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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » He's Jewish. I'm not.

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Author Topic: He's Jewish. I'm not.
Member # 21948

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And he likes me, and I like him. But, he will not date me because of this. We are both only seventeen, but I believe he feels that if he dated me, that would mean that he would be agreeing to marry me later in life. I am culturally Jewish (both my parents are), but I never went to temple as a child, just celebrated the holidays. I am always up for participating in the Jewish holidays with he and his family (I have been friends with him for about 3 years) and I respect the religion 100%, but I am not up for converting. I know that if he really loved me, he would not care, but I can't seem to get him out of my mind. I have only liked him in this way since about February, so it's not like it has been forever.
I have posted before that we have spent numerous nights cuddling on the floor while talking with a bigger group, but in the morning, he almost acts like it never happened. What should I do?


Posts: 14 | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 25065

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That sounds kind of silly to assume that dating you as a teen means he has to marry you. Also, if your mother is Jewish, wouldn't that make you technically Jewish as well, so you wouldn't have to convert? It sounds to me like he may be using this as an excuse to say no to you, even though you said he likes you. The only religious conflict I can think of since your mom is Jewish would be if she or her mother converted into a more liberal branch of Judaism than his, in which case his if his family is orthodox they might not recognize the conversion as legitimate. Perhaps you should ask for clarification about the religious issue. If he really does feel strongly about keeping a religious separation, then you should respect that and not press him too hard. However, it does sound to me as if there are probably other issues here than religious. Good luck!

- PERVasive

"Don't let your schooling get in the way of your education." - Mark Twain

Posts: 64 | From: Boston, MA | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 25702

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Hey! As a proud Shiksa, I have dated my share of men who had to deal with the fact I was not Jewish (I'm Roman Catholic). I'm guessing you were born into a Reform house and your squeeze is Orthodox, which would explain his logic. My thought is that you need to ask him why he thinks at 17 he should only date with the intention to marry. If he intends to marry young, and you have no desire to do the whole 3hr Sat. service, seperate meat and dairy plate thing. I say, move on, look for someone else. If you find someone you will do two key things: 1) either find someone you like who is more in step with your beliefs or 2) Force this guy to decide if your minor religious differences are worth losing you.

Remember, all relationships require compromise. If he can't on this issue, there is no use you wasting your emotions (or cuddling) on him.

Posts: 3 | From: New York, New York, United States | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 23887

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Thought I would give another angle to this issue.

I think you need to re-assess your look at what being Jewish actually means. In recent years I've realized that Judaism has two aspects: (1) its culture, background, and the connection one feels with other Jews around the world, and (2) the more religious/spiritual part, prayer and the meaning of the traditions, the connection with God. Even if you do not practice the religion strictly (let's be honest: lots of us don't), you can still embrace Judaism and be proud of your heritage.

That said, if the problem is that you are from a much more liberal background and he is from an Orthodox background, dating might be more difficult because of the stigma some Orthodox parents (and children) have about Conservative and Reform Jewry. It seems like he is very staunch in his views about this, but it isn't fair for him to lead you on and then blow you off. I would say talk to him about it to set things straight. Honestly, if he really won't date you because of religious reasons, then you should think about moving away from this crush. You are just going to end up being disappointed if he is very strict about this.

Posts: 72 | From: massachusetts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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Originally posted by Lark:
I know that if he really loved me, he would not care,

There's a great concept in Western culture that teaches us that LOVE will conquer all at all costs.

But in reality, culture is a HUGE part of who we are. What you're running into is a cultural divide, and you're asking this guy to evaluate what's important to him, his identity and his value system.

Asking someone to change his or her value system or bend an aspect of their culture can be a pretty big thing to ask.

So while I like to subscribe to the LOVE conquers all approach, myself. It's worth it for everoyone to think closely about their own values and priorities and try to understand others through that lens.

OnceRespected is right. he can choose what's important to him, and if it's you, then yippe. if it's his cultural more, then you gotta respect that and move on.

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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