Judaism / Personal

From Fling to Forever: 4 Years and Counting

Dear Friend,

It’s hard to believe that 4 years ago I shared a kiss with a man who would forever change my life. I feel so blessed and lucky every day that I get to spend with Stephane, and never miss an opportunity to thank the powers that be for sending me my perfect match in another human being. I’ve been very blessed in life with an amazing family, wonderful friends, and past relationships that ultimately taught me how to recognize and appreciate some of the qualities that Stephane possesses that make him both an incredible human being and life partner.

The Motivated Man

I have known relationships with motivated men who are career and goal focused, just like Stephane, but unlike those other men, Stephane plans to conquer the world while supporting my dreams as well, and that is something I never experienced before him. He plans all of the amazing things he will do in life, and at the same time he’s looking forward to watching my career blossom. He even fully supports my plans to run for senate one day! For us equally motivated women, it is so crucial to have a partner who is supportive and encouraging, even if he knows that his encouragement might lead to things like a family later on in life (which we are both on board with), or time spent apart as we both work on our individual career goals. This type of support is not easy for a lot of men, but Stephane has never once made me feel bad or guilty for wanting a busy life in the limelight. In fact, he is the one who pushes me to want to go as far as possible in my career, just as I push him, because we know as long as we take this journey together everything will turn out alright.

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The Best Friend

Stephane and I were friends before we began our romantic relationship together, and it shows in our everyday life. Whenever anything noteworthy happens in my life, he is the first person I want to consult. I turn to him for advice because I genuinely trust his opinion above almost all others, and, most importantly, I just like being around him. I always joke that he makes up the majority of my social life, but when you have a best friend and life partner all rolled in to one package, you don’t need much else. I think the biggest blessing is I wholeheartedly love him as a person, in every regard, and always feel so lucky that I get to spend so much time with this amazing person. I never downplay how lucky I am to have someone like him in my life, and everyday is a new adventure for us. However, because he is my best friend, out relationship never really feels like work. There are some hard times, obviously, but we face them with pleasure because we genuinely like and respect one another.

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Just enough differences

Stephane and I are plenty similar, but our differences keep our relationship always feeling fresh and exciting. Obviously one of the things I love the most about him is that he is from a different part of the world than I am, and it is teaching me so much about diverse and different ways of life. Because he is European his values are very aligned with my own in terms of family and education, but his Middle Eastern/North African background has exposed me to rich and vibrant cultural differences that have contributed to making me a more well rounded, worldly individual. From the different foods that I have been exposed to (such as brain!), to the different religious traditions, I feel like I truly have the best of all worlds. I have my own rich Ashkenazi, American Jewish culture, and now my life includes the best of French, Moroccan, Tunisian, and Israeli cultural life. We are truly a blended family. These differences between us ultimately drove me to learn another language, and with Stephane’s help, guidance, and patience, God willing, I will reach the level of conversational fluency in French as well, so that we are able to raise our children in a French, Hebrew, and English speaking home where both of our cultures are highlighted!

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Just enough similarities

Perhaps the biggest blessing in our relationship is how similar Stephane and I are. We are both deeply committed to our Judaism, conservative in our values, wanting to be later in life parents, driven by educational goals and expanding our knowledge base, world travellers, and, on occasion, very lazy home bodies who like to watch movies and snuggle! The fact that we are aligned on almost every major personal characteristic has, no doubt, contributed to the success of our relationship. As much as I appreciate cultural, political, and individual differences when it comes to life choices, I couldn’t imagine sharing my life with someone who wasn’t Jewish, or someone who didn’t share the same life goals and values that I so strongly believe in. Lucky for me, however, Stephane and I are perfectly aligned, which is great because, unlike some people in my immediate family (mom), Stephane will at least vote for me when I run for office!

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It started as fling; non serious, fun, casual. Then it changed, and for the last 4 years we have grown together, planned together, shared a life together, and paved a way for our next exciting adventure together. We have a lot of firsts to look forward to including a wedding, careers, doctorates, family, and more, but for now we are just enjoying one another and taking our beautiful lives a day at a time; trusting that as long as we are together everything will work out for the best!

Thank you, Stephane, for a wonderful 4 years, and here’s to many, many more together!

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Until we meet again <3,

Jordana Simone

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