Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ah, How Romantic

Some people have their favorite romantic line from a movie or novel.

Don't get me wrong. I have those too.
(Mr. Darcy, anyone?!)

The classic romantic line is usually poetic. Or it gives off the vibe of: baby, I love you. I'll do anything for you. I'll be here for you forever. And ever. I can't live without you. You inspire me. You complete me. I neeeeeed you.

You know, stuff like that.

Well, I've always been a hopeful (and sometimes...hopeless) romantic.

I'm not waiting for my date to start rattling off poetry to me or to take me for a long walk on the beach and inform me how my lovely eyes sparkle and glisten by the moonlight.

Reality is often more romantic than fiction. Why? Because reality is tangible. It leaves room for possibilties, while fiction shuts out the possibilities. A lot of people initially think it's the other way around, but no. It's not.

I've only really noticed this recently...

my engaged friend shared with me something that has now become the most romantic moment I've ever heard of.

This friend went through a lot of adversity in life and has worked incredibly hard to reach the point where she is. Without getting into too much detail, I'd say her challenging situations are not the typical challenges that a young frum girl in her early 20s has experienced.
She has worked tremendously on her middot and religious observance (that includes chessed, modesty, etc.), and she is one of the most amazing people I know.

While she was dating her husband-to-be, she knew that she had to open up and share her difficulties and life experience with him. She was very nervous because she wasn't sure how he would react or handle the information. But clearly, the information had to be conveyed to him because it's integral. If he wouldn't be understanding, their relationship would have to come to an end.

It was a winter night; dark and chilly outside. They were both sitting in his car, having a deep discussion.
This is your opportunity. You have to tell him.
And so she did.
After she shared her situation with him, she looked down. She was embarrassed; she felt tears forming in her eyes because of the painful experiences she had. She was unsure what he was thinking and nervous about his response. As she stared at the car carpet, she fidgeted around with her hands, locking and unlocking her fingers.
Before he could respond, she quietly said "I need somebody who will appreciate my struggles."

Within seconds, he looked straight at her, and with a tone of sincere disbelief said "you really think you wouldn't?"

She felt a huge sigh of relief. She had found him. Her zivug.

Those 5 words he said to her made all of the difference. He was amazed that she could even doubt that a person as beautiful and strong as herself could ever doubt that she wouldn't find somebody who would appreciate her.

For me, that was the most romantic moment I've ever heard of.
Picture the following:
here's this insecure with her history and difficulties that she has to deal with daily. She's dating for quite some time, praying and hoping for her zivug daily. Thoughts like "will I ever get married? Who will overlook my background? Who in his right mind will want to marry me?" cross her mind.
Finally, she meets a wonderful guy who posesses all of the traits she needs.
But she needs to take the relationship a step further and let him know who she really is.
So, she opens up to this guy whom she admires so much and wants to get married to and build a holy home with. However, she's nervous that she might scare him away. After she musters the strength to open up, and while shyly and insecurely looking down at her feet while almost about to cry, she's sure that he would respond harshly. She imagines the worst-case-scenario.
And then...
He tells her that he is shocked someone as amazing as she would ever dare think that she wouldn't find somebody who is sensitive and appreciative of her life. He's someone who can say "wow, this girl is so incredible. It's BECAUSE of her struggles that she was able to build herself up. It's not that she's incredible DESPITE the struggles. She used her problems as stepping stones...not stumbling blocks."

She found him. He's the perfect guy for her; he sincerely appreciates her.

Advice for all of the single folks: find somebody who appreciates and understands your struggles.
I once read that you know you've met somebody special when you open up and tell them something that you rarely share with anybody, and yet...that person doesn't run away.

Reality is way more beautiful than fantasy.


  1. "Or while we're taking a long walk on the beach, he'll tell me about how my lovely eyes sparkle and glisten by the moonlight."

    Didn't you say that a guy once asked to look at your earrings and you thought it was awkward? This would be so much more awkward than that.

    Otherwise, great post!

  2. I wrote a poem before going on a date and read it to her. She wasn't impressed. Apparently, poems about a soda can on a table isn't so romantic.

  3. Azriel Tzvi - two points:
    1. Complimenting a person on a first date needs to be done with a lot of tact
    2. If he liked my earrings, he should've just said they were nice. Asking me to show them to him is kinda strange.

    Alar - LOL! A poem about soda??

  4. that was beautiful. i totally agree- that is the most romantic moment. thanks for sharing!

  5. Sefardigal,

    That was a very powerful thought-- how reality is more romantic than fiction. But it's so true. I feel like so many of the romances found in secular literature display love as an emotion dependent on appearance and perhaps character. In other words, "love," it seems, is superficial. But in reality, there is so much more to offer. Romance transcends superficiality-- there is genuine least in Judaism. There is connection between souls, which is the greatest connection of them all.

    Just some clarification: What exactly did you mean by "someone who appreciates your struggles?" Nobody chooses his challenges in life. Someone should be admired for his triumph over the struggle- not the struggle itself. No?

    I also think poetry is very romantic. It's away of evading what your really trying to express. But the fact that it is a poem implies that there IS meaning behind each word and the structure, hinting to the reader to figure it out. Its sort of like your hiding behind a mask but giving the other person hints about what is behind it. You know what I mean. That's what I think at least..

    In any case, that was a remarkable post.

  6. Anon - I'm glad you also appreciated it! I was "aww-ing" and turning into complete mush when she told me the story.
    I'm so happy she found someone who truly deserves her.

    Tika4eva - absolutely! A strong connection between two neshamot with a common goal and mutual feelings is simply indescribable.
    I've never been engaged or married, but based on my relationships, and my close friends' connections with their fiances/husbands, I can tell that it's just one of the most incredible feelings because the other person's essence basially becomes your own. (If that makes sense...)
    and that's truly romantic.

    Great point about the struggles. I suppose that the reaction of the person is what should be admired. However, perhaps even the struggles themselves should be admired. It's true that a person doesn't choose his/her struggles, but HaShem chooses them. By giving a person a huge nisayon, He's complimenting the person. It's as if He's saying "I know you have the strength, potential, and knowledge to handle this nisayon and pass it with flying colors."
    Furthermore, any struggle in life makes a person stronger. I'd say any person who has dealt with great adversity and is STILL frum is a strong person. That says a lot about his/her ideals and values.

    What you wrote about poetry is poetic :D
    if my husband wrote me a poem that I totally didn't understand and would have to dissect, and after analyzing, would understand, I think I'd fall head over heels. It's like a secret language.

  7. That was a great story.

    His disbelief that someone as amazing as her wouldn't get everything she needed and more was really perfect - because it wasn't planned, badly-written poetry, mulled over and analyzed; it was his immediate reaction, with no artifice, revealing his deepest thoughts.


    I myself am not a fan of pretty speeches; I happen to not like them. I like action. Someone who truly cares for someone else will do all those small things for them to make their lives a little easier. It's the actions I seek, not the words.

    But this story was great, because in those few words he provided her exactly what she needed.

  8. Princess Lea - EXACTLY! While typing up this post, I was having a difficult time portraying my emotions and thoughts about this story. It was just so moving.

    "His disbelief that someone as amazing as her wouldn't get everything she needed and more was really perfect - because it wasn't planned, badly-written poetry, mulled over and analyzed; it was his immediate reaction, with no artifice, revealing his deepest thoughts."

    Your words are percisely perceptive! :)

  9. Actually, an empty can of soda. Maybe I'll post it on my blog next week.

  10. Alar - a full can of soda is way more romantic :P

  11. If you believe that soda is romantic,
    then it is time for a reality check:

    ***** Five Foods that Kill People *****

    {1} sodas, colas, sweet carbonated beverages
    {2} potato chips and French fries
    {3} candy bars
    {4} sausages and wieners
    {5} fatty meats, especially fried


    Want quick Torah quotes for your Shabbat table?

    Or simply for love of Torah any time?

    To receive quick easy Torah quotes from
    a variety of classic Jewish Torah books,
    please go to:

    Quotes include:
    Babylonian Talmud, Jerusalem Talmud,
    Midrash Tanchuma, Midrash Rabah, Tanna DeBei Eliyahu, Rashi, Rambam, Ramban, Shulchan Aruch, Mishnah Berurah, Pele Yoetz, Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer, Kav HaYashar, Shaarei Teshuvah, Sefer Chasidim, Sefer Charedim, Midrash Mishlei.

    For Jews ONLY! Thank you!

  12. Here is the poem:

  13. What a truly beautiful post.

    I agree. It's the past that makes a person who they are and you need to find the guy who will appreciate who you are because of what you went through! They do exist!!

  14. Alar - the poem is pretty cute/funny, but c'mon, it's not romantic!

    Devorah - 100%! The past is a bracha. We don't realize it, but our niysonot really are the biggest blessings.
    BTW, "guys like this do exist!!!!" was one of my first thoughts when she told me the story. Gave me hope :)

  15. True :) But, I was only told that women liked poems. (Why/How would I be romantic about a women I've never spoken to or met before?)

  16. Great post and story. Your friend is lucky to have found a guy with the depth and maturity to appreciate her. May we all be zoche to that!

  17. Sun Inside Rain - thank you! :)
    "May we all be zoche to that!" AMEN!