z3By Goldy Krantz Gruber – December 19th, 2013

Many know me as Goldy Krantz, the funny satirical writer of dates gone bad/awry. That’s true. But I was still Goldy Krantz, the 33-year-old woman who had been in the shidduch parashah for more than a decade. I went out with countless young and older men who I hoped would become “Mr. Krantz.” But that was never the case.

So I turned my true dating experiences into a book, which I hoped would get everyone in the shidduch parashah to laugh instead of moping about the situation they were in. Thankfully, many did laugh after purchasing my book, Best of My Worst (which is no longer for sale). Many e-mailed me and came out to speaking engagements where I was the guest speaker. I can fill another five books with everyone’s experiences!

Baruch Hashem, I became a kallah and have wed, but just because I am newly married doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten what I and thousands of others went through, or are currently going through. I still have very close friends and cousins in the shidduch parashah. One of the important tafkids I have now is trying to match them up with appropriate shidduchim–not just pairing up a male and a female, because I remember how that feels.

What I offer now is not a good laugh or another dating “horror” story, but some advice. Take it or don’t take it, the choice is yours. But I would be remiss if I don’t pass it on because, as family and people in shul have pointed out to me, “You gave me strength before and you give me hope now.” I don’t think what I have to say is brilliant–to me, it was common sechel (sense)–but I have a yearning and maybe even an obligation to the rest of the Yidden in the shidduch parashah to share with you what happened to me in order for me to stand under the chupah with my chassan, Yeshaya Yehuda.

Very simply put: I threw away my list of prerequisites. I was looking for a working professional, someone with a wonderful sense of humor and an outgoing personality, someone a bit older than I was, someone who had a chavrusa a few times a night . . . I dated fellows who were missing one or two of the prerequisites, but I basically stuck to my list. If I had never compromised, I would still be dating.

I met my husband through work, and we became very casual friends. Yes, it is true–we did attend the same Shabbaton together, but it took my husband a year and a half to ask me out after that Shabbaton. The first date wasn’t a great one and I decided that we should “stay friends.” After that date, my sister became sick and recovered, but I was out of the shidduch parashah for almost a year while helping my family. When I began dating again, there my friend Yeshaya Yehuda was. We started dating very slowly; a dinner here, a movie there . . . And before I knew it, I felt very comfortable with him, and my list went out the window.

My husband works hard at his job, but is not the doctor or lawyer type that I’d always dated. He is a bit on the quiet side, not as outgoing as my list demanded. He smokes. I never wanted a smoker! But I don’t really mind it now. He doesn’t have a regular chavrusa, but learns when he is able to. To top it off, while my husband no longer wears the chassidish l’vush, he is from a chassidish family, with many siblings, and his brothers and father wear bekishes and shtreimels. Goldy Krantz is part of a chassidish family! My friends and family couldn’t get over how well the shtreimels, black hats, and kippah serugas blended at my chassunah.

Had I not known my husband from work, I never ever would have dated him. A smoker without a regular chavrusa, who is two years younger than me, from a chassidish family! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I am two years older than my husband. But I got to know my husband, and I genuinely like the person he is. He cares for me and puts me first and I can tell from all of his actions that he is a good person. Isn’t that what counts in the long run–that the person that you marry is a good person and will put family first?

Forget about what color the Shabbos tablecloth is, or which seminary the girl graduated from (c’mon, she is 26 and went to seminary seven years ago!) Forget the fact that the girl is a bit older–does that really matter when the baby cries at 2:00 a.m.? “Honey you are older, go get the baby.” Let these sh’tusim (nonsensical things) go! Concentrate on one question: “How badly do I want to get married?” You may just open your eyes and mind to many possibilities that you passed by in the past.

Do I guarantee my advice? Will I give money back if it doesn’t work? No! But as the old adage goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” If you date the younger smoker from the chassidish family and don’t end up marrying him or her, then at least you can say that you tried it.

I gave my husband a chance and look where it got me–it got me married. Throw out your lists! You are not dating lists! You are dating people with feelings, experiences, opinions, and so on. If you want to marry a specific type, fine, but no one is going to fit your cookie-cutter mold. I just hope time doesn’t pass by until you learn this lesson the hard way–like I almost did. v

Goldy Krantz Gruber is a licensed MSW. She is the author of The Best of My Worst and has had several articles published on the topic of shidduch dating.

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