So, one of my readers sent me this link because the writer is very much like me. Although, I think I'm much more flexible than this Rachel. I also wouldn't be asking these women for advice because I know what FFBs wanting to sound nice say to converts about dating. I also know what they REALLY think about us. Anyhow, my responses are below. Who knows if my comments make it onto the site.
Ugh! Some of these comments are so condescending. Where do I start? #2, "find a convert" Translation: "get your hands off OUR men, you are NOT a real Jew, no matter what your papers say." That's right, we know what you people mean when you say that. Of course, Abbey went ahead and said it.
#10-Mark, NO KIDDING! The FFBs are dating at 18 and considered too old at 21, 22... how can 34 be too old?
"spend money to look really nice" Are you serious? That only matters if she's getting decent suggestions with whom she can't get a second date.
#17-Cory, men want younger women. Men in their mid 20s are looking for 18.
#20- Mrs. Epstein, Rachel, do**NOT** go to Anna Aronovitch. ****NOT***** NOT*****
Several people suggested that she try to make friends with Jewish women both married and single. I found THAT pretty much impossible. Born Jews will put a wall up against being friends with converts.
Rosie and Sherry, "take a dating vacation" of 6 to 8 weeks? Hahahaha, I haven't been on a date since May. I've had ONE suggestion since then. He tried to talk dirty to me on the phone the first time I spoke to him. Oh and I love the way FFB women think we can't make Jewish food. I was baking challah with women while I was in the process and they were like, "you bake challah like you've been doing it your whole life." Cooking Jewish food is seriously not that different from cooking traif. LOL!!!! Mentor? No one wants to be a mentor to converts and BTs. Everyone is clamouring to "do kiruv." However, if you tell them, invite people over and be nice to them, they get nasty and explain they want visibility.
Now, speaking directly to Rachel, (unedited)
I'm in basically the same situation, except my parents are dead, not in another country. I'm 35. I am willing to date men 10 years older. However, 40 to 45 year old men won't consider a 35 year old with blond hair, blue eyes that can pass for 17.
My rabbi wanted me to go to this dating coach. She told me to wear tight short skirts and too much make up. If you look at the women who are married, including two converts I know who married dafka after they converted, they are the women as such. Men are attracted to shallow women. I don't know why. However, I've discovered this. Of course, they complain about all the shallow qualities of these women. Nevertheless, look around you. You will see who gets a man and who doesn't.
Honestly, I don't think anyone can give any answer you want to hear. You state, " I am looking for a man who has kindness, patience, warmth, and an integrated life of Judaism and career. I also prefer a man who has not married previously and does not have children." You ask, "Should I be willing to date someone who doesn’t have all the qualities I am looking for? Should I hang on to my ideal checklist? Or should I take a bit of a break to sort things out? "
Your "ideal" checklist is a tall order. You have to weigh how much you want X, Y and Z in a spouse against how much you want to get married. My bare minimum requirements are much more bare than yours and I SITLL can't even find first dates. I am on Frumster. I've tried SYAS and the shadchans wouldn't even work with me. I am not shallow and I won't become shallow to get married. That's what the men want. I want to be me more than I want to get married. It is what it is and this is where I am and likely will remain.
The verdict for me has been to accept that I won't get married. I have my non-Jewish friends for friendship. Unfortunately, on the rare occasion that I start to become friends with Jewish women, their husbands step in and push me out. I am back in college finishing my bachelor's that I never finished, so I live with my nose glued inside the books. As such, I don't have time to be lonely.