Jewish Journal


January 2, 2012

In Love & Concerned


Dear Therapists, 

I am 29 years old and have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year.  We are very happy together and have been recently discussing a future marriage and a family. Though I am excited to be in such a loving relationship, there is one very important topic we have not discussed. My boyfriend is not Jewish. I know that my family will not support a marriage unless I am dating a Jewish man or unless he converts. I do not know how to ask him if he would convert to Judaism? Is it too much to ask someone? Or do we need to break up before we move any further? 

In love & concerned

Dear In Love & Concerned, 

Thank you for your question. I can imagine how difficult it must be to have your heart in a relationship and yet your mind tells you that decisions need to be made. It is evident that your family is important to you, and that you value their support and blessing. I wonder, is marrying a Jewish man and raising a family with Jewish religion and culture solely important to your family, or is it equally as important for you?  It may be that you have an image of what you want your future and family to look like, and you are concerned if your partner has the same plan? You are wondering if you and your partner are on the same page. Do you have the same goals, and are you willing to make compromises for one another to move to the next step? I do not know if asking your boyfriend to convert would be asking too much- only he knows that. It is important for you to bring your needs and concerns to the table, and give your partner the opportunity to figure out what his needs are. This is a discussion that may be beneficial to have sooner rather than later so you both know what future you want to create together. Good luck! 

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