Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"Love Letter" to the girl I am dating.



To the girl with whom I am dating,

I know it is early in our relationship, but I wanted to write you a letter expressing an observation I have made about you and me, and I wonder how we can resolve this to come to a closer understanding of each other.

On the surface it seems like you like me. You look at me with eyes of curiosity wondering, "who is that man sitting across from me?" You ask surface-level questions hoping that my answers will give your analytical mind a chance to piece together an understanding of whether I would be a good husband to you.

In our conversations, you stand your ground defending your answers and defending truth as you understand it to be. You correct misinformation immediately, and you prefer accuracy and clarity within our conversations. When you don't understand something you ask for clarification.

Our thought patterns are different. Your thoughts are very logical, mine connect like a web. You don't quite grasp how I think or the connections between our conversation topics, but you go along with it hoping that eventually some rhyme or reason will come of it.

I even suspect the way we live our lives on a daily basis differ. I look for the meaning in every action, and I try to understand why things happen the way they do from both a spiritual, logical, and psychological outlook. I don't analyze my world, I observe it and I calculate. I think from your comments that you simply live in the world and don't look into any of these factors -- in fact, I think that you find that it is a waste of time and energy to look at the world the way I see it.

Going a little bit deeper, I like to see what is behind the surface. That is where you hide and so you get defensive when I try to peer past the persona that you give to me. For me, everything is a front for something else, and I suspect you don't like people analyzing the analyzer which is you. Perhaps it makes you feel a bit out of control, and you don't like that.

I am a bit confused though. You said yourself you are a good person, yet your privacy interests suggest to me that there is something about you that you do not want me to find out, and because I see all first layers as transparent, I have perceived by your responses to my probings that I am a threat to you. You metaphorically hold up your hand and say "stop" when I peer past the surface, and I wonder why. I mean you no harm; I just want to get to know you.

If you are defending a simple privacy interest, I would understand. But I feel that I am faced with anger when I probe a bit deeper into you. There is some hurt beneath the surface and I want to find out what it is and if it will form an obstacle between us moving forward.

Who hurt you? What was he to you? What happened when you opened up to him? Was he a teacher? Was he a friend? What decision made you seal your heart shut, and can you open up again? Can you love? Can you love me without limit? When the time comes and the trust is formed, the amount of love that I have to share is boundless. Will I need to break through old wounds to find the real you? How much effort will I need to expend to accomplish this goal, and will you ever allow me to access this part of you? A belief of mine is that if I am to form a loving relationship with you, I want to know that I will have all of you. Secrets don't go well with me, and I believe they form boundaries and destroy intimacy.

Moving deeper, what bothers me is that there are years that are missing from your stories about your life. You sum up years of your life into one sentence indicating that an experience such as college was "ordinary". You sum up becoming religious as one evening's experience. You don't talk at all about your family and all these concern me. In other words, what you do not want me to know about you sticks out in my eyes like a sore thumb and screams, "ask about it." But then it seems to me that you want your past left alone. This confuses me. All I want to know is whether your past is going to interfere with our potential future.

I suppose with all of our differences, I ask myself, "can we still build a home together?" Can we grow close enough to develop the intimacy to one day become husband and wife in spite of our differences? These are the questions that are on my mind.

Love,
Zoe

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that you haven't told her everything about yourself yet. These things will come in time. A lot of BTs don't want to talk about their non-religious family because they worry that it'll make them less attractive as a potential spouse. Concentrate on who she is now and how you relate to each other.

Ahuvah

yourface2 said...

you better hope she doesnt have GOOGLE on her computer

Zoe Strickman said...

Heh, why? What would make her think I am speaking about her? Remember, this blog is supposed to be relatively anonymous, otherwise I wouldn't be able to voice such concerns so openly. What would she type into GOOGLE to find this page that seems to be so well hidden? Have I been offensive in this letter? I'd really like to know. -Zoe

Malka said...

Zoe,

the letter is honest and quite poignant. You have nothing to worry about, in my opinion anyway.. What did your Rebbetzin/shadchan think of it? How many times have you been out with this particular girl? You certainly are very acute in your observations which is a good thing because it means that you're open to her and genuinely invested in this! I sincerely hope it works out and that she comes around to opening up to you. Keep in mind that she may very well have things in her past that she's reticent to share but you must bring her to trust you - as you well know, it's not easy to leave one's personal comfort zone and open up to a stranger when there is the huge risk of being misunderstood but worse still, of being judged. Not that I think you would do either but SHE doesn't know that does she? Perhaps you should be straight up with her and tell her that you sense there are things she's not telling you and that she should know that no matter what she says to you, nothing will change (depending on the severity of what it is she has to say I imagine..). Ok, enough dating advice LOL Have yourself a Gut Shabbos and a really nice week-end!

Anonymous said...

you are boring. Plus, you don't give time for the relationship to develop at its natural pace. "Too much too soon" is what would happen, if she were exactly as you wanted. If you were consistenly kind (in a way she can see) and patient, she would naturally open up and you wouldn't have to pry and meet her defensiveness. SHe would, sooner or later. Also, don't assume she is a victim and someone hurt her. It's too patronizing. She's just wired that way, and it's not the worst way to be wired really. Also, just because she thinks differently is not a disqualification. In fact, it is an asset - it complements your ways. Anyway, seems like you already made decision to move on and now presenting an elaborate excuse. None are needed really. -Sh.

Zoe Strickman said...

Anonymous,
Thank you for your comment about me being boring. You're probably right. And you were 100% that I was rushing things -- I didn't realize it until I got the feedback from people like you and from deep conversations with my Rabbi on this topic. You're also right that I was assuming the worst -- that is a bad trait of mine and I am working on it.

Please don't think that I already made my decision about her -- I am actually having a wonderful time with her and on the contrary, I think [B"H] it might just work. I was just expressing my feelings as they were there and I needed to figure out what I was feeling. This is a huge benefit of the blog to me.

Thank you for your feedback. -Zoe

Zoe Strickman said...

Malka,
I wrote you back a thank you letter but it got bounced back to me. Do you have an e-mail address on your account?

I wanted to tell you that I really appreciated you writing what you did. I have been out with her on many dates so far (still under 10 dates), but each date lasts for a few hours so I really get a chance to know about her.

It's actually scaring me that things are starting to work out and to fall into place. Let's see what G-d has planned for me now.

Malka said...

Hey Zoe,

I will send you an email from my "other account"...

Shiri said...

Zoe, excellent conclusions. Now snap out of this heavy and gloomy state of mind! That's what makes you boring. I wish I found a rabbi, who would be able to give me a meaningful advise... these russian ones are too darn lame. Others are sexist. And don't even get me started about shadchans. I guess some jews (like me) are not meant to be Orthodox... - Sh.