Dating Games: ‘You just never know’

Jacob proclaimed he was seriously anti-marriage, and had the lifestyle to prove it. Then he met Rebecca. Today, he’s a changed man.

By TAMAR CASPI
June 5, 2010 02:17
4 minute read.
You can't force-feed us marriage.

Dating caricature 58. (photo credit: Pepe Fainburg)

 
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‘S’ has a friend who said he would never get married. Jacob wanted to be the consummate bachelor: make a lot of money, party all the time with pretty ladies, and eventually buy a boat. These were his words.

He moved from Israel to the States, where his felt his fantasy lifestyle could become a reality. He was working hard during the day, going to clubs at night and hosting parties at his place until the sun came out.

Meanwhile, I was surprised to find out he had a paid membership to J*Date with “Don’t Want to Get Married” and “Don’t Want Kids” checked off. I couldn’t understand why he was even bothering; but oddly enough, his profile attracted young Jewish women who were also anti-marriage and anti-children. These women were either just looking for a life companion, or fun without long-term commitment.

Jacob started J*Date chatting with a woman named Rebecca. Instant messages turned into e-mails, which turned into phone calls and they felt a strong enough connection that Rebecca bought a plane ticket and made the trip to meet Jacob.

Their weekend together was later described as “blissfully perfect,” and Jacob planned a subsequent trip to Rebecca’s neck of the woods. Back and forth they went over the next few months, and Jacob started calling “S” to tell him about his new girlfriend and how into her he was.

“S” was expectedly shocked and cautious for his friend, who had been so gung-ho about never wanting to get serious with someone. After we visited Jacob and saw Rebecca’s picture on his phone, screensaver, in a frame on his desk and stuck to the refrigerator with a magnet, we knew he was well on his way to being a changed man.

We saw Jacob in Israel last summer, and he told us his big news: On the way back from Israel, he was flying to meet Rebecca, help her pack up her stuff and drive her car 12 states down to move in with him. Once there, they were planning on going to the Justice of the Peace to get married.

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We were stunned. After a moment of speechlessness, we congratulated Jacob and heard the rest of the details of their developing romance over a cup of Turkish coffee. Jacob told us they had bonded over not wanting children, and I believed him when he answered my very woman-like question: Was he 100-percent positive her biological clock wouldn’t start ticking loudly in her ear (they are both in their late thirties)?

He said they had fallen in love to the point that they were no longer anti-marriage. They were getting married because they wanted to buy a house together and make a commitment to their future together. It was so sweet, and it was obvious that these emotions were genuine as they were written all over his face and could be heard in his voice. This was a legitimately changed man.

Jacob and Rebecca are now planning a wedding reception, on the one-year anniversary of their courtroom nuptials, to share their love with their friends. They have opened joint bank accounts and bought their new house, where they have a Jewish home and throw lovely dinner parties. Even though they choose to never have children, they are their own little version of a Jewish family – proof that you never know who you’ll meet, or what will happen; and that love exists in many shapes and forms.

They are an unconventional J*Date success story and role models to many who have lost hope in this maze-filled journey.

They have reinstilled my belief that every single person out there has someone for them – all you have to do is find each other. Whether you use J*Date, a matchmaker or take the chance of meeting someone at a club (“S” and I are living proof that it can happen!), you should never give up the search.


It also reminds me that you must absolutely stick to your core beliefs: if you do or don’t want to get married, if you do or don’t want to have kids, if you are willing or not to move, if you are not willing to be with someone more or less Jewish than you, or whatever else it is that you feel strongly about. Of course, many of these stipulations are negotiable for most people, but for some people one of the items may not be.

It may sound totally odd to people who are willing to do absolutely anything to meet someone, but some people have non-negotiable items. For Jacob and Rebecca, it turns out, marriage was negotiable, but they ultimately bonded and sealed the deal over both not wanting children and not having that be a negotiable item.

Jacob’s and Rebecca’s change of heart regarding marriage also proves that even people with the most rigid of standards can change their minds when they meet the right person who lives two hours away, or is more conservative than they are.

Marriage is all about compromise... so if you can’t compromise now on certain topics, you’ll make the dating world an even tougher place to navigate for yourself.

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