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May 8, 2011


Though I most certainly cannot speak for everyone, I believe that today the vast majority of us grow up in relative luxury. Perhaps not the lap of luxury -most of us do not get everything we want the way we want it. For those of us who do, that kind of indulgence tends to lead to spoilage.

But I do believe, relative to previous generations, we are quite spoiled -at least I know I've had tremendous privilege in growing up. My family wasn't rich, but I experienced little or no personal contact with war, deadly disease, dangerous antisemitism, threats to my own life, horrible tragedy or abuse. I've been very, very blessed. I've had my fair share of challenges -my life wasn't just smooth sailing. But I didn't deal with the magnitude of atrocity that splatters the pages of our history (and some of which are going on today).

It's important to realize this, I believe. I've experienced so much luxury compared to the hardships of those before me, even those my grandparents experienced.

Because of that, I have the luxury of being annoyed when food doesn't taste as robust as I am used to (or would like it to be) instead of worrying when I will next eat. I get to be bothered about some pesky habit of a friend or roommate instead of wondering whether or not I'll have a roof over my head. I get to be frustrated when my phone doesn't have reception instead of worrying whether I'll ever hear from my Father or Mother again.

And I get to nitpick all those little things I don't like about the woman sitting across from me on a date, instead of appreciating all the wonderful aspects of her character and physique. I have the luxury of being bothered by the shape or size of her nose or whether or whether she needs to be as obsessed with reading parenting books as I am and how to make all of those things fit my own self-indulgent idea of what the woman I choose should look -and act -like.

I've come to realize how very damaging it all is, and how -in dating thus far -I've been a spoiled brat. I've been reticent in seeking dates with women out for ridiculously banal and petty things. I doubt I'm the only one, but I've decided to do something about it.

So I decided to take a woman as she is, trust that if I find her attractive (and not just in the physical sense) and can build a healthy, loving relationship with her, then being bothered or thwarted by my own luxuriously lavish delusions about things like _____________ (insert your own preoccupation here, ex. hashkafic sameness, dress size, number of nights learning night seder, went to camp HASC etc.) really only holds me back from finding someone and moving forward.

That realization opened up a whole world of possibility, but the decision is embodied, not just in my mind. I didn't just epiphenate, I acted on it. The very next day, I ran into a woman who I'd met before, we talked for a while and I was both impressed and fascinated with her, so I pursued the possibility of dating. I saw the potential, which I very likely may not have seen or acted on otherwise. The fact that it didn't go anywhere doesn't slow me down, the world is open and the air is charged with opportunity.


  1. "The fact that it didn't go anywhere doesn't slow me down, the world is open and the air is charged with opportunity."
    That's a great outlook!

    Nice post

  2. So many things in my life are wonderful, I cannot afford to focus on the one or two that isn't exactly how I would want it.

    I try to date with an open mind.

  3. It's so refreshing to see a guy who's perspectives on dating were/are so similar to my own when I was dating (which wasn't so long ago, mind you). This is such a healthy and proper perspective to have in life AND dating. More guys would benefit from absorbing these lessons. Yasher koach.