Who would’ve thought that discussing philosophy and ideas ain’t got nothin’ on dating stories? More people read “My True Story: Finding Mr. Right (Part 1)” over any other article I’ve ever published on this blog. Let’s get to it, meet Bachelor #2:
During a rainy spell in July, I met Ron*. A Floridian, he was flying into Manhattan to visit his parents and I worked at an NYC non-profit alongside his rabbi who set us up. For our first date, Ron waved to hail a cab, smiled and said, “We’re going to a hotel lobby tonight”. >Sigh< Oh joy. Another hotel lobby. Surprisingly enough, the taxi pulled up to a modern looking building with windows that stacked vertically up the entire side of one wall so we had full view of varied rooms designed for observation. We stepped up onto a futuristic-looking escalator, walked down a few winding steps, and finally found ourselves inside the funkiest hotel lobby I’d ever seen (and that’s saying a lot given the popularity of New York hotel lobbies as a first date venue!). Over-sized chess tables were scattered throughout the room and old-fashioned shelves filled with tattered gigantic books lined the walls. We sat down in plush lounge chairs that were oddly proportioned by design.
“So? What do you think?”, Ron asked. I liked. Most men I dated complained about the unfair expectation of planning a date all the while bringing me to the same tired cafe or restaurant. This guy obviously took pleasure in researching unusual venues and organizing creative dates. We went out five times- for several hours each- and had a pretty fabulous time with just the right measurements of deep conversation, banter, and mutual admiration. Despite all that, after excruciating debates and lengthy analyses, I eventually ended it. Our religious views seemed somewhat mismatched. As great as the dates were, we often disagreed about minor values – for example- where to draw the line when bringing media inside the home. In addition to these small clashes, our chemistry had a strong friendship vibe and I still wasn’t sure I felt attraction even after the five dates. He went back to Florida. And that was supposed to be the end of that.
Fast forward eight months. I was dating on-and-off. I thought about Ron occasionally (we really did have fun together) and considered the possibility that I had been too hasty. I called the rabbi who had set us up to ask him if he’d call Ron (assuming he’d say “of course!”). The rabbi point-blank refused and I was SHOCKED for two reasons: First, why would someone stand in the way of a possible marriage?? Second, how could he ban me from Ron? Shouldn’t the rabbi at least offer him the choice to go out with me? Neither arguments appealed to this rabbi who explained that he didn’t want to put his student in the position of being rejected again. I decided to go rogue and called Ron myself. To me, phoning Ron directly was a huge risk since we had gone through a middleman up until this point and once I explain that his rabbi said “no”, how could he justify saying “yes”? Not to mention, what if he just didn’t want to go out with me?
As it turned out, he was planning to visit New York anyway and he agreed to meet with me again. After eight months and five intense dates, we went out three more times. We talked and talked. He took me to parts of Manhattan I didn’t know existed and we, again, had fun. I really tried to like him and even though I didn’t think the chemistry was quite right, I told him I’d fly to Florida and started researching ticket prices. After I reserved my round trip, imagine my surprise when he called me to say he didn’t feel a “spark”.
Seriously?!? No spark? What a lame – Oh wait. He was right. He expressed the little voice in the back of my mind and that took courage. Nonetheless, I was bummed.
Ron is forever filed away with my other ‘near miss’ bachelors who were awesome…just not for me.
This post is dedicated to my amazing friend, Yael Shraga, who put up with all sorts of moaning and analyzing during my time with Bachelor #2.
*Identity of Bachelor #2 protected with a fake name.