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Dating someone with a different level of religious practice

I was going to post this on one of the dating subs to get some perspectives, but figured I’d find more people familiar with this issue here.

I (31M) am a single guy living in NYC. There are no shortage of Jews here, and I am also very involved in the Modern Orthodox community, as that is how I was raised. It sounds very simple to find another Jewish person to date, but there is such a wide range of practices, even within a single subset. For example, many Modern Orthodox people keep all the laws fully, but some, like myself, may generally observe Shabbat and kosher but will sometimes use electricity on Shabbat or occasionally eat at a non-kosher restaurant (usually sticking to dairy/fish products). To the people with stricter observances, this is akin to being non-religious. But to someone raised without religious practice other than maybe the high holidays, hearing that someone spends their Friday nights at Shabbat dinners, even if they will use their phone, is like “dating a rabbi”, as some women have put it to me.

This disparity makes it very confusing to date people. Firstly, the supply of Modern Orthodox people who were raised like I was (going to a yeshiva high school, etc) is really not that large. At 31, I feel like I’ve already met everyone in my age bracket. The apps are the best way for me to find dates (by setting the filters to Jewish Only), but most people I’ve found are not from a religious background, and the mis-match of practices as well as uncertainty about what kind of home we’d have if we were married has caused these potential relationships to not work out, even if we have a good connection. I’m honestly not sure myself which way I want to go. I do like the warmth of the Shabbat table, and I do think there is a lot of benefit to being involved in a religious community, but I don’t like how restrictive it can be or how it can feel like you are being forced to do something based on what you were taught from an early age. I’m still trying to work out where I want to end up, practice-wise, but I don’t have the answers yet. The one thing I know for sure is that expanding my search to people who did not grow up Modern Orthodox gives me a lot more options. It just comes with a lot of extra confusion.

Do any of you relate to this experience? How have you navigated it? Do I need to come up with a clear answer of what I envision my future household to look like first, or is this something I should be able to work out with someone over time?

submitted by /u/-endjamin-
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Source: Reditt

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