I had a great Sukkot. I did. Time with the family was nice. My kids are cuter than most people’s so it’s that much better. Went to some nice batei knesset. I was even recruited to speak for one (gratis of course :/).
There’s always going to be that thing though, especially with me. I do like life and stuff but I can always find something negative about something or other. I do need to work on that. But this was objectively negative and it only took things down a little for one day. All things considered not bad.
I was on campus and I happened to catch one of those awkward moments catching someone else’s conversation. The girl talking wasn’t so pretty but not ugly either. She was round-faced, like a little kid. And weeping. It was a pretty sad sight. The person who was screaming at was clearly her becoming-ex-boyfriend-at-the-moment. When I say awkward I mean awkward. It was loud enough though where if you walked at a medium pace you could catch the gist of what was going on. What I caught was “I can’t believe you chose her you @#$% scum…” Hadn’t heard the word scum in awhile. From what else I caught of the conversation, a few things became clear: they were dating, he was seeing someone else on the side, she knew about it, he chose girl #2, and she was upset about it. I feel for this girl. I do, especially given the fact that she was round-faced. She might be able to find someone else new, but if she has self-esteem issues about her weight or looks she could either be single for a while or end up with trash again. Not for me to ascertain or find out. It clearly wasn’t my place to go talk to her, as the Mishnah in Avot says “Don’t comfort someone when their dead is before them”. Besides, a random stranger no matter how rabbinic going over to talk to someone about their relationship is just sketchy.
The fact of the matter is that people in general now have very screwed up ideas about how relationships work, and it gets worse every year as dysfunctional relationships become the new norm. From every indication I got from overhearing that short conversation, she knew he had something going on the side. She just tolerated it thinking that she was the one he would go for. She was wrong and apparently was quite upset about it. She’s wrong and she’ll realize that she’s better off without him, but the damage is done, and it’s the type of damage that doesn’t get fixed easily.
I was perusing Total Sorority Move, a frat philosophy site if you will. I learned quite a bit about where the college world is holding. I mean don’t get me wrong. I know everything and nothing was a surprise. Right. That’s the ticket. There was so much material there I could have spent weeks, and may at some point. For right now, I will just say this is what I gleaned and then I’ll focus in on my point: Sex with anyone is perfectly fine, but there are definitely aspects that are not desirable. Having an intimate relationship with a boyfriend is an ideal and practice for marriage (ROFL). Marriage and kids at some point are desirable (found it interesting college girls are even thinking about that, a positive sign). But don’t be in bed with someone else’s man, or you are a slut! And stupid also.
The question is, why is this girl a slut? Stupid, yes. I’m in total agreement a girl is out of her mind if she thinks that she can be the other woman and that there won’t be another other woman in her boyfriend’s future. I disagree that this girl is actually doing anything wrong, per say, any more than I would be bothered by any of the promiscuity going on. Think about it. A boyfriend is not a husband. It’s different. It is a non-committal relationship. A dating relationship is still a shopping relationship. If you were committed to this person forever, you’d get married or at least engaged. A dating relationship is an affirmative statement that you like the person and want to be with them until and unless something better comes along. The difference between the guy on the other side of the phone and your average boyfriend is that the guy is honest about his shopping and sharing his findings with his partners. The average boyfriend simply hasn’t identified his other or at least has enough scruples to keep his pants on until he’s made the exchange. A boyfriend-girlfriend relationship does not provide the security and commitment I believe girls think it does.
There’s a reason rabbis always tell people to hold off on sex until marriage. Actually many. This girl’s story is one of them. Anyone who has been through regular dating and the religious dating system (shidduchim) can tell you that breaking up is a lot easier and healthier in the latter. In shidduchim, you are trying to figure out if you think you are right for each other in order to get married. Completely hands off. While it isn’t always obvious if someone is “the one”, it’s very clear when they are not. Even if you are attracted to the person, it is much easier to move on if you lay out up front certain basic things you are looking for in a spouse. I went out with over 100 girls in my religious dating life. There are a number that I could have stayed with and had good relationships, but not for the long haul.
And why waste the time? My wife and I have a friend who was seeing a guy for 10 years before they broke up. He ended up getting married two years later and she was over 30 with no prospects for anything. By the time she became religious and decided she was ready to get married, she was almost 35. 35 is the magic number where fertility becomes much more problematic, and she wanted to be a mom. She did get married and just had a kid but did it really have to take all of that time? What took her 10 years to figure out that this guy wasn’t right for her?
The answer is obvious. Sex builds a false sense of closeness and relationship. Remove it from the relationship and it becomes very clear if this is someone you want to actually be around for an extended period of time. It reminds me of an old joke about another vice popular on college campuses:
What did the Dead Heads say when they ran out of weed?
This music sucks. Let’s go home.
This is totally the same thing.