Monday, October 20, 2014 Tishri 26, 5775

Miriam Steinberg-Egeth

Jewish Exponent Blogger

Dear Miriam,

Recently, the web comic XKCD addressed the question, "What if everyone had only one soul mate, a random person somewhere in the world?"  XKCD's response was not optimistic -- in particular, a graph of "found soul mate" versus "alone forever" is disturbing.  Do you have a different take?  Is there any way around the pessimistic conclusion that it is unlikely that most people will actually find their soul mates?

Signed,
Beshert? Be...

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Dear Miriam,

When should you say no to a second date even if the first one was good?

Signed,
Second Chance?

Dear Chance,

It's rare to hear of someone looking for an excuse to turn down a second date after a good first date, but since you asked the question, I'm going to assume there's a reason you think you shouldn't be seeing this person and you're looking for some validation about following your gut. So let's start...

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Dear Miriam,

I want to have a kosher kitchen, but I don't know if this is the best option for me. One major issue is that my culturally Jewish boyfriend grew up with a non-kosher kitchen and is intent on keeping all things religious at bay. He already agreed to have separate pots, pans, dishes and cutlery for meat and dairy, but things are a bit more ambiguous in terms of other utensils. Even under our current system, he mixes up the pans and cutlery all the time. Also, all the meat things are his, since I am "Jewish vegetarian" and eat only dairy, pareve and fish. We've had this...

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Dear Miriam,
If you go on one or two dates and you know you are not interested, how do you let them know? Ignoring? Texting? Calling? What?!?

Sincerely,

Rejecting Reasonably

Dear Rejecting,
Over the course of your dating lifetime, it's likely that you'll either be on the giving or receiving end of all of these unfortunate ways of ending a relationship before it's even gotten started. Really, there is no great way to tell someone you're not interested. Don't even think of saying, "It's not you, it's me." Sex and the City taught us that you better...

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Dear Miriam,
I'm living with a roommate, who I love, but the problem is her STUFF. It's everywhere, and there's a ton of it! I don't want to use the word hoarder, but we're getting there. How do I approach her gently, before we both get buried?

Signed,
Writing from Under a Pile of Clothes

Dear Pile,

The relationship with a roommate is a delicate one. Similar to how good fences make good neighbors, I'd say that good door-closing habits make good roommates.

If you want to approach her because you're worried about her well-being, you're...

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Profile

I am extremely proud to be a part of making the Philadelphia Jewish community the best it can be.

I am a co-founder of Minyan Tikvah (a lay-led prayer group in Center City Philadelphia that meets once a month for traditional egalitarian Shabbat services), a founder of a former matchmaking service for Jewish graduate students, a children’s book reviewer, a former elementary school teacher, a pretty decent cook and a mom to two beautiful children.

I spent years as the director of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Jewish Graduate Student Network before resigning to spend more time with my family. My husband, Marc, likes to say that I knew more people within a week of moving to Philadelphia than he knew after six years here.

I’m originally from the tiny town of Fredonia, NY, and sometimes I still stare at the skyscrapers and marvel at how many Jews I know.

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