Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Multi-tasking and Dating...

I am NOT a multi-tasker.  I honestly believe that anyone who claims to be a multitasker, and especially one who is PROUD of it, likely does not give his/her all to any task at hand, and much is lost in that.  I hear parents bemoaning the high incidence of ADD (attention deficit disorder) and at the same time praising "multi-taskers" for their ability to do more than one task at a time.  Do you see a problem here??? 

Anyway, this post is not meant to be a rumination the state of affairs regarding ADD and/or the concept of multi-tasking.  It is meant to be venting of my frustration over how exhausting I am finding my life to be at this time. 

Some of that exhaustion is due to the enormous levels of stress that have prevailed in my life over the past several years.  Based on the information in this website: my stress level is:  

  • Death of spouse 100 
  • Divorce (the litigation to which I was subject was tantamount to a divorce) 73 Losing my job 47 
  • Retirement (I am semi-retired, not entirely by choice) 45 
  • Change in health of family member (my mom was ill, my ex husband was ill, my son in law's grandmother was ill -- all at the same time) 44 
  • Major change in financial state 38 
  • Trouble with in laws 29 
  • Changes in living conditions 25 
  • Change in work hours, conditions 20 
  • Change in residence (TWICE) 20 
  • Changes in recreational activities, (had to stop due to physical limitations) 19 
  • Changes in shul activities 19 
  • Changes in social activities 18 
  • Changes in sleeping habits 16 
  • Changes in number of family gatherings 15 

TOTAL 528  

According to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale a score of 300 or more means one is at risk of illness!  I scored 528!!

Add to this the fact that I am disabled - severely to profoundly deaf!

My current concerns have been and in some cases still are:  

  • having a car (I solved this one)
  • money to pay rent, utilities, groceries, car, and other necessary items. (So far, so good)
  • having a job (working on this one, so far receiving a large number of favorable responses to my CV, and have had several interviews and several more upcoming. Ability to use the phone remains an issue.)
  • meeting men (I DO wish to be remarried)
  • learning Hebrew (I am in ulpan 6 days a week, every morning for 4.5 hours)
I think I am doing REALLY WELL given all this...

Now, with regard to the issue of meeting men:  I have been rather recalcitrant of late with regard to this issue -- both in terms of actually meeting men and in terms of discussing it.  The recalcitrance in meeting men is NOT due to shyness or fear. It is due to the overwhelming tiredness I feel and my need to have a clear and relaxed mind when meeting men.  I do not want the negatives of my life to cast a shadow over my efforts. I want very much to leave the negatives behind me, in the dust of my life.   

However, I have not been devoid of efforts to meet men.  I am on Frumster and Saw You At Sinai.  I do tell friends that I am interested in being fixed up (although I have yet to have anyone offer to fix me up and I do not know if it is because no one has anyone to fix me up with, or if it is because they think I am too difficult or too weird to fix up. 

But recently I had an experience that really gives credence to my claim that many of the men who are age appropriate for me are damaged goods.  Here is what happened:  a gentleman contacted me via Frumster, indicating interest in me.  I responded positively and we exchanged a few emails.  I was interested in him although there was ONE thing that bothered me about him.  He wrote in his profile that he does not like "aggressive women".  I am pretty outgoing, and I am a bit of a fighter -- I have had to be, most of my life.  I consider myself assertive but there are those who think the difference between aggressive and assertive is hair-splitting.  But since everything else seemed okay I allowed myself to pursue this.   And this is what happened:

He indicated a desire to meet me early this week.  I explained to him that would not work since I am in ulpan and at the moment very involved in the business of acquiring a car.  I said that it was POSSIBLE that I could be available later in the week.  He then reluctantly agreed to this, but with what was essentially an ultimatum, that if I could not meet him this week, then he would consider it an indication that I am not serious about finding a husband and getting married!

I was definitely put off by this.  We had agreed to a Thursday evening meet, at a place of my choice in J'lem.  Then, last night my son-in-law offhandedly mentioned to me that his school is having a graduation ceremony for his class on Thursday evening in Haifa.  He had not informed me sooner, the result of his own indifference to this event.  But for me, I cannot be indifferent. I feel very strongly that he needs to participate and that we need to be there.  It is important to me that he feel good about himself.  He needs this.  So, I was thus in the position of having to excuse myself from the date for Thursday night.  I sent this man an email explaining the situation.  I suggested that we could meet after Yom Kippur.  His response? 

"There is NO way in my mind that you would make a time for us an entire week after meeting over Frumster, then ask me to meet you another almost 2 weeks after that.

Your need to re schedule is obviously fine. IF you are serious about wanting to wait almost 3 weeks to meet me after seeming so interested and telling me how lonely you are,...then I guess you have an awfully lot of self confidence that there are LOADS of younger men "out there" who are decent looking , financially/emotionally stable,  don't mind your extreme hearing loss and who aren't solely interested in sleeping around, with YOU as their next target.

Your signals are incredibly mixed. I'm not at all sure you know what you want at this point, at least as it relates to another marriage.

When you decide you are serious about dating, please write me back and if I am not already serious with someone else, we can meet for coffee, or lunch.

 My next wife will  make ME a priority , not to have to squeeze me in between some other commitments  she may have in Jerusalem weeks later."

I was not surprised at this response given his "ultimatum" beforehand.  But I am kind of dumbfounded at the extremeness of his position.  He wants me to make him a "priority" in my life before we have even met!  He shows a clear lack of understanding with regard to familial obligations, and with regard to MY time:  there is no way I am going to go gallivanting on a date just days before Rosh Hashanah when I have tons of work to do to prepare meals and do shopping, etc., all while attending ulpan every day for half a day!  

I think I am not being unreasonable.  But I would love to hear how my friends and family think about this.  What are YOUR thoughts?  


  1. Yikes. Run, do not walk, far away from this guy. It will never work and he is the one not interested in getting married.

  2. I have a number of comments about your post.

    1. I am reluctant to generalize about people, but I would concur that divorced men may tend to be more damaged. Widowers may have other issues, but once they get past their main period of bereavement, they may be better prospects.

    2. I hope you do not ever communicate with this man again. You are absolutely right to place your own family over him at this point, particularly since you had not even met him. Your life as a new olah is tough enough; I'm sure you explained your being almost overwhelmed with the large amount of tasks required to adjust to your new life.

    3. He engaged in "emotional terrorism" by mocking your alleged self confidence about meeting younger men, and referring to your hearing loss. He is truly disgusting.

    4. He has done you a favor of revealing parts of his true self that many other potential abusers manage to hide. You are quite fortunate to not have wasted much time or money on this cretin.

    5. When I was "out there" after divorce, I considered dating a matter of sorting and sifting. I believe there are a number of basherts out there, but you have to check out each person to see if they have potential. If you are dating for tachlis as I suppose you are, you want to eliminate someone like that quickly and move on. As you know, you have to "kiss" a lot of frogs to find a prince.

  3. NEXT!
    Sorry if that sounds flip with all that is going on in your life - but I think a man with an attitude like that will do nothing but add to your stress. He sounds needy and insecure.

  4. A control freak who would love to control you as well. Big thumbs down. If he shows this lack of understanding so early in the game, how is he going to behave when he thinks he owns you?

  5. I agree with Sharon's comment, especially points 3 and 4. And I agree with everyone here in saying you should run away from this guy.

    Amazing how off the charts you are stess-wise. Remarkable that you're able to deal with it all as well as you are.

  6. I agree with most of the above. However. My following comments are only meant to help you, so please accept them with that thought. I don't believe it behooves you to write about an issue as personal as this on any public forum. The fact that you even posted excerpts from this (albeit unstable) guy's email will not bode well for any potential dates. No one wants to be 'put out there' for all to see (even if it is anonymous). His emails to you were private and in confidence. That should be a given. If you wanted advice - which I believe is a good thing - then talk about it privately with just close friends. You just might be scaring any potentials faaaar away. Hatzlacha rabbah. And may this new year bring you mazal, brachah, joy, your bashert - and an easier time of it in Israel...

  7. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for your concern. If you have read my blog in full, and perhaps my other blogs you will note that in the past two plus years I have been involved in some rather nasty litigation. Some absolutely terrible things were done to me, by the last people in the world who should have done them. During the past two plus years, until more recently, I did not post very much about it. And when I did post, I did so without using names, even though clearly, those who know me, would know about whom I was writing. I have been moderately active in dating and meeting men but have rarely posted anything about my "dating adventures" -- feeling mostly that it is a very personal and private part of my life. However, the letter that I received from this man and the things he said to me were so offensive to me, that I needed a reality check. I needed to know, could it be, that I am so undesirable because I wear hearing aids? Are there really so few desirable men out there? Was I being unreasonable? I thought not. It is more difficult for me to reach out and get this kind of support and input on a personal level given the busy-ness of both my life and of my friends and family. This is an easier way for me to reach out. Bear in mind too, I cannot just pick up the phone and start gabbing with my girlfriends. In that respect I differ greatly from most women. I do not post names and I left out parts of his letter that might give away his identity. Additionally, I think that women reaching out in this way provide a resource to others and may help prevent the tragedy of a woman marrying an abusive man. I doubt I am scaring anyone away, and if I am, then they are not truly potentials!! Shana Tova to you and yours!