Open Letter

Dear Girlfriends,

You put up with a lot of criticism when dating. Even if you staunchly stand against nose jobs, it can’t help but get to you: all that disapprobation of how you dress, how you look, how you do your hair and carry yourself. What you say on a first date and what you shouldn’t have said. Some say you’re not modest enough. Some say you’re too modest—you’re not in high school anymore. Some say be yourself; some say don’t lay it on too thick at first. Whatever you do is somehow wrong, and that’s the reason you’re still single.

Well, I think you’re great. I love how your funny texts make me stifle a laugh at work. I love how those thought-provoking articles you send me lead to month-long email conversations. I love how we can spend Shabbos afternoon flopped on the couch discussing everything from the social effects of microfinance to the use of taupe in eyeshadow. I love how you’re up for everything, from winter camping and art museums to sledding and Nerf skirmishes and splashing through puddles in thunderstorms. And I love how you bustle in to look after me (or our other friends) when we need a little tender loving care.

You’re smart, you’re funny, you’re kind and considerate. You’re adventurous, thoughtful, and completely unique.  (Your grandmother agrees with me about this, by the way.) I’m proud to count you as my friends.

Don’t let those other people get to you. They don’t know you well enough, and they’re too shallow themselves to delve beyond your surface. Those guys who complained about your hair, your makeup? Too busy keeping artificial scores to experience real life. The one who ditched you because he worried you weren’t pretty enough to show his friends? He’s the one who should be self-conscious, not you. (Your grandmother agrees with this too.)

All of that is not why you’re single. Ignore it like the static it is. One day, a guy won’t ditch you after a second date. One day, a guy will take the time to get to know you like I know you, and appreciate you like I appreciate you. Then you’ll realize how wrong all those other people were. And you’ll giggle at his texts, send him your favorite articles, and shoot him with your Nerf gun when he comes home at night. (For the eyeshadow debate you can’t replace us.)

Because, though often repeated, it’s also true: you aren’t married because you just haven’t found the right guy yet. Somewhere, out there, is a guy as smart, funny, thoughtful, and deep as you are. And you’ll find him, eventually, because you deserve to.

I know this is true. Even your grandmother says so.

With love, your friend,

Bad4

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22 thoughts on “Open Letter

  1. Bad4:

    Well-put! But are there people out there who actually tell girls that the guy complained about her hair or makeup, or said that she wasn’t pretty enough? Ouch!

    Well-meaning fellow shadchanim: a simple “it wasn’t a shidduch” will do. No need to put anyone down.

  2. Thanks all. I mean it.

    Random Shadchan – well, the shadchan is presumably trying to be helpful by telling the girl her offenses. Personally, I’m glad to hear criticism like that, because it’s easier to get over a rejection if you know the guy is a shallow jerk.

  3. Beautiful!!
    I think you put very eloquently what we all say to each other when things don’t go according to plan, when we dump or get dumped,
    It goes well my theory that really there is no shidduc crisis we will all Gd willing meet our better halves at the right time. Gd alone determines when that time will be.
    Thank you for your beautiful words

  4. Going to save this in a file somewhere just so I can look back at it and reread it sometimes. Beautiful!

  5. Thanks, Bad4. I was trying to figure out how it could possibly be helpful to tell a girl she is not pretty enough (which brings us back to the cosmetic surgery debate!), but the “shallow jerk” point you made was a good one.

  6. Just wanted to let you know that I spent half the day yesterday reading your blog. I’m Mormon, but there were a lot of things that I could relate to. Keep up the good work!

  7. Soooooo I may have sent this post to everyone I know with two X chromosomes…and even some people who’ve only got one…I have been through so many ups and downs in dating, and I have never heard it better said than this.

  8. “I love how your funny texts make me stifle a laugh at work. I love how those thought-provoking articles you send me lead to month-long email conversations. I love how we can spend Shabbos afternoon flopped on the couch discussing everything from the social effects of microfinance to the use of taupe in eyeshadow. I love how you’re up for everything, from winter camping and art museums to sledding and Nerf skirmishes and splashing through puddles in thunderstorms.”

    So this is your idea of what it really means to be a friend? No way, mine too! 🙂

    “One day, a guy will take the time to get to know you like I know you, and appreciate you like I appreciate you.”

    When do you and your girlfriends expect any guy to take this time? On a date? Every time I take a girl out, I tell her that I’m up for anything and envision a relationship where we appreciate each other as friends and do fun stuff together. So why do I get blank stares and the 1DD if the topic of conversation turns to eye-shadow, microfinance or art museums? When the topic ends up being computers, psychology or law, why do I get phone calls from match-makers afterwards saying, “She really thinks you’re a great guy but she feels like you’re too smart for her”?
    If, during a date, I asked a girl if she wanted to have a Nerf skirmish, no doubt she’d say yes, but is that because that’s how you get to know and appreciate someone, or because she’ll say yes to anything because she
    doesn’t want to bother me? HINT: Wait and see if she wants another date.

    Or maybe you expect this to happen in between dates? So let’s say when she tried the 1DD, I said, “Ask her to hold off her decision for a few days. Give me her cell phone number and I’ll send her some funny texts that make her ‘stifle a laugh at work.’ Give me her e-mail address and I’ll send her some ‘interesting articles that lead to month-long email conversations.’ ” Why do I feel like that approach wouldn’t get me very far? Would it work better if I offered to come spend Shabbos afternoon with her, “flopped on the couch discussing everything”?

    Bad4, while you’re visiting your family in Brooklyn for Pesach, instead of trying to plan four dates in four nights and losing your entire Chol HaMoed that way, go to some art museums with your friends and agree that each of you will bring along an eligible male–a friend, a relative or an ex–only frum, of course.

  9. This was very moving. There seems to be many wonderful singles out there who are dealing with this challenge. I have made a few matches, but generally find fewer guys to set up. I wish some of the single women I know could read this and internalize it. Thank you for writing it.

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