This post is a response to a Jewish Week article published back in March entitled Can We Talk? (But that’s all!): Are Jewish guys more susceptible to the ‘pen pal complex? by Heather Robinson, Contributing Editor. So take a moment to read the article before reading my response.
I enjoyed reading Heather Robinson’s tale of verbal romance (with an emphasis on the verbal) and felt her frustration at the Jewish men in her life who seem to be willing to trade physical intimacy for a good shmooze. My only critique is that she only turned to women to help her understand her dilemma.
You see, if you want to truly understand what is really going on in the mind of the average (and above) single Jewish male, you need to turn to one of their own for the truth. That’s not to take anything away from the female experts who are amazing at helping their clients find love, but they’re still not single Jewish men (and never will be, I hope).
Full disclosure: I’m married, 5 years. But prior to my matrimonial leap I spent 15 years on the Upper West Side, living the life of an (above) average single Jewish man, so I think I might be able to give you a peek into that dark and mysterious place that is the single Jewish male mind.
The most important thing about men that women need to know is this: When a man is romantically interested in a woman he will do whatever it takes to be with her. (You can tweet that in my name.) There are no excuses or obstacles that can stand in his way. He will call, write, drive, or even travel overseas to see a woman he’s interested in. This is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The women who accept this suffer much less frustration, sadness and anger in their dating experience.
I’ve never met Heather, but judging from her writing and professional accomplishments she seems like an incredibly intelligent, sensitive and personable woman who I’d love to spend time talking to. It seems as though Jared agrees with me.
Jared’s a smart Jewish boy who appreciates Heather’s qualities. He also appreciates the gifts that Svetlana is giving him, and he’s not ready to give those up. Why should he? Svetlana might not be fulfilling Jared in the intellectual department, but he can get that fulfillment elsewhere, like from Heather.
If Jared felt the same physical attraction for Heather that he does for Svetlana, he’d be offering Heather a lot more than words. Unfortunately, he’s not giving up the lovely Svetlana. That leaves Heather with two options:
1. Cut off all communication with Jared. If he changes his mind and decides he wants to date her (not just her mind) he will let her know. Until then Heather is just enabling him to continue “double dipping”.
2. Continue speaking with Jared and feeling totally confused and frustrated.
When, or if, Jared is finally ready to settle down he might come crawling back to the woman who fulfilled his intellectual and emotional needs. Or he might continue looking for a more verbally pleasing version of Svetlana. Or maybe he’ll just end up marrying Svetlana and continue committing conversational adultery. You don’t want to wait around to find out.
It sounds like Heather solved that mystery after the Liberace dream. There are four reasons I can think of why Andrew would not get physical with a willing Heather:
1. His religious practice prohibits it (meditation boy doesn’t seem to fit this bill)
2. He’s not attracted to Heather.
3. He’s not attracted to women (why he would date a woman is beyond the scope of this article)
4. He’s got serious intimacy issues hidden deep within his psyche.
None of these options hold much promise for a healthy relationship. So Heather made the right move by ditching Andrew, but why all the confusion?
While it’s true that Jewish men might feel more pressure to settle down and get serious when dating a Jewish woman, I never met a Jewish man who would not attempt to get physically intimate with a woman he was attracted to. Men just don’t think that much when they’re feeling the “love”. Women might create that myth of the “think too much” guy to rationalize why he didn’t make a move on them, but it’s just not true. When a man is interested he’ll shoot first and ask questions later. Granted he might retain enough presence of mind to refrain from sleeping with her, but he won’t just take a hug if he can get more.
So Heather, Amy, and all the other lovely single Jewish ladies out there trying to understand why the guy they’re physically or verbally dating isn’t making his move, please remember this one line and be confused no longer: When a man is romantically interested in a woman he will do whatever it takes to be with her.
>> If you found this post interesting, there’s a lot more super helpful advice in my book, From I to I Do: How to Meet, Date and Marry Your Mr. Right [Available on Amazon]