Monday, April 19, 2010


How big a role does religion play in the dating game? Are there rules anymore about Catholics being allowed to date Protestants? Jews marrying Christians? Orthodox dating the Reformed? I don't think so. My feeling is that as long as we can all respect each other's faith and somehow interweave our beliefs into one cohesive future, anything goes. So I, the Evangelical Lutheran girl, joined a Jewish dating website at the urging of my aunt. She claims that Jewish men make the best husbands and what girl wouldn't want that? A better husband...sign me up!

Now I have to tell you that I put right on my profile that I was not raised in the Jewish faith. It's out there, not even hidden in the fine print, easily accessible to anyone who views me on the site. And should they contact me, I make sure to say I was raised a Christian but have always been interested in and had the utmost respect for Judaism. I was "broadening my horizons" if you will, by expanding the age range, height range, and while I was at it, why not the religious perspectives? I understand that there are those who seek to share their faith with a partner and these men would clearly not be my target audience. Still, I'm trying to be more open minded and intentionally curious in my dating life. I'm looking for someone who feels the same.

Not having a clue what to expect, I'm pleasantly surprised by the first few emails I get from what look like promising leads. One man sticks out, a math teacher who lives in my area. Tall, decent looking, red hair, bright blue eyes. We chat a couple of times before agreeing to meet up at the bookstore cafe which is always non-threatening. Built in conversation pieces around every turn. You can discover each other's tastes for books, movies, and music all through natural, organic conversation inspired by the environment. Great!

As most of you know by now through reading these posts, I'm big into food. I love cooking, baking, eating at new restaurants, watching food tv shows ... you name it, it fascinates me. Obviously, this had come up between us. Still, it wasn't until we got to the cooking section of the book store and I noticed that he was looking at the Kosher cooking section and the alarm bells started ringing in my head.

"Do you keep kosher?" I asked him, out of one part curiosity, one part concern. "Yes," he said, a bit hesitantly. He launched into a full blown admission of his Jewish mother, her guilt on him for dating outside of his "chosen race," and how he keeps a kosher kitchen just to make her happy and appear to be the good son she wants him to be. "What that means is that you wouldn't be allowed to cook at my house. Or make anything at your house and bring it over. I'd have to do all the cooking. Trouble is, I'm not a very good cook. I mostly just heat up my mother's leftovers."

This is troubling on many levels. First of all, your main source of food is mommy's leftovers...and you're 34 years old. Secondly, I can't make you delicious fudge brownies? Or amazing Italian cookies? Or hot soup from scratch on a cool night? Well, there goes 80% of my seduction routine! If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, he just took away my map.

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