January 30, 2023

Jewish Matchmaker Journal: Should Sex be a Make-or-Break?

As a Jewish matchmaker, I’ve been mulling this question over in my mind for at least a couple of years now. I’ve even posted about it in my FB Jewish singles group. It was seeing a similar post on another singles group, however, that prompted me to focus this month’s blog article on the question, should sex be a make-or-break?

Those of you in your “child bearing” years who still have the anticipation of family and parenthood ahead of you should be laughing this off; you’re not my target audience for this article. Anyone in their sexual prime with that raging cocktail of hormones that biology releases to keep our species alive is not my target audience. Please - enjoy the roller coaster ride of sexual desire that we humans ride for a few decades plus and try not to let those desires derail any good relationships that you find yourself in.

This blog is for those those who are approaching the “golden” years - or hovering nearby. Those who are experiencing the natural lessening of the sexual drive due to hormonal changes that come with aging, or other reasons. Likely you’ve already sown your “wild oats”, or perhaps have had a long term relationship or marriage that you are no longer part of (for whatever reason), or have had a number of relationships throughout your life and now find yourself on your own and not connecting romantically with anyone. Certainly there are those in their 50’s, 60’s, and older who still have a very strong sex drive - but many of us find that it tapers off once we are past the aforementioned child bearing years. For those who find themselves in this demographic, living alone yet prefer companionship, should sex be a make-or-break?

Personally, I don’t think so. I feel that a bit too much emphasis is placed on sexual chemistry and instant fireworks and too little emphasis is placed on shared interests and genuine compatibility. This is true for every age group, but it makes more sense when we’re young and seeking to build a family. The fact that many marry based on physical attraction and not genuine compatibility is reflected in the high divorce rate, but I get it. Sexual attraction and drive is a pretty strong force to fight. But at some point, maturity should soften our focus and broaden the criteria that we use in determining who we partner up with.

Have you ever met someone with whom you had a lot in common and really enjoyed their company but you just didn’t feel sexually attracted to? And because you didn’t feel sexually attracted, nothing ever became of the relationship? He or she might be an amazing person that you really get along with, someone who shares your sense of humor and keeps you laughing, or someone you have incredible respect and admiration for, but because you don’t feel sexually attracted, you either move on or put them in the friend zone. This makes sense when you want to build a family, but when you hit your 50’s, 60’s and beyond - and you find yourself alone - should sexual attraction still rank so high in the equation? Do you think you could be happy with someone you find attractive in every way except sexually?

In other words, could you be happy with a “companion”? Could you be happy with a partner that you share your life with, but not your body? Someone to travel with, dine with, dance with, laugh with, confide in, cared for, be cared by? Someone who you grow close to, perhaps even love on a very deep level - but you don’t have sex with? Or maybe you do have sex, but it’s not the focus or the priority of the relationship.

A quick internet search returns many online dating sites that are specifically geared toward singles who, for whatever reason, seek a partner where sex is not the focus. It could be that the majority have physical issues that affect sexual performance, but others may simply not be interested. For these singles, sex is definitely not a make-or-break. Well, maybe it is - but in an inverse way. ;-)

I haven’t yet seen such a site for Jewish singles, but if sex and children are not on the table, many singles are not that concerned about religious affiliation. Is this a far-fetched idea? I don’t think so. I think that many older singles would prefer having a loving and caring “companion” as opposed to living life alone, and it’s a topic that I’d like to see discussed more openly in singles groups and in everyday conversation. As a Jewish matchmaker, I want to see Jewish singles coupled up and living happy, fulfilling lives. I feel the pain of those who desperately want a partner but are not finding that romantic connection which is the match strike to the flame of togetherness. If we feel free to openly discuss the importance and viability of companionship without sex, we could see more happy couples and fewer lonely singles. <3

What do you think? Could you be satisfied with a non-sexual companionship that was fulfilling on many other levels? Let me know!