By Tamar Caspi Shnall
It’s one thing for your mom to insist on paying for your JDate membership; it’s quite another thing when your mom creates her own JDate account to pick out eligible men on your behalf. True story: My mom actually used to log on to JDate, find men she thought were appropriate for me, write down their screen names and then hand me the list. Curiosity ultimately would get the best of me and I would then log on to see who my mom thought was right for me. One after another I typed in screen names and one after another I was supremely disappointed. My mom got it all wrong: She picked guys who had been on JDate for years, guys who preyed on every girl at YAD events and guys who just simply weren’t my type.
This isn’t an uncommon scenario. Many Jewish mothers are known for their meddling ways. Every Jewish mother thinks her child is the best, the brightest and the most attractive. It’s a good trait that Jewish mothers take advantage of. Jewish mothers are great at promoting their kids, but when they’re trying to set their kids up on dates it can get out of control quickly. So many mothers told me how handsome their son was, how successful, how funny and so on — only for me to meet the guy and find he was anything but.
Back when I was single, every time I spoke to my mom, she asked if I was dating anyone. When I made the mistake of divulging the information, I instantly regretted it. Suddenly I was bombarded with questions, the first of which had remained the same since I began dating at the age of 15: “Is he Jewish?” If it got even slightly serious, she would even go so far as to Google the guy! And after the relationship ended, my mom continued to ask about the guy, forcing me to recount how he dissed me or was such a dud I had to cut him loose.
If I told my mom I had a date, she’d call the next day to ask how it went. She asked me for information I didn’t even supply to my closest girlfriends. And when I refused to tell her every last detail, she got upset and said I never told her anything.
Telling your mom that she “doesn’t understand because dating is different nowadays” will get you nowhere. But it’s true. Our parents didn’t have JDate, they didn’t have Google and on the average they got married a lot earlier in life than our generation. But our moms have a point too. The differences between men and women haven’t changed since Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit, and the ins and outs of dating remain the same as well.
Jewish mothers do tend to have good instincts because they have only our best interests at heart, but be prepared to have your mother judge your dates in ways you never thought you would have to defend someone. They’re only doing it to protect us and because they love us, but it sure makes it difficult to pretend that your relationship is perfect! The great thing is, when your mother becomes your intended’s mother-in-law, she will treat your spouse like one of her own children, in good times and bad, for better or for worse.
Tamar Caspi Shnall recently married a Dallasite but has 15 years’ worth of dating advice to share! If you have any dating dilemmas you can e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.