31 Jan

I’m writing this piece on behalf of my friend who would like this to serve as a public service announcement.

 I’m talking to you single girls out there (and I suppose myself), who intend on getting married through the shidduch dating system, and to engaged girls who are doubting their sanity.

 Engagement is not the blissful utopia everyone makes it out to be. It is a façade and institution foisted on single girls by married people, because if people really know what it’s like to be engaged, no one would get married.

 Ok, I’m talking very cryptically and ominously, let me put it in simple words.

 In shidduch dating, you know the guy ranging on average from 7-12 dates, and then you agree to marry him. You don’t know the guy from Adam, yet you are agreeing to cosign your life away, and you are SO happy about it. You wake up the next morning and you think.

 “Oh My God, what did I do, how soon can I return this diamond laden bracelet?!?!”

 And then later in the day you think,

 “Well, he’s kinda nice…and cute…and I sorta like him in a first impression type way…”

 And you’re ok for the time being.

 And then you go shopping with your mother, and she is all serious educating you on the different styles of linen, thread count, pattern blah blah blah, your logical brain once again rears and you respond emotionally (you are a woman after all) and want to start bawling and throw a tantrum.

 So yeah, that’s what really happens.

 But what us single girls see from our engaged friends is

 “Oh My G-d, He’s so cute…he told me…I bought him…We went…I love…”

 Unless you are completely shallow and stupid and flighty and have no idea what life is about, the previous statements will an Academy Award worthy performance. There will be moments that it is truly sincere, but you really cannot let the world know how much you are flipping out, and how much you are doubting, because HELLO, you are engaged, no more crises for you. You averted it, and you are on the way to living your own happily ever after.

 So if single girls knew what engaged friends were really going through, they wouldn’t be so hasty to join the bandwagon, and therefore it is very important that this show be longest running one ever.

 I wish I could be a Romantic and say there’s something wrong with my friend, but considering her and two other friends who got married recently, they all had their fair share of “moments”, and they are all different types. And yes, some have it worse than others, but everyone has them…and you will most probably still go through with the marriage and will most probably be happy and wonder years later what you were thinking…but during the engagement you will be a nervous choleria.

 So if you’re engaged, just know you’re normal and there’s nothing wrong with you. And those who still single, well, this is the picture, don’t pity yourself so much anymore and be nicer to your engaged friends.

 (I asked my friend to guest post this, and she declined…I don’t really know what I’m talking about because well, simply I’m not engaged and never was, I don’t really know the feeling. I did try some method acting techniques to put myself in the mindset though)


Posted by on January 31, 2009 in Shidduchim


Tags: , , , , ,

9 responses to “Disengage

  1. harry-er than them all

    February 1, 2009 at 8:12 am

    usually in dating its progressing to some extent or another. even during marriage.
    engagement is really a plateau period where you arent going anywhere, not able to move further yet. a lot of people feel that there is something wrong during this period for that reason.

  2. EndOfWorld

    February 2, 2009 at 7:34 am

    so….your saying that engaged people get stressed. and doubt themselves.

    sounds like any other major decision that happens in someone’s life.

    i think that most people (who are marriage oriented) would still rather be engaged than single.

    and i also think that its time for our community to realize that there are single people out there and stop pretending that they’re invisible.

  3. dreamer

    February 2, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Whenever anyone I know gets engaged, I tell them that they WILL cry at one point or another, and that it’s normal.

    Many a kallah has thanked me afterwards.

  4. NMF #7

    February 3, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Ha! Loved this post. Very true. And engaged people do end up doubting themselves more than 1/2 the time, due to what Harry-er said- that the relationship is supposed to stay at that level- not grow, just maintain.

  5. shapeofagirl

    February 5, 2009 at 12:28 am

    I read your blog because I find your way of life fascinating. But.. I’m wondering, how can you possibly be ready to marry someone after 12 dates? How can you possibly know what you’re getting into by agreeing to FOREVER with someone you’ve only met a dozen times? Can you explain that to me?

  6. tooyoungtoteach

    February 5, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Shapeofagirl: Augh…this is so hard to explain in one small comment. Can somebody, everbody chime in and attempt to explain the process, mindset, etc….

    let me just say that number 1, we date for marriage, not fun. two, before we date we are screened by each side, based on a myriad of things…so basically when we date, it’s not just a random stranger but someone who on paper meets the criteria we are looking for in a spouse…and a big leap of faith…I can’t really say how someone does it, as I haven’t yet, but I’m sure someone can explain it better.

    If you’re curious about the dating system I reccomend you read

    start from the beginning

  7. chelsea

    February 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Shapeofagirl: Were not agreeing to forever. We’re agreeing to one day at a time which adds up to forever!! After meeting a guy lets say 12 times and seeing that hes your kind of fellow and you like spending time with him you agree to marry him. And just as in ANY relationship problems do come up… but being on a whole nother level…. a level of husband and wife… you learn how to deal with these challenges,,, TOGETHER…. and this brings to TRUE love, and admiration. Possibly this is hard and strange for people to understand because they think maybe I’ll find someone cuter or more charming. But marriage is more than skin deep!!
    Its marrying someone for whats inside- their warm heart and amazing mind/knowledge.
    And one last thing…. in todays days everything is disposable….. including marriage!*!*!*
    HELLO!!!!!!!!! have you checked out the divorce rate?!?! Its somewhere near 50 percent!!!

  8. Bas~Melech

    February 9, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Just to add a bit to the responses to shapeofagirl:
    It also depends what your expectations of marriage are.
    If you’re in it to simply gain the maximum benefit for yourself, then you will want to spend a really long time finding the person who will treat you best because once you say I do you’re stuck and won’t be able to do better unless you find a way to get rid of him. This could be why many nonreligious people just don’t get married — being single is more fun in many ways.
    However, realize that marriage is always a work in progress. You just need to see if the person is someone we can grow together with, because you will work together to create a home. Yes it will be enjoyable but it will be a lot of hard work even if you marry Mr. Perfect. We’re looking for compatibility, not paradise. Hopefully if the couple is compatible and both are willing to invest their effort, paradise will come to them.

  9. theblackeyedpoet

    February 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    To quote “Bas~Melech”: “We’re looking for compatibility, not paradise.”

    I’m just going to come out and say it, but that is a cop out if I’ve ever heard one; that’s settling for something less.

    I will admit that marriage is work, and that whoever you decide to marry should be someone that you are compatible with, but to phrase it like makes this whole dating system sound like a banking transaction.

    You list qualities you want, expectations, schooling, dreams, and the like, and then you choose from a list of people that fit those qualities, and if you have 7-12 half decent dates you decide to marry them? Even if you had 12 amazing dates, for it to be such an automatic response to jump into marriage because “it makes sense”, or because “your family approves”, well that’s just backwards.

    Why are you letting everyone have so much control in the “screening” and “meeting” process. From what I can gather, the matchmakers and mothers have more to do with this process than the girls themselves. Whatever happened to people going out on their own and figuring out and defining their lives for themselves?

    “tooyoungtoteach”: “we date for marriage, not for fun”

    I don’t even know what to say to that. Shouldn’t people be dating for love, for fun, for marriage, for everything? This process of shidduchim is making marriage into a chore, a transaction, its making it into everything it shouldn’t be about.


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