I’m a nice Jewish girl, but I lost my religious compass during my divorce. I knew I needed to rekindle my relationship with G-d before I could spark something new with a man. After three months of secular dating, I needed a break or a Jew. I was willing to take either.
One by one, I went on my dating apps and paused them. As I was about to pause Facebook Dating, I got a match. I was skeptical. Should I even look? I did, and there he was, handsome, Jewish, divorced; he seemed to check off the boxes.
I took the bait.
From the beginning, I knew things would be complicated. I had to entice him to meet in person. I drove to make it easier, and he called me a few minutes before our meeting time to say he was too tired to drive 40 minutes to see me. I had shared my location with him an hour before. I was 15 minutes away from his house. While he was canceling on me, I explained, and he quickly changed his mind.
He showed up at Urth Caffé 20 minutes later. Aside from him beginning our conversation with, “I wasn’t wanting a divorce,” the biggest red flag was hearing him say, “I find you deeply troublesome. On the one hand, you check off a lot of boxes; on the other hand, I just ended something recently and I’m not sure I’m ready.”
I took the gamble. That night, I made out with him in all the dark corners. We sat on a city bench and I let him unleash his passion on me. He was adamant about me saying the word f—. He grabbed me tightly by the hair and almost demanded I say it. I didn’t. It felt weird. I only use the word during sex and usually in context. I liked the kink, though, so I played along. He asked if I would drink a little too much with him. I said yes, but the answer was no. He had a bit of a dark side. However, I was sold when he said he would tie me up and have his way with me.
I left feeling elated, high on the new connection and the fantasy. If only there had been fewer red flags.
Our second date was at Riverside Food Lab. He bought me an Impossible Burger at Monty’s, and we shared an order of fries. We tried to go for a short walk, but it was so cold outside that we gave up immediately. I suggested we hang out at my apartment. We sat on my couch, and he held me close as our feet gently caressed each other’s. I had this feeling of peace inside my heart as I saw him close his eyes and enjoy the moment.
It had never been my intention to bring him home. I was trying not to rush into sex, but the weather had other plans. It wasn’t long before we were wrapped in passion, and he carried my naked body into the bedroom. I can’t believe I had sex with a rabbi.
On our next date, he held me while we played pinball. Again, he closed his eyes and enjoyed the moment; it felt sweet. We had dinner, but he forgot I was vegetarian. Then he asked me if I would ever consider eating meat, at least occasionally. I didn’t order a drink, and he pressured me to order one so he wouldn’t drink alone. The red flags were piling up.
After dinner, we went to his house, and I forgot about the red flags. I loved his home. It felt nice. We had a passionate evening, and he was a generous lover. He was a little drunk, and after we finished, he stepped outside to smoke. Was I that troublesome?
The fourth date didn’t happen. He told me he was in a bad place and needed to be alone. I accepted it and began my own break. I rekindled my relationship with G-d, and after three months, I decided to try the dating thing again. I opened my apps one by one. Every single app brought up his profile. Was G-d telling me to try again? I wasn’t sure.
Despite my better judgment, I reached out. I accidentally scheduled a booty call. Maybe it was my naive, positive outlook, but I really wanted it to be more than that. And it wasn’t.
I met him on a Friday night. I almost hit a peacock on my way there. He made me dinner. We had a passionate evening that extended into the early hours of the morning. I slept in his arms, and eventually, we parted ways.
Before I left, I looked out his bedroom window and noticed the bright yellow flowers in his yard. “They are still alive,” I said. I had met him in April right as they were beginning to blossom. He looked at me and said the squirrels had ruined his seed harvest. He was angry at the squirrels. I could feel it. It took all my willpower not to say, “You may hate the squirrels for eating your seeds, but I bet they love you for planting those flowers.”
In the end, we had very different ways of looking at the world.
He didn’t say a word after I left. No texts, calls or any hint of desire to reengage. Ultimately, it was for the best that it ended. He had more healing to do. It was a short romance, a gust of wind that brought about some necessary upheaval in my life. Despite our unfortunate ending, I am grateful to have met him.
The author is a divorce and romance blogger who lives in Riverside. You can find her at jackelins4amflex.com.
L.A. Affairs chronicles the search for romantic love in all its glorious expressions in the L.A. area, and we want to hear your true story. We pay $300 for a published essay. Email LAAffairs@latimes.com. You can find submission guidelines here. You can find past columns here.