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,