I am dating a girl who, it turns out, is “cooler” than my parents had thought she would be based on their research. In truth, I wasn’t looking for someone “cool” either, but we’ve gone out several times and have a good rapport. We have really hit it off and she has a wonderful, kind personality and very good values.
Before this goes any further, I need some advice. I am concerned that if we continue to progress and get engaged, my parents might feel that the girl was not who they expected. I am worried that this might affect the way they view her. Is this a reason to be concerned? Do I end it before we get too far to do so?
The short answer to your questions would be – yes, it is wise to be concerned about how your parents might view your potential wife, especially if you feel she is not what they expected her to be based on their research, but it would be preposterous to break up with a young woman who you are on the path to get engaged to because you think she might be “cooler” than your parents thought she was on paper.
With that said, there are a few points that I think are worth expounding on.
As important as it is for your parents to be accepting and loving of your future spouse, it is you who will be marrying this young woman. Therefore, the most important thing is the way you view and accept her, and her you. Many people come to find that the person they marry is not quite what they were expecting to choose in a spouse. For the simple reason that it is nearly impossible to know in advance the exact personality that will ultimately resonate with what one needs in a spouse. If your parents trust your decisions and are open minded, b’ezras Hashem they will come to see all of the positive aspects of this young woman that you are seeing, and they too will view her as highly as you do. It might take time, but hopefully they will come around to welcoming their new daughter-in-law, b’lev shalem v’sameach.
Additionally, you need to ask yourself why it is that you are even asking this question to begin with. It seems to me there are two likely options:
1. You really do see the potential of this shidduch leading up to the chupah, but you are so worried about your parent’s judgement that you are considering passing up the shidduch in search of someone more in-sync with your parent’s expectations.
2. Perhaps you yourself are not actually all that sure that you see yourself marrying this young woman. As a result, because you are not quite sure how you feel about the shidduch, the concern of your parent’s point of view is becoming an important one. Whereas, if it were clearer to you that this young woman was the one for you, you would not for a moment consider breaking it off because you are concerned that her level of “coolness” might affect your parent’s view of her. Similarly, you may be projecting your concern of how you view her, on to your parents, in order to shift the achrayus of breaking up – off of your shoulders and on to your parent’s.
What I would recommend that you do is take a step back, and with great introspection and self-reflection ascertain what your true feelings are.
If after doing so, you still feel that this might be the shidduch for you, I would advise speaking this over with a trusted Rav or mentor to help you develop the necessary confidence to choose a wife based on your needs and expectations, not anyone else’s. Along with guiding you through what might be the difficult position of your parents not being thrilled with your decision, just yet. I can assure you, you are not the first person to find themselves in such a situation.
However, you might discover that there is something in specific that is drawing you in to this shidduch, while deeper down you are unsure if it is for you, or perhaps you know that overall it is not really for you. In that case, you need to decide on your own if you want to continue seeing where things go, or move on from the shidduch. Not because of how anyone else will view this young woman, but because of how you view her, and whether or not you feel this is someone you can and should be married to.
May Hashem give you the binah to discern your true feelings and the koach to do what is right for you.