I was thinking recently, rather I’ve been thinking this way before, but was thinking about this again more recently; I regret I didn’t know more non-frum and non-jews when I was growing up. I’m sure I’m not the only one, as most frum people from Flatbush never really had the opportunity to associate themselves with people other then their type either. I regret this however. When I grew up, my block was always 90 percent Jewish, so whoever I played with were frum yeshivish kids. Then came yeshiva, and again obviously, all frum Jewish guys. This was like all the way through high school and Israel beis medrash. Then came college, that was another story, you moved from hanging around and associating with frum guys, to frum guys and frum girls. But still hard to become close friends and hang out with the non-frum crowd. Yes, I spoke too many of the non-Jews and joked around a lot, but still we never actually hung out after wards like I would do with my close frum friends. Why is this?
Whenever I speak too my non frum acquaintances, their surprised that everyone of my close friends are orthodox jews. I’m surprised as well. But I never really had the opportunity and it just ‘sorta happened’ like this from my up bringing. Now, being post-college, it’s a little bit more difficult to gaining new friends that share the same interests like me, not to mention the difficulty to gaining non-jewish people that share the same interest. I understand that there can be issues, such as if they want to eat out in their restaurants or hang out on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons, it can create some problems. But these issues can be looked over and just tell them the differences, and do stuff where there is no eating involved (although this too is easy to overcome, I’m totally cool with just having a beer while they eat in a non-kosher place) or hanging out on shabbos.
I know a lot of sheltered frummies are totally against this and one may start bringing down pesukim saying how its “associating oneself with a non-jew is bad and lead to bad stuff’, but this is my view. I wish I had a more diverse group of friends, and I don’t mean by the kind of suit and whether or not they wear a black hat.