I apologize in advance for asking this, but please permit me this stupid and somewhat self-indulgent post-Pesach question.
I come from a Jewishly involved, but not traditionally observant background, but over the last several years have become increasingly traditional and close to orthodox, if not quite there (I still drive to services, for instance, but I consider this to be a necessary evil given the lack of any options in walking distance). This has brought a lot of meaning and value to my life, but like all things it has come at a cost – one almost painful enough that it makes some part of me wonder if this is worth it, and one that I am curious as to whether it is common.
The cost in question: I will never be able to find a girlfriend.
Yes, I know, it’s sexist and misogynistic to even think about it that way (I generally insist on the terminology “I won’t find her, we will find each other”), and it’s probably morally wrong of me to care about being single at all. But the thing is, there are no practicing Jewish women my age, it seems like. None. Of course, that’s not literally true – I met a couple people around-ish my age today, but they were from very far away (some states over) and likely have nothing in common with me, and they nevertheless go onto a list that is under ten people I’ve ever met in my life and probably under five. The number of Jews at all, observant or not, that are in my vicinity (ie my college) is extremely small – we don’t even have a Chabad – and in terms of practing Jews who live in the entire city, I think I am literally the only one and that is not an exaggeration (this is why I have to drive to attend services). I’ve gone to conservative services in the neighboring city and there’s no women my age (or men for that matter). I’ve gone to Chabad in said city and there’s no women my age (with the singular exception of today because some people were visiting from out of state). I’ve gone to the modern orthodox services and there’s no women my age (one man my age’s wife once, I don’t know her age, but tentatively counts). I’ve gone to the sefard services and there’s no women my age. I’ve even (jokingly, though I would pay if someone really followed through on it) said that the first person who can prove to me that there is a single practicing Jewish woman within four years of my age in the entire state I live in, with no questions whatsoever about whether she’s even interested in a relationship or married already or if we have a single thing in common beyond being Jewish or what, I will give 20 bucks, because I sincerely think that it’s an impossible task (though I admit I have not had the opportunity to say it in front of the married man my age). So far I’ve been proven correct, and nobody has even attempted to demonstrate otherwise.
I just feel like giving up, declaring myself to be single forever, and not caring anymore. I remember the moment when I was taping down the tab in my fridge because I was planning on becoming as shomer shabbos as I could while still attending services, and distinctly remember holding the tape, staring at the tab, thinking to myself, “If you tape this down, you will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, find someone who is willing to go out with you.” I hate how right that premonition was. I’m just curious if anyone else has had this experience, or if they have any suggestions on how to deal with this depressing situation (not “how to find a girlfriend”, but “How to make peace with the fact that your being religious is makes relationships completely impossible because you seem to be the singular case of conservadox Judaism of your generation within any reasonable distance”). Is this a common feeling, or just indicative of my location and/or something else (like that I’m a bad person for even wanting this so of course all the women my age want nothing to do with me)?
[A quick note, in case anyone wonders why now of all times: On the first seder I met someone (though out of state) who I really liked and was about my age, and attempted to flirt with her before the seder began. I gathered not long afterwards that she probably had no romantic interest in me and I suspect that my request to exchange contact info after Yom Tov, though accepted in the moment, was done just to be polite and/or she changed her mind and we will probably never speak again. I then read the comments on this explainxckd and felt disgusting for even saying hello to her and felt low since.]
submitted by /u/Kesseleth