Monday, December 1, 2008

looking for some inspiration

I have been MIA for weeks now, I know. I'm hoping the arrival of my new and improved computer will help end this writing block of mine. Actually, just the prospect of a faster-than-snail-speed computer and gasp, Microsoft Word, lifts my spirits a bit. Still, I'm just so uninspired lately. Inspiration comes from so many different places, and for me, it is something very necessary to cultivate a creative thought-process which ultimately encourages my writing. But lately, I've got nothing. I guess this is in part due to the stagnancy in my life. Every part of me feels stagnant - my work life, my personal life, the whole kit and kaboodle. It's like time is passing by, but I'm stuck standing still, unable to change, unable to move forward. And I don't know what to do about it.

Yesterday I joined eHarmony. I actually buckled down and paid for a three-month subscription. (There was a very-discounted special going on.) I really think the addition of someone special in my life would help propel me forward, hopefully in a direction I'd like to be going. I've been on Jdate forever, with luck here and there, but nothing that lasted. And lately, I just see the same guys on there over and over again. So I decided it was time for some fresh faces. But here comes the dilemma I have. Most of the Jewish guys I see on eHarmony are the same guys I see on Jdate! So, I decided to expand my pool of "matches" by accepting not only Jewish men, but also "spiritual, but not religious" guys. I struggled with this decision for a while, and went back and forth several times. Is it absolutely necessary for me to date, and ultimately marry, someone Jewish? I've dated Jews and non-Jews alike, but over the past year or so, decided I definitely needed to be with someone Jewish. My trip to Israel cemented this idea. But yesterday I found myself struggling with this concept again. I'm still unsure as to whether I should reduce my pool of potential suiters by only accepting someone Jewish.

After all this inner turmoil, I decided to finally finish the book I've been reading - The Magic Touch by Gila Manolson. I bought this book several months ago to try to understand the concept of shomer negiah, or abstaining from touch with the opposite sex. It always seemed pretty extreme and crazy to me, but this book made it all make so much sense, and I suggest everyone read it. I'm not sure I could make that commitment, especially in the society I live in today, but it is a wonderful and extremely smart idea. I've always believed in taking it slow in a relationship, and even feel that kissing someone is a very serious thing. In one of my very first blog posts, I discussed how I always felt out of place among a generation of people taking physical affection and sex very lightly, and how the idea of bashert, soul mates, connected me to a solid idea that was always there, but I never knew existed. This is sort of how I felt while reading The Magic Touch. Being shomer negiah makes finding your soul mate much less confusing. It takes away the complicated physical aspect of a relationship and almost forces you to really get to know your partner. It allows for a deeper and more real connection than would be possible when physicality gets in the way. The author explained that even a pat on the back or holding someone's hand causes you to feel something, make a judgement, which would cloud the real, true connection between two people. Touch is a powerful thing, and while it is wonderful and special, it could be misleading and hurtful in the long run if it's not with the right person. Plus abstaining from touch makes even a hug with your husband or wife that much more amazing and special when it happens. In theory, this all makes so much sense to me, but being the affectionate person I am, I just don't think I'm willing to give up holding hands or great, big hugs with a friend of the opposite sex or a future boyfriend, even if they might cloud my judgement and hurt my feelings after the moment is over.

I could go on and on about this for days, but overall I no longer think it's a completely absurd idea. Even though it is a fairly extreme life choice, it does make a lot of sense. And I think there could be other levels, or shades, of the idea that might be more practical in today's society in America. I mean, who wouldn't want to have a happier and healthier romantic life in the long run? Who wouldn't want to find a real, deep connection with someone? I know I would. And while I don't quite know how this idea of shomer negiah will fit in to my life, its basic principles will definitely be in my mind if and when I find someone I want to date. For now, I'm on the look-out. Know any smart, cute, single, Jewish guys looking for a smart, cute, single, Jewish girl?


Jacob Da Jew said...

Glad to have you back.

"It takes away the complicated physical aspect of a relationship and almost forces you to really get to know your partner."

Curlee, you've nailed it with that sentence.

I've had my good times, roadtripping, partying etc.

When that scene got tired for me, oh about age 21 or so, I did the "shomer negiah" thing for a few years and then started dating.

Quite right, one must look past the physical and actually get to know the person inside, an excellent idea when dating for marriage. Sex is great but lets face it, that only occupies a fraction of time spent with the spouse. Perhaps if people began to look past the physical, things might look up for the dating scene.

I too am an affectnate person. I love touching and holding hands and once again, the fact we keep the laws of purity makes holding hands when permitted more meaningful.

Good luck with the dating. G-d Bless.

curleegirlee said...

Thanks for your comment JDJ. As I was telling a friend of mine about the book and the concept, he said something very interesting that sort of made the case even stronger for shomer negiah - something scientifically based. He said the "limbic system says 'this good, I want more' and as it turns out the limbic system usually takes precedence over the what you think, morally believe even, gets overwritten by biologically relevant drives."

Makes sense...makes a lot of sense.

Rabz said...


I was googling myself this morning, checking to see if the photos of my homecoming shotgun made it to the internet, and I saw your post about your birthright trip.

I also read your most recent post, where you are considering dating non Jewish.

I don't think it was an accident that I fell upon this post. While non Jewish spiritual people may be nice, and perfectly suited for each other, they are not your other half.

Contact me, either on facebook, or at and we will see what we can come up with. I know a lot of people.

All the best and thanks for those beautiful words about Tzfat. I shared them with Roni.

Rabbi Eliezer Sneiderman