I never thought it would happen so quickly for me
Match #: 2069&2070
I've been dating since I became religious in the summer of 2000. I had a broken engagement in 2002, and I figure that in 12 years of dating, I must have dated nearly and perhaps over, 200 women. I have poured tens of thousands of dollars into dating, moved to the east coast from Minneapolis for seven years to date (and to attend yeshiva for the first three years of that time before starting my own construction business) and spoken in person, over the phone and email with 100s of matchmakers, attended many events, lived in Israel for more than a year while attending yeshiva, traveled to Miami, FL, Atlanta, GA, and Baltimore, MD from the NY/Jersey area, communicated with many hundreds more and reviewed the candidacy of several thousand. I have read many Jewish dating books as well including The River, The Kettel and The Bird, by Rabbi Aharon Feldman, Shidduchim & Zivugim, by Rabbi Yehudah Lebovits, Shidduchim, Shalom Bayis and Beyond, Building a Bayis Ne’Eman B’Yisroel, edited by Rabbi Nisson Wolpin, Finding Your Bashert, Strategies for Success, by Shani Stein and many other books and articles. I also attended a six session “Dating For Marriage Seminar Series” endorsed by Rabbi Avraham J. Twerski with many noted lectures, including Rabbi Shaya Ostrov, Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser and Rabbi Avraham J. Twerski. I've had many other dating mentors whom I had a personal relationship with, including many noted Rabbis - Rabbi Noah Weinberg, tz’’l, Rabbi David Felsenthal, Rabbi Yitz Greenman, Rabbi Michol Druxman, Rabbi Yehoshua Kurland, Rabbi Naftali Jaeger, Rabbi Avrohom Halpern, Rabbi Ovadia Dubin, Rabbi Motty Grossbaum, Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff, Rabbi Chaim Goldberger, Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman, Rabbi Dovid Baum, Rabbi Avraham Goldhar, Rabbi Avroham Aronovitch, Rabbi Shmuel Rowner, and many others including Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. I've been a member of several orthodox matchmaking websites since their starting, including, JWed, Sawyouatsinai, Future Simchas, Bitachon, Mitmazel, Orthodate and many other Jewish dating websites. I've been on JWed since the very beginning, some nine years ago, when Mr. Grayson Levy, an Israeli living on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, founded it. I even was in communication early on with him in making suggestions to improve the website. JWed has come a long way from the early days, and I have always admired their company's cultural commitment to continuous improvement. In summary, in 12 years of dating, I have worked hard to get married. The work paid off, as you will soon see.
In April, 2011, I went back to Minneapolis in what I thought was going to be a short visit for Pesach. Unfortunately, my mother fell very ill and I stayed, closing my construction business remotely and even turning down a full tuition scholarship to grad school through the National Science Foundation. The following year and a half has shown a steady downward progress, the worst of which nearly lead to her death in Feb. 2012, at only 62 years old. She has made some small improvements recently. However, it has been very difficult to continue dating and while I still actively worked on the phone and internet in putting forth my effort, traveling wasn’t possible and I knew that if I were to hit it off with a woman on the phone I would have to pay for her to visit me.
In late May, I received an email through JWed that Beth was planning on visiting relatives in Minneapolis from Chicago in the coming week. We had been briefly in communication a few months prior. We spoke on the phone several times, and we met on a Sunday, the first week in June. Despite the internet introduction and phone conversations, it was quite traditional. Her mother drove up with her, they both met my parents and spoke with them for twenty minutes before I was even alerted to the fact that Beth had arrived! They hit it off from the start, without me! Our introduction date didn’t last more than an hour as they were to continue travel to see her grandmother further north, but we set a time for a second date the next day at Valley Fair Amusement Park. I was blessed because Beth didn’t hide her feelings. She told me on the second date that she thought I was the one – secretly I was on the same page, but having been through the dating ringer for 12 years I needed a few more dates to feel comfortable with that fact. Amazingly, my mother pestered me from date number four onward “nu, when are you going to propose?” And Saturday, still the same week, I told my mother I was going to propose and she said “you had better” as she as well as I recognized I had a gem in reach and for not to let her slip away. I proposed to her before midnight, after Shabbos, inside the same week that we met, only six dates! We will be married September 9, 2012, after only knowing each other for a bit more than three months!
I honestly didn’t think I would be the type to move so quickly, but all the dating experience, mentorship, dating seminar, torah classes, reading and deep reflection on my needs (not necessarily wants) all paid off. I knew very quickly, as did she, because of our commitment to asking Torah-based questions involving our views on family, children, relationships, G-d, Torah, etc. I always said I would never get engaged, let alone married, short of six month to a year. However, if you follow the Torah way, and you both know yourself and your needs, you will know quickly.
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