No, Thanks

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Someone I know from temple just tried to fix me up. We have known
one another in adult ed classes and Torah study. I like her in a polite
kind of way. But we are not particularly close friends, and she has
never been to my home socially. I have expressed some opinions
about books or movies in context, but never given her any reason to
think I wanted her to get involved in my personal life. The reality is
that I am a perfectly happy lesbian and she is trying to get me to date
her nephew. He seems like a nice guy but at my advanced age I am
unlike to cross back over the line, I have kept my private life away
from the synagogue, not because I am otherwise closeted but because
I prefer to keep my spirituality separate from my social life. How can I
politely decline her helpfulness?

No, Thanks

Dear No, Thanks:

You’re headed in exactly the right direction: a polite and appreciative
refusal. Tell her very simply that you don’t intermingle your social and
spiritual lives but that you are happily involved in a non-live- in
relationship. You don’t wear a ring because you are not legally married
but you are also not interested in dating anyone else at this time. If
you are you will happily let her know. In the meantime you appreciate
that she’s trying to find a good woman for her nephew and you will
inventory your single friends to see if any of them might be interested.
Ask what he’s like and what qualities he’s looking for. Then you can
decide if you want to ask your straight single friends, many of whom
might want to meet a nice Jewish boy, or just report back that they’re
off the market too.

Many people do not wish to be out in every aspect of their lives. That’s
a fair position to take. But unless more gays and lesbians become
more visible in more sectors of the broader social context, people will
not realize how many of them they actually know, like, respect, and
accept as neighbors, friends, colleagues, and adult ed classmates. You
certainly have the right to decide to whom and how you want to
disclose your private life, but given the rapid and positive changes our
society is going through, you may find yourself a throwback as
progress continues.