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Jewish Journal

Dating, Drugs, Religion & Faith

by Ilana Angel

January 3, 2014 | 8:37 am

I am surprised every single day by the world of online dating and fascinated by how dumb men are. Not stupid, although some are, but just dumb. How is it that a man can think using the words sexy, sensual, intimacy, lover, or oral in their profile names will make them attractive? Who told a man that posting a selfie while sitting on the toilet was going to be acceptable? What kind of man thinks pictures of him lying in bed without a shirt on is going to get a woman excited about meeting him? Come on gentlemen.

I got an email from a man online this week that told me he could teach me things about my body. Really? How about I teach you how it feels to have my well booted foot kick you in the ass. Dating is hard and you never know what someone is like in real life as online profiles are mostly crap, but I can assure men that these tactics are not the way to go. I move past these men quickly but when I tweeted about some of them, my readers said I should date one or two for the sake of the blog. They might be right. 

I think I might actually go out with one of these men to see what he is really all about. One could argue they are crazy and perhaps dangerous, but the truth is I have gone out with men who appeared to be normal, but were in fact scary and dangerous, so why not? I’m taking one for the team, enlightening dating men and women everywhere by not only going on one of these dates, but sharing all the details of what it is like to date “creepy online guy”  Oy Vey!  Wish me good luck. I might need a pre-date drink.

Speaking of drinking, I had a long talk about drinking with my son this week. He is turning 18 in a couple of weeks and not a drinker. He does not like the taste of it and his getting drunk is not anything I need to worry about. For now. Talking about booze led to a discussion of drugs, which led to the most honest discussion I have ever had with my child. To think he is not going to try drugs is naïve. To think that pot is not a gateway drug to other things is also naïve. My kid is heading to college and things will happen.

We discussed using, buying, hiding, driving, safety, and danger. It was interesting to hear his perspective and I was proud of him, his choices, and how he is navigating through this time in his life. I cannot forbid him from doing drugs. That’s just stupid and frankly a push for him to want it more. All I can do is educate him, trust him, tell him what is safe, and hope that he listens and understands. I am proud and scared, relieved and nervous. I am staying calm and turning to prayer for strength. Prayer and wine.

I am a woman who often turns to prayer. By often of course I mean always. I believe in prayer. Not all of my prayers are answered, but putting them out there gives me peace, and so I pray. I recently met a man who is lovely, and not Jewish. I have not dated men who are not Jewish before and it has always been a deal breaker for me. In speaking with this man however, he is not religious, not wearing a cross around his neck, or referencing Jesus. He is simply a man of faith. A faith that is not the same as mine.

I am securely grounded in Judaism so what difference does it make at this stage of my life if I date a man who is not Jewish? For the first time in my life I feel like I would not be compromising myself by dating outside my faith. I am not sure if it is because this man is knowledgeable about Judaism, or because he is not religious himself, but the truth is that my religion is personal, my prayer if private, and my God does not judge. I want to be happy, I want to find love, I have always thought my partner needed to be Jewish, but maybe not.

I am not having anymore children, my son is proudly Jewish, and in the end sharing faith is more important than sharing religion. I want to be with someone who understands and respects my religion. The older I get the more I realize he does not need to also share my religion. Turns out I am Jewish enough to be the only Jew in my relationship. I am not going to focus on dating outside of Judaism. That is not my goal. I just want to open my heart and allow myself to have faith, rather than search for faith.

I think about the future in terms of being a mother. I dream about watching my son find love, dancing at his wedding, spoiling my grandchildren, and watching his dreams come true. I will always worry about my son and pray his choices are wise. There are decisions to be made in terms of dating, drugs, and religion for both of us. The best thing I can do for my son and myself is to not only trust his choices more, but focus more on mine. I have raised a smart man. He knows what is right and how to keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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