Perhaps it’s just because I have trouble with decisions and uncertainty, but my own experience was that inter-dating my now-husband Joe was much more stressful than being intermarried to him (not that our marriage is particularly stressful).
The issue for me was that, while my entire family has been nothing but thrilled with Joe from Day 1, I spent much of our courtship worrying that my more traditional Jewish friends and the Jewish people with whom I worked would disapprove of me and would try to persuade us to break up.
Only one person (a Jewish guy who, perhaps was a potential suitor?) actually did try to talk me out of dating Joe. But I nonetheless felt very self-conscious about our relationship, no doubt in large part because of my own uncertainty/ambivalence about whether our marriage would stand in the way of me pursuing my Jewish interests.
However, I felt a palpable relief, once we were actually married, both because the decision had been made and because I knew that only the most rabidly anti-intermarriage folks would actually wish to see us divorce.
I’m curious, especially given the ongoing debate (see my last post) in the Jewish community about whether it is possible to welcome interfaith families while at the same time encouraging in-marriage (ie. discouraging intermarriage), what other people’s experiences have been while interdating.
I know for many intermarrieds/interdaters, interfaith issues have not been a source of conflict at all, but for those of you for whom it has, I’d love to hear from you. And I’m interested in hearing not just from people (Jewish and non-Jewish) who are now intermarried, but from people who have been in interfaith relationships, even if they didn’t end up getting married.
Journalistic integrity prevents me from “incentivizing” (ie. bribing) you with gift cards and the like, but I can offer you a chance at fame: your name (if you want it and if I end up using your comments in the article) in a printed edition of The New York Jewish Week. And not just any printed edition, but “Directions,” our annual glossy magazine supplement!
Please e-mail your thoughts to Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you’d like to be interviewed. ALSO, if you know of other people who might like to share their experiences, please send them my way and tell them about In the Mix.
Woo hoo! I’ve blogged twice in one day!
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