shallow. Go figure.

  11. I recently analyzed the reasons why the past 50 girls didn't work out. Turns out that nearly 30 of them I shouldn't have gone out with at all - I just decided to go out anyway because its easier than doing research.

    Though I must say, I have never been called picky by a shadchan...

  12. Bz- Wow. That is one extreme I have never heard- no one can call you picky!

    There are the suggestions of people who it is clearly not going to work out with, and there are suggestions of people who seem to be exactly on target. Mostly, however, things fall into the middle. In general if it's unclear I go out with the person, but some have a different definition of "there is no way this will work out" than I do.


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