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Jewish Journal

Manners

by Ilana Angel

January 4, 2010 | 1:50 pm

I cannot believe it is 2010 and my son will be 14 in 2 weeks.  I feel like I just had a baby and now he is taller than me.  He sat me down last week and told me I need to meet a great man and have a relationship.  He was specific about the kind of man I should date and that it needed to happen this year.

It’s strange to speak to him about it because he is my child, but on the flip side he knows me better than anyone else and who I share my life with will also be a part of his life so it makes sense that he would have an opinion and should have a say in who I date.

His words were wise and mature and it was fascinating to be having such a well thought out conversation with him.  He is starting to date and what is really interesting is that we are 30 years apart and have a lot of the same insecurities in terms of dating.  It’s not any easier at 43 than it is at 13.

He said I needed to go online and write men instead of waiting for them to write me and then being disappointed because the ones who write are not what I am looking for.  We went online and I wrote to 3 men that he approved.  I wrote and expressed my interest and waited.  It’s been a week and I’m still waiting.

I respond to everyone that writes me online.  I will thank them for the interest and taking the time.  Even if we are never going to go out, I still write to acknowledge them because I think it is the decent and kind thing to do.  Do men not do that or is it just the ones that I write to?

Are men not sensitive enough to know a response would be appropriate?  Do they not care that I put myself out there?  If you are approached in person and not interested don’t you say thank you?  Am I the only woman who responds?  There is a complete lack of manners online and it’s a shame because it makes me not want to do it and yet I know it’s an necessary evil so in the end it’s just another sad thing about dating on the Internet.

My son is interested in a girl at school and I told him to ask her out to a movie this week as they have another week of winter break.  It’s so cute that he told me to be brave but can’t quite get there himself.  I will teach him to be a decent man and have dating manners so he is respectful.

It’s charming to be on this path with my son.  I have not picked well in the past so maybe his help will lead me to love.  His take on the last couple of men I was in a relationship with was spot on so I can and should totally trust him.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out because in the past he has met men only after I was already involved and now he wants a say in who I become involved with and that will take me a minute to embrace because it’s a new approach.

I’m going to try to not be discouraged and will write men again online.  I must expect that some will have manners and others will not.  At the end of the day this is going to be my year to find love.  I feel it coming so I need to be patient, remember my manners and always 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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