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Jewish Journal

To Date or Not To Date?

by Ilana Angel

April 29, 2013 | 12:01 am

It has been a few weeks since the Englishman decided to not only break up with me, but to no longer be my friend. It has been shocking really, and I cannot stop crying.  Not at the loss of love, which is sad, but at the loss of friendship, which it turns out must not have been friendship at all, since he so easily discarded it. I’m a little bitter to be sure, but mostly just hurt my friend turned out to not be a friend.  I know we all grieve loss differently, and he is doing his thing, but what he has done now, is ensure we will never be friends again.  His actions after the breakup, trump all the good from when we were together, and I still cry most days.

There are no guarantees in relationships, and life goes on.  I want to share my life with someone, so dating is in my future.  I have set up two dates since my break up, and cancelled both.  I have not been ready to move on and actually feel debilitated with fear.  My confidence is shaken, self–esteem is fragile, and I am scared. Scared to try again, fail again, and trust again.  I understand love is not enough to make a relationship work, but if you have love and it falls apart, then what do you do to move forward?  The only way is to look at your lost relationship with clarity, and if you are honest with yourself, you see that love is not enough to make it work.

In the case of the Englishman and me, I really loved him, and have never worked so hard for a relationship to work.  I am left broken, having tried to fix what was broken.  I can think of a million things I would do differently, but the outcome would be the same.  No matter how much I wanted it to be, he was not my Beshert. I am jaded but hopeful.  I have no idea when I will find love again, but I know I will, because time will help to heal my broken heart.  In fact, I am learning with each day that my heart is not broken, as much as it is wounded.  It is that realization that gives me the strength to think outside the box and start to look forward.

I met someone interesting on JDate last week.  We have had several phone conversations, some lasting hours.   He is Israeli, which we all know is not my thing. When Israeli men say “Tanks God”, I get a lower back pain. Sadly the accent is not sexy because Hebrew is not sexy, but he presents as a really lovely man. He is tall, handsome, funny, and smart.  He has a compassionate heart, and when I told him I share my life with all of you, he gave permission, without hesitation, to write whatever I wanted about him. It could be because the poor guy didn’t understand me, or perhaps I didn’t understand him, but permission was granted.

Important to remember that we met on JDate, so statistically it is quite possble he is not tall, or handsome, or lovely.  That's the thing about dating online, until you meet the person in person, you never really know who you are dealing with.  Additionally, until you run a police report, you never really know who they are.  We are having dinner Thursday, and while I am looking forward to it, I am nervous.  Not because there are expectations, but because I am scared. I lack trust in myself.  I do not trust that I am able to make the right decisions, or know who I am dealing with. It is to be expected with the end of a relationship, but sadly alters how you move forward.

The good news is that the Israeli has made me laugh.  I don’t understand half of what he says, which is funny, but beyond the language, he is simply funny. He pokes fun at himself, and at me.  He listens and pays attention, circling back to things I said days ago.  We are building a friendship, and while scary, gives me a sense of hope. Not hope in him, but hope in myself.  Hope I will be okay, pain will fade, disappointment will be replaced with promise, lessons are learned, and knowledge is gained.  I am looking forward to meeting this potentially handsome, tall, and green-eyed Israeli. Will I panic and cancel? I hope not, so I’m keeping the faith.

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