I’m a single, Jewish male about to turn 46. Growing up and in my 20′s and 30′s, most of my friends were Jewish. I dated Jewish women, but struggled to find a lasting connection. About five years ago, I serendipitously took up the national hobby of Argentine, the tango. I was immediately hooked, and I was soon dancing five nights a week. I’ve traveled to Tango Festivals in various parts of the country, and last year I made a dream trip to the capital of it all: Buenos Aires. I was in Tango Heaven. I have made many tango friends over the past several years, many from Central or South America. Spanish is, of course, their native language. I started taking Spanish lessons two years ago. Progress has been slow, but I love the language.
A year ago, I met a woman from Buenos Aries. She’s in her mid-30’s and lives in my hometown. She was separated, not Jewish and didn’t dance the tango. Yet, she loved tango music, it being part of any Argentine’s soul. So, we began an unlikely relationship. My most elemental “must-haves” (Jewish, American, fluent in English, fluent in American culture) were cast aside. And, ever since, I’ve experienced an incredibly passionate and loving relationship. But, it has been a bumpy road at times. I’ve questioned whether her lack of Jewish and American cultural knowledge, as well as English language difficulties, would prevent me from totally being myself and thus leave a hole in my heart. The hole that I always believed only a Jewish woman could satisfy.
And here I am still wondering whether I can make a final commitment to this woman whom I love dearly. I sometimes think that everything would be so much easier if I could just meet “a nice Jewish girl.” But, then I realize, I never found one that I wanted to be with during all these years. Still, it’s very difficult to give up the beliefs of a lifetime. I wonder if I’m going to wake up one day and say: This isn’t me, what am I doing? Then, I imagine my life without my girlfriend and I see myself returning to the endless search for the Jewish woman who has eluded me to date. But, then, I wonder whether my current relationship has now prepared me for a relationship with a Jewish woman, which I never could have had before my current experience. So, I’m a bit confused and don’t know how to proceed. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
NICE JEWISH BOY, LOVES TO DANCE, LOOKING FOR NICE JEWISH GIRL . . . OR MAYBE NOT
Dear NJBLTDLFNJG . . . OMN,
I think the reason that you’re 46 and still single is because you have an unrealistic idea of how you’re going to know when you’re with the right person. Okay, there are some lucky people who know deep, deep, deep in their gut when they’ve found their soul mate. (I hate that term.) But the rest of us meet someone we love and feel compatible with, we take a deep breath, cross our fingers and jump off the cliff. And, in either case, it only works out less than half the time. (I’m figuring half the marriages end in divorce and a lot of the people who stay married are miserable.)
I’m not trying to be a pessimist, I’m just trying to show you that there are no guarantees in life. I can’t promise you that you won’t someday regret marrying your Argentinean girlfriend. And, if you do, you will definitely have some additional problems because of differences in language, religion and culture. But if you find a great Jewish girl tomorrow, I can’t guarantee that you won’t someday regret marrying her as well.
What I’m reading between the lines is that your heart is telling you to marry this woman, while your head is telling you not to. It seems to me that you’ve listened to your head all of your life. It might be time to let your heart have its way. Good luck and please keep me informed.