As Valentine’s day approaches, I was thinking it’s a good time to tell you how my shidduch (a date or match, often leading to marriage.The matching up of a man and a woman for purposes of marriage) went.

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In the non Jewish world, ours is what you would call an arranged marriage.

I dislike that word though because in my mind, that equals a “forced” marriage.

By the time Roy Schwartz and Kim Miller met each other, for example, they were both pretty jaded.

“I had to learn the hard way that here, unlike in Israel, dating is a game to played,” said Schwartz.

Among the public statements issued by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week were repeated claims about the strength of the country’s economy and adamant insistence the international community acknowledge Israel’s status as a “Jewish state.” But, what stood out most was a statement made by one of Netanyahu’s aides denying the Prime Minister’s 23-year-old son Yair was dating a 25-year-old woman from Norway.

There is only one reason that, in 2014, Israel’s head of state would be required to respond to reports that his son is in a romantic relationship with another consenting adult: the woman in question is not Jewish.

So, as I turned 18, the phones started ringing with suggestions.

If a suggestion sounded promising, my parents went ahead and made many inquiries.

“I can’t believe you just came out and said that,” he wrote back, his tone half wondering, half perplexed. It’s like dancing blindfolded — and barefoot — in a room full of mousetraps.

This is especially true regarding Israeli and American Jews, for whom a common heritage masks vast differences in national culture and character.

After three exasperatingly cautious dates and a month of coy e-mail exchanges, I got tired of beating around the bush and wrote Orie, my American prospect. “I just did,” I replied, “but the book I know is in Hebrew.” Of all the social mazes an immigrant must navigate when assimilating to a new, unfamiliar culture, dating is one of the most labyrinthine.