02 Oct Dating and Relationship Advice
Dear Rabbi and Shira,
My parents don’t understand me. I understand many teenagers or young adults say that, but in my case it is true and is having serious repercussions on my future. I went to “all the right schools and seminaries”, never “stepped out of line” and now I’ve arrived at the point in my life where I’m looking to get married. My parents have been accepting shidduchim for me that are not appropriate. I am looking for guy who will be “kovea itim” but goes to work. They are accepting suggestions in which the man in question wants to learn for 5 years or more, and I’m not interested. Baruch Hashem my parents are well off and can support my future family for many years. However, my parents didn’t raise us in that lifestyle, and I am not interested in pursuing it.
–Missing the Point in Midwood
Dear Missing the Point,
We’re sorry that you are experiencing these problems. Consider, the following, have you discussed your frustrations with your parents? You said that you had “always gone to the right schools” and “never stepped out of line.” How open are the lanes of conversation with your parents? Do you often talk about life decisions and hashkafa with them? Are these suggestions coming out of the blue? Or have you always agreed with your parents without much discussion about your thoughts and your plans for the future? Have you been clear with them about your thoughts and feelings about your prospective spouse?
Have you discussed their thought process why they are setting you up with men of this direction and background? Are they living vicariously through you out of a sense of lost opportunity? Are they assuming that as you are a “good girl”, these suggestions are in their eyes or the eyes of their social circles, the prototypical “good guy”? Is it possible that these are the values that they have always subscribed to but never discussed with you? Maybe they felt the institutions which you attended shared these values and they were instilled in you.
Regardless, always preface these conversations with gratitude and respect for all they have done for you, as well as with confidence in the way that they have raised you to be able to make these very important decisions in your life.
Hatzlacha and Gmar Chasima Tova,
Rabbi Reuven and Shira Boshnack