Being single is a precarious status, one that can disappear or reappear in a moment.

Many people enjoy the stage of singleness, feeling a sense of freedom and independence that often diminishes in a relationship. Others carry it like a burden, constantly plotting an escape.

Many fall somewhere in the middle by accepting blind dates, trying online dating and attending singles events - attempting a positive attitude while conducting their search for the "right person," willing to settle down, but not willing to settle.

I'd like to think I was somewhere in the middle.

Since October 2001, I've been sharing my experiences of Jewish singles life in Phoenix.

My first column was about the concept of a soul mate, and from there columns touched upon matchmaking, Internet dating, long-distance relationships, Speeddating, challenges of being single and Jewish in Phoenix, reality TV, relationship roles, dating after divorce, evaluating potential suitors by their CD collection, intermarriage and rejection hotlines.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, I've gotten a variety of responses from the columns, ranging from disbelief that I would want to share so much of my personal life to camaraderie to anger (How dare I insult JDate's new policies?). A few times I was "caught" by fellow daters who saw themselves in my columns (although I never used names).

For the most part, the responses I received were positive and it was wonderful getting letters from readers, from California to Aruba, expressing that they could relate to the content of the columns. It was also great to hear from the locals - from singles who were also immersed in the same world to married couples who enjoyed reading about experiences of today's singles.

If this is starting to sound like a "good-bye" column, in a way it is. Previously Jewish News ran a syndicated singles column that eventually turned into a "planning for the wedding" column. Although I'm not quite there yet, it's headed in that direction and I think it's important to have a section of our paper devoted to those still in the trenches of singles life.

So now the spotlight will turn away from my own life and onto the singles community. Beginning in June, Jewish News will have a section devoted to local Jewish singles. We are now accepting submissions about singles life in the city of Phoenix. To submit information about singles events, photos from these events or topic suggestions, e-mail singles@jewishaz.com. The section will also share input from Jewish singles about different topics.

Thanks for letting me share my dating experiences - now I look forward to hearing about yours.

Contact the writer at leisah_namm@jewishaz.com.

Singles sound off

Has Internet dating been a positive or negative experience for you? In 100 words or less, what has been your most memorable Internet date? Send reply to singles@jewishaz.com by June 3.

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