Judy and David’s Story
In case you’re not familiar with the word, “frum,” this is not a typo. Frum is a term that refers to Jewish people who conduct themselves according to Judaism’s teachings.
Judy and David met online via Frumster.com, a site for people committed to living an observant Jewish lifestyle. They are generous in sharing their story, because they hope it will may inspire marriage-minded singles.
You don’t need to be a practicing Jewish person, or even Jewish, to gain ideas from their example for progressing from single-to-married. There are many ways to meet a potential partner, in person or online, and you are likely to find internet dating sites that fit your lifestyle and values, should you choose to explore that option.
Below, in their own words, Judy and David describe how they met, dated, and prepared for marriage.
|Judy: Yes, it CAN happen. About one year ago, I noticed a man from Michigan checking out my profile (formerly Ayn Ode Milvado, a.k.a. AOM) on Frumster. I quickly reviewed his profile and noticed that he seemed very spiritual – definitely a trait that was on my wishlist, he loves entertaining, he is a family man, but what really attracted me was his photo–the twinkle in his eye and the dishtowel in his hands. I love cooking, and he washes dishes. Could there be a better combo? So I wrote to him. The subject head was: A Man Who Does Dishes?David: Don’t ALL guys do dishes? I was checking out who was on Frumster right that minute and one woman caught my eye. I checked out her profile and she sounded interesting but she was far away in New York. Just then I got a note from her – and I realized she might be interested in me.
Judy: We spoke on and off for a while by email and on the phone, but both of us were dating people closer to home, and had other things going on. When he wanted to just ‘be friends,” I told him no thanks, I already had plenty of friends and I was on Frumster for Tachlis. I had a targeted approach to dating. In the five years I had been divorced, I’d had other relationships and didn’t want to waste time with another dead-end prospect.
David and I didn’t speak for a month or two.
David: I was dating a local woman and when she told me she was dating several others, I realized this probably wasn’t going anywhere. I went back on Frumster and I remembered some very friendly conversations with Judy–the things we had in common, like being disc jockeys in college.
Judy: Shortly before the three weeks he contacted me again and asked if I was seeing anyone.I had just broken up with someone, and was “available.” So was he.
He said he was ready to date me for tachlis and asked if he could come in to NY to meet. The Shabbat was Shabbat Nachamu and I had a choice of either going to one of the biggest singles’ Shabbatons of the year or meeting David. I decided to put my money on David. I picked him up at the airport and deposited him by a friend. I hosted all the meals that Shabbat. My friends and family, including my eldest son and his wife and baby were there.
Since David is a pediatrician, they loved the free medical advice. It was nice to have a “second opinion” on David – all thought he was terrific. Motzai Shabbat we went on a date—finally alone together—and we asked and answered the kind of questions one would generally ask on a shidduch interview first date. I was honest and pointed and confronted him about some of the things that concerned me. I liked his answers and thought there was potential. I drove him to the airport on Sunday afternoon and he didn’t indicate whether or not he would call me again. I hoped that he would.
David: That first date was quite a doozy. Here I am meeting this nice woman for the first time. We had a fabulous Shabbos with the best food I ever had and I met her wonderful loving family. On Motzai Shabbos we were at a romantic outdoor garden on the banks of the Hudson River, sipping drinks, and Judy mentioned that she knew someone I had dated in the past and had some questions. I answered her questions, but it was intense. I was surprised at what a small world it is and that everybody seems to know each other. After we settled those issues we had a wonderful time and I was really looking forward to getting to know Judy better.
Judy: A few days later, just as I’d given up hope, he called. We had a nice conversation and he said he’d like to come back to NY again. He made another date quickly and, a few weeks later, I set him up to stay at another friend’s home for Shabbat.
This time we got together with his daughter who was in town on Sunday. My younger son came along. We went to a museum together and the four of us had fun trying to find a bathroom amid all the exhibits. Before he left he asked me if I would come to Ann Arbor to visit him. I told him I’d love to. At that point I wiped my profile off of Frumster. I had high hopes and was willing to speculate that David was the real deal—everything I’d been looking for. Frumster had done its job.
David: I was very excited about having a second date with a very attractive, warm and interesting woman, who let me know that she was interested in getting to know me as well. Judy had introduced me to her children the first time we met, so I combined a college tour scouting trip with my daughter with a visit to Judy. The relationship was growing, so it was natural to invite her to visit my community.
Judy: He paid for my passage to spend an amazing weekend in Ann Arbor over Labor Day. I looked around and said, “I could live here.” I’d been on other long distance dates but this was the first place I visited where I really felt comfortable. The Hashkafa is similar to my neighborhood. I spent Shabbat at his friends’ home and got to know them – and ask more about him. I met his Rabbis. I loved what I saw, what I heard about him, and I enjoyed the community and the shuls, and even though it is very different from NY in terms of access to kosher restaurants and Jewish things, I was able to imagine myself living there. And I got to see other aspects of David – his outdoorseyness, his domestic abilities (yes, he really DOES do dishes!). We agreed to continue evaluating our relationship without touching – which was challenging because he is a very, very attractive man. He took me for a long romantic ride in the moonlight on his boat and we shared a bottle of wine. I loved what I saw.
David: I had a really good time showing Judy the hospitality of the Ann Arbor community. I invited some friends for a barbecue and boat ride and Judy completely took over the kitchen and cooked up a storm. She made a lavish feast for all my friends. Luckily we used paper plates (no dishes to wash!). Judy made it clear about observing the boundaries of tzniut and that made a lot of sense in trying to get to know someone without the pressure and confusion that accompanies secular-like dating. I was looking forward to our next date.
Judy: The relationship progressed through the chagim. He came to me for Simchat Torah, met more of my friends. I came to him for Shabbat and cooked for some of his friends at his apartment. It was getting harder and harder to say goodbye to him – even though we each have three children and very full lives. We continued to visit each other when our schedules permitted. We were careful to avoid Yichud situations. He visited me on Chanukah. On New Year’s we brought his children in to meet mine. The kids bonded surprisingly well. We all had a wonderful time. I loved watching David in different situations – learning how he handles challenges, what made him happy, what made him upset and how he expressed himself.
Watching him gave me a clear perspective on who he really was. And the more I saw, the more I loved. His sincerity and commitment to Yiddishkeit was enthralling. Our Hashkafa was quite similar. I loved learning with him, talking to him, listening to him. He is a very smart, yet unassuming man. And he was STILL doing dishes—and I cooked! In February, David asked me to go with him to St. Thomas to meet his mother. I agreed to join him.
David: On our trip to NY over New Year’s all the kids got to meet each other and everyone seemed to get along well. I realized that Judy & I weren’t the only ones that had to get along to make our relationship work. The relationship was getting serious because we had explored all the important aspects of dating with marriage in mind including Hashkafa, communication, chemistry, attitudes towards money and family. I just liked being with her, spending time with her, and getting to know her. It was time to introduce her to the rest of the family.
Judy: I visited his mother and it was a beautiful trip. We had some discussions and decided to think seriously about where the relationship was headed. Two weeks later, around the first of Adar, David called me and asked me to marry him. My response was, “of course.” I knew that the relocation would be challenging and that keeping all our children happy might be tough, but I know that what we have is so real that we can navigate things together.
Wen Lag BaOmer – May 2, 2010 and I still can’t believe that it’s real. I am so grateful to Frumster for putting me together with the most wonderful man in the world and I wish this level of happiness and complete joy to every man and woman on Frumster.
David: I’d love to write more but it’s Motzai Shabbos and there are still dishes to be done. I’m so thankful to Frumster for introducing me to the most wonderful woman in the world.