By Ellen Baskin Being Jewish in America means different things to different people in different places.
Jewishness is often felt as an identification with an ethnic and cultural group as much as with a religious faith.
Then add to the mix the difference between growing up Jewish in a big city like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles and being raised in a small town.
Urbanites can take for granted the 24/7 availability of Jewish food, theater, educational and cultural organizations and houses of worship.
I was happy people still thought of me but it was actually pretty tiresome and exhausting.
I needed to just keep going, and while I might be a bit down or need a short break, there was no choice but to get back into the race. Have “turnkey” date plans ready I had way too much going on my life to constantly think of amazing new dates all the time.Small towners may feel the unique bond that exists in a tight-knit, minority community. Varying perceptions by non-Jews and a wide range of self-definition by Jews.These factors raise issues in every facet of Jewish life, including dating.Make no assumptions about one another’s ideas of how a relationship should move forward. So talk about your childhoods as you contemplate a future together.Just because you met in a Jewish-specific setting doesn’t guarantee that you’ll each organically understand where the other person is coming from. Chemistry is important, but character is essential.I learned a lot along the journey to the chuppah and have observed what many singles seem to be doing right… In the interest of helping others cut down on the wear and tear of being single, here are some pieces of advice for older single guys (and probably many younger guys as well): 1. When I found out the “bad news” I would feel as if I’d been kicked in the stomach. I’d tell him what was going on and unload the full weight of my being single. He’d listen carefully and be sympathetic, but then (and I kid you not) he’d sing me lyrics from Frank Sinatra's That's Life: “I pick myself up and get back in the race.” He did this every time.