When Jered, 35, first tells me, “I came from a very indulged upbringing, and it kind of put me at a disadvantage,” I start to laugh, because it sounds like something Mitt Romney would say after getting caught for being obscenely rich during the years when his wife claimed they ate pasta and tuna fish in a basement apartment.
But Jered’s not trying to spin. He continues, “I thought I needed a lot of things I really don’t need, and I was constantly seeking fulfillment in things that wouldn’t make me feel fulfilled.” He grew up in a home with two housekeepers, wore only designer clothing, and by age 10 he had traveled the world. “I kind of pursued unhealthy relationships to try to re-create my childhood. I didn’t realize it was a disadvantage until my late 20s,” when he was working in real estate. “There was a moment when I turned around and had everything I needed in life — and most of what I wanted. I got to a point when the real estate bubble burst and my mother cut me off. I had nothing. I was shoveling horse [manure] on my friend’s ranch for $10 an hour.”
He asked his mom for help, but she denied him. “I fought tooth and nail to get to a place where I’d never have to ask anyone to help me — and I thought, what do I need? What’s a need and what’s a want? And why do I want the things I want?”
He took a job at a limousine company to get a paycheck. He ended up loving it. “Three months later, I started my own business,” named Fetch Me.
“I’ve never been as successful and independent as I am now. I’ve been in stages of my life where I’ve looked for a savior from without, but I think I’m coming at the dating world from a healthier place than I did when I was younger. But the bottom line is, I just have a really, really rich life, full of wonderful people and experiences, and I’d love to chronicle it with somebody. I’d like to have somebody I could experience things with now and look back later on with. Make memories with somebody. Wouldn’t we all?”
I should probably mention at this point that Jered’s gay — sorry, ladies. He suffered when he came out of the closet — his mother stopped talking to him. “She’ll deny it to anyone else, but that’s exactly why.” Ironically, when his brother became an Orthodox Jew, she stopped talking to him, too. He and his brother remain very close.
Ideally, he’d like to find a Jewish guy. “Age doesn’t matter. If he’s got a career and he’s built like a linebacker, I wouldn’t hold it against him. I like tall guys — and I’m 6 feet. I’ve been with guys who I’ve supported and with guys who’ve supported me — but it definitely helps you have a more comfortable life if your combined income is decent. It doesn’t buy happiness, but it sure helps. I’m looking for someone who’s compatible with me personally, is supportive of me professionally, where we can have faith in each other in all aspects, and someone who seriously, actually, wants to have kids. I’d love to have my own biological kids, but I just feel really guilty about it. I’m not completely opposed to the idea, but I think at this point I’d rather adopt.
“I meet attractive, successful, colorful men everyday, but I just haven’t yet met one who conveys staying power. And at this point in my life, I’m not interested in a three-monther or a two-weeker, you know? I want someone who’s not afraid of forever. Because it’s not a scary thing. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.