Its Not That Simple

When I was in yeshiva high school it was obviously drilled into us that relationships (or just girls in general) were assur. Simple as that, right? Nothing good can ever come from a teenage relationship. I tried arguing the point once but was shouted down by an older guy in Beis Medrash who simply dismissed everything I said.

The first crack in that theory came in my first year in Beis Medrash, when I had a shabbos by a family close to the yeshiva whose daughter had gotten married a few months prior. He told me the story, of how she met her husband five years earlier when they were both fifteen and volunteering for the summer at a camp. Both families werent happy but decided against forced separation and according to him they carried on a five year relationship that (he believed, but… c’mon) was shomer negiah until they both reached twenty and got married.

Right now I know this girl, a teenager, who’s religious, davens, shabbos, kosher and all that, I know that for a fact, but she has a non-religious boyfriend. She’s on a plan to make him religious. He spends every shabbos at her family, which he seems to enjoy, he’s never really had a shabbos before. Today I saw her and she was buying tzitzis for him, because apparently he asked for them but his parents refused to get them as they decided it was a waste of money. I’m not going to pretend this is all kosher, I know they’re not shomer and stuff. But they do seem sincere, and through her he’s discovering religion which is doubtful he would have ever experienced under any other circumstances.

I don’t know what to think anymore.

17 Responses to “Its Not That Simple”

  1. ha! every girl looks for a “project”… we all think we can be the knight in shining armor whos going to make him frum.

  2. I’m not sure what your point is…maybe that is the point?

  3. A friend was telling me that her sister met her husband in Florida, by a hotel. That every year both families would go there for a Yom Tov, and their tables would be next to each other. Then I guess they got to know each other. Because the family arranged that her sister and this guy from the other family were left together for a little bit and he asked her out, and now their married with kids. When I heard this story, I thought it interesting cause I didn’t know such a situation like that could happen. I was surprised the parents encouraged the relationship, but I guess they knew it would turn to marriage.

    I think the reason why they say relationships aren’t good is because it may lead to non shomer activity, like you said that you doubt they stayed shomer. And not always, does it turn out that they marry each other. I actually watched a video shiur of Rabbi Wallerstein once, and he told a story of how there was a teenage couple, and to make a long story short they broke up.

    I would say if the person wanted to be Jewish beforehand, before meeting the girl then it would be good that she’s encouraging him and helping him. But if he’s just doing it for her, then it doesn’t sound so stable. if he was dedicated to being Jewish, then he could have learned to be religious another way, it didn’t have to be through a girl, so it’s not a good excuse to allow those relationships.

  4. I think that it is very simple. For every story that you have with a happy ending there is another one with a very sad one. The only way to prevent all the sad endings is to prevent any contact altogether. You must build michitzas out of kriptonite so that even the most super of men can not peek through. Then you must always ensure that man and women stay as far from each other as possible to prevent the Chassidish Disease, Cooties. God forbid that happens and all the chasidim trade in their fur striemels for mink fur coats. Hashem Yirachiem.

  5. It’s very simple. The first interaction between a guy and a girl should not be under the chuppah, it’s not natural or healthy.
    I really don’t get this way of thinking, not every date or relationship needs to lead to marriage especially when they’re teenagers.
    And it was ok for them to go out for 5 years because they got married in the end? And if one of them would’ve changed their mind? most people change between 15 and 20, though I guess they had no choice by then it was almost a pre-arranged marriage.

  6. and what about the stories where they end up getting married, but they’re not really so perfect for eachother? once you get into a relationship and mess with emotions, somewhere along the line there is room for heartbreak

  7. fp- Its all on an individual basis. Long relationsihps are important for some, while others would much rather jump into things, and entrust their parents with referencing. Both can lead to divorces.

    If you look at the frum community these days, with all the crazy FBI like referencing and quick relationships, the divorce rate is ridiculously high (they approximate about 30%).

    Heartbreak can happen to anyone before or during a marraige. YOu can’t remain one sided with things like relationships. there are no people in the universe who are alike, nvm alike in the way they treat relationships.

    babysitter- Is breaking up only exclusive to teenage relationships? Rabbi Wallerstein needs to be kicked. I never liked the man.

  8. FrumSkeptic: you have to see the video to see the context, but from what I remember he broke them up. It was a long story. If I summarize it then it won’t sound right. I think it was the video from one of the fast days, perhaps tisha baav or something. It’s a long video though, it’s the only one I ever watched.

  9. I heard a good reason for all the divorce going on when you have girls going out at 19 and men a 22/23 theres room for a lot of change on the girls part and the man will wonder why the change being he has passed that stage in life, in the end comes divorce.

  10. mike- i dont think its that its the ages that necessarily makes it be that there is room for change. its just that once a person is married in frumville, they suddenly have freedoms they’ve never had (they can make decisions without asking mommy and daddy first), they can hang out with different people,and they learn to socialize. With marraige they end up slowly taking themselves out of a B”Y or Yeshivish bubble they were in.

    The fact is, they never developed any personality, beacuse their entire lives were in prep of finding the “right” shidduch. Once s/he was found, they had no purpose…and so goes… actual personal growth. And they learn things about themselves they normally would’ve learned had they not been so sheltered from the beginning, and they learn marraige is not the rosey, effortless, happy life they imagined it to be

    babysitter- you think its right for anyone to interefer with a relationship, nver mind break it up?

    I terribly dislike rabbi wallerstein. I couldn’t care less what he says.

  11. tooyoungtoteach: I don’t have an idea if teenage relationships are right or wrong anymore, Its not as simple as it used to be to me.

    Babysitter: And maybe you could look at it from the view that his only chance to become frum is through her. Even if the relationship doesnt last, this might mean that he’ll end up marrying Jewish, while if he’d never met her he wouldnt have?

    Child Ish: I like how you start by sounding serious, and end up totally sardonic.

    Mike: Thats a good point.

    Anita: I hear that, but you sound like you’re generalizing too much.

  12. FrumSkeptic: I think the whole personality and freedom thing is made into a bigger deal than it actually is.

    If anything for those that always asked their parents for advice, they will probably do the same for their husbands, and then that would strengthen the marriage. The fact that someone seeks advice is a type of personality, it won’t change once they get married, it will be carried forward to their husband, and the husband will take the role of the parents in being the one they seek for guiding.

    After all the years of being ingrained a certain way, I don’t think people will just give it all up once they become married. Unless they felt restrained all those years and their seeking marriage as an escape to all that, then it would make sense of why there would be divorces, because they are using their husbands.

    If I remember reading some shidduch material correctly, it seemed to always encourage personal growth.

    But perhaps you may be right on people’s views on marriage, they may think it’s all easy and happy because everyone they know seems to be getting married so fast and creating families without a problem. But then if they see marriage through that way, it might actually help them, so when they are faced with a problem they know it can ultimately get better since their view of marriage is that it is all good and everything.

    Although they do always stress in HS, that marriage takes compromise and giving. We actually learned a cool thing, that a baby is the ultimate taker, only worries about himself, then he grows up and realizes there are other people in the world too, and he starts caring about them too. Then by marriage he learns to give, but at the same time he is also taking. But then when he becomes a parent, that is the ultimate giving, you get nothing in return except the nachas and future pleasures from your children.

    So they do prepare you for marriage being a bit difficult, and that it takes effort, and something to constantly be working on. It actually makes it sound better when you hear how much work has to be put into it, then it’s more valuable. Better than the rosy outlook on marriage.

    I don’t think anyone has the right to interfere with a relationship, I’m not one to judge. But he was more like the catalyst rather than the direct cause. But ok, so that was a bad example since you don’t like what he says, so never mind that all.

    Frum Punk: Perhaps you are right, but something still sounds fishy. I mean they do have ncsy which is basically the same idea, where teens learn more about being religious and stuff, and they build relationships which helps them. So perhaps there really is something behind it.

    This may sound like a mean question, but if the person doesn’t want to become religious, then is it really so important that he does? I mean do you have to really save people from intermarriage? What if the girl would have been influenced by him instead of it being the other way around, then she would have risked her religiousness.

  13. Absolutely nothing is ever “that simple.” Even when you are certain that it is.

  14. obviously nothing is ever simple. if life were simple, people wouldn’t blog.

  15. babysitter- You and I will never agree on certain issues. πŸ™‚

    Chag Samaech. May Hashem bless you with a sweet, healthy, happy and prosperous new year. πŸ™‚

    That goes for e/o else. Just that babysitter and I “argue” lots, so it was addressed to her first. πŸ™‚

  16. FrumSkeptic: You are probably right πŸ™‚

    Thanx, amen and to you too!

    Shana Tova everyone!

  17. “I heard a good reason for all the divorce going on when you have girls going out at 19 and men a 22/23 theres room for a lot of change on the girls part and the man will wonder why the change being he has passed that stage in life, in the end comes divorce.”

    And a 22 y/o guys are considered to have passed that stage in life?

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