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In a very tough situation, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I (25M) have been with a 24FM for closing in on 5 years now. When we had first met and clearly had interest in each other, we had discussed what we’d wanted. At that time, we were both in complete agreement that we were looking for nothing serious and just were looking to go with the flow/have fun for the time being. Fast forward 4.5 years, we have become very close if not best friends. We have a lot of core things in common, hang out pretty much every weekend and have even travelled together (and had a blast!)

I’d say going back about a year (maybe 2) now, I’ve noticed a bit of a lull in our communications via text. The texts went from energetic and always very excited to hang to somewhat dull and dry texts. I mentioned it a couple times throughout (when I really noticed it) but the few times that I did mention it she said “she was having a bad week and it was nothing against me” or things along those lines. I would believe her and usually things would start to pick up (energy wise) a bit in the texts again but then within a couple weeks would start to notice them going dry once again.

I’ve questioned over these last couple years (more so lately) if this was happening due to A) her wanting more and not saying anything? B) Her just becoming (more) comfortable in the situation and us not really being in the “lovey dovey” stage of those first couple years anymore? C) Other

Here’s where things get even more complicated..

When I first met this girl, one of the first things I asked her was about her background/religion/upbringing. She had explained to me that she was raised Jewish (had a bat mitzvah, observed all holidays with her family etc.) but when diving deeper into it she slipped in that although she was raised Jewish and considers herself Jewish (also plans to raise a Jewish family) it was her dad that was Jewish but not her mom. In my head this has really complicated things.

Long story short because this can on for days, yesterday I finally decided (& had the courage) to address everything with her just in terms of where were at/see things going forward. (Before anyone says this should have been addressed a long time ago, I am aware of that and believe because we’ve both been so content with the situation, it just was never brought up by either of us in a long time.) When I brought it up, I can see that it totally caught her off guard. The first thing we talked about was the communication thing that I’ve been feeling and her response was that “this was nothing she was doing consciously and had she known it was bothering me this much she would have made extra effort to address it.” I then followed that with “so.. where do you see us going forward?” and her response was “well, to be honest, I’ve just been so happy/content with what we’ve had until this point, that I never really put too much thought in to that tbh.” I know for most people reading this that would probably be very hard to believe (that someone wouldn’t even think about that once in a 4.5 year “relationship”) but for me personally.. I believe her since I kind of feel/have felt the same way.

I come from a Jewish (modern orthodox) household (parents religious but I/rest of family are not) and my question for all of you here is, was I just subconsciously not even allowing myself the possibility of dating her over the last 4.5 years due to her “technically” not being Jewish? The convo yesterday ended with both of us being pretty emotional and her telling me that me putting her in the moment and forcing her to really assess how she feels made her discover/realize that she does indeed have feelings for me (and I believe the feelings are mutual based off how I felt during the convo/after as well.) I briefly mentioned the “Jewish factor” once again to her and she was very confused saying “what do you mean.. I am Jewish.. how could you tell me I’m not?” which led me to veer away from that part of the conversation.

When I dive deep into my own values, it’s always been very important for me to marry Jewish (& raise a Jewish family) but even more so, the #1 thing I’ve always wanted in my life is to make my parents proud. I guess where things get/are complicated in my head is that because she was raised Jewish/considers herself Jewish and plans to raise a Jewish family, all those things would be enough for me personally, but I don’t believe it would be enough for my parents. If she was a full and through goy, it would make things a lot easier in my head (to cut off.)

I plan to talk with my parents tonight and just reveal all of this to them/see where there at (although I have a pretty solid idea of what they’re going to say) – one thing to note is I have kept this under wraps (again, perhaps subconsciously because I knew how my parents would react if I told them) so this will all be new/very surprising to them which scares me as well.

I guess to conclude here.. clearly I have some type of feelings for this girl (and vice versa) and we have some sort of special connection to have made things work for this long (with little to no arguments/issues throughout.) I really enjoy spending time with her (again, would probably consider her my best friend now) but I cannot say with confidence that I “love” her because like I mentioned, I believe subconsciously I just never allowed myself due to the situation. I believe in my heart that I would love to give her a chance (& believe we can be compatible long term) but the fear of being cut off and/or disappointing my parents is very real and I believe is holding me back.

I know (from speaking with people about this already) that everyone says at the end of the day I should do what’s gonna make me* happy long term, but i really don’t know if following my heart for this girl and potentially losing my parents (or at the very least their respect/support) is worth it? And yes, my parents have been adamant that marrying Jewish is #1 priority, so I would either be cut off or live the rest of my life knowing I disappointed them beyond words.

Any advice/insight or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated and I thank ya’ll in advance!

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