Q: Hi Meredith and Love Letters,
The back story: I'm in my early-mid 20s. This spring I went on a couple dates with a man a few years my senior (nothing crazy -- only about 5 years). We hit it off well and I thought we had potential. Then, after our first kiss, I get an e-mail from him saying we should just be friends because he isn't "feeling it." OK, that's fine since I'd rather be friends with him than nothing at all. My feelings, while still there, were suppressed while we continued to hang out on a friendly basis. And as expected, we always had a lot of fun but I never tried to push anything further. He's a good friend to have.
I was out with Guy and his friends on a recent holiday weekend. There was drinking but Guy and I didn't get anything beyond buzzed as we had early morning plans together the following day. We left together. As we were saying goodbye at our departure point, he kissed my cheek and then kissed me. I kissed back, and it was leaps and bounds better than our first (and only other) kiss. Of course I was confused at that point. So we talk, and he tells me that he lied in his e-mail. He really likes me, but he wants Jewish kids, and since I'm not Jewish, that's impossible with me. He point blank said that if we dated, it wouldn't go anywhere, so dating is not an option. I appreciate his honesty, but still!
I'd never felt more crushed. He knew going into our first date that I wasn't Jewish. He mentioned he went out with me with no expectations and then found himself with a girl he really liked. And I found myself with a guy I really like. And we get along so wonderfully. We kept our plans the following day and it was as though nothing had happened a few hours earlier. Which was great because I really don't want to lose our friendship.
A few weekends after that second kiss, we ended up drinking a bit, made out the entire walk home (yes, out that late), and then spent the rest of the night/morning together. We were both willing and completely happy participants in the night's activities, but nothing was spoken of it in the morning.
I know that what "we" are needs to be defined at this point. I am just not sure how to go about it. Can I get him to give me a chance? I am still not Jewish, but we both know how much potential our relationship would have. I could live with just being friends; I just want to know that the option has been exhausted (without looking desperate).
– I'm not Jewish, Boston
A: INJ, do you want to raise your kids Jewish? Do you care? Can you picture yourself in a long-term relationship with someone who prioritizes religion? These are the questions you should be asking yourself before you start trying to convince this guy to give you a real chance. He's warning you that in the future, he's going to be someone who lives life a certain way. I fear that you haven't given that enough consideration and that you're more concerned with wanting what he is in the present.
If you're truly open-minded about all of this and you like him enough to consider raising kids with him on his terms, all you can do is tell him that. You don't have to propose or tell him that you're on track to convert, but you can tell him that you're open to all possibilities. He'll either give in to his desires or tell you that he just can't bend the rules. And that's OK.
I know you like him, but if he doesn't want to consider you as a real romantic option, please don't force yourself to be his close friend. Take some time off from him. You seem too willing to be whatever he wants you to be (his hook-up, his platonic friend, a mother to his Jewish children). Please take care of yourself.
Readers? What's going on here? Why does he continue to make out with her if she's not Jewish? Has she considered her own wants for the future? Anyone want to share dating/religion stories? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.