Originally Answered: Unmarried converts to Judaism: Can you describe your experiences?
I'm not sure what marital status has to do with it.
I had been interested in Judaism since I was about eight years old, when I first had occasion to visit a synagogue. For roughly 30 years after that, I slowly learned more about Judaism, but had no idea that one could convert. I seemed to encounter a lot of Jewish influences (for lack of a better word) - everything from books to films to people in my life. I was always curious, but didn't want to give offense - although I knew Jewish people, I didn't feel that I knew any well enough to start to ask questions.
Then, when I was about 38, my son was in a Scout troop with two brothers who were Jewish, and one of the brothers died very suddenly, when he was only about 15 years old. I saw the customs surrounding that death, and more importantly, I saw the tremendous support that their synagogue gave the family.
After the year of mourning was up, and the remaining son and the parents started to participate in the troop again, I got to know the parents better, and finally screwed up the courage to start asking questions. They were quite willing to answer, but didn't push. Not long after that, I ran across an article in the Dallas Morning News about Outreach Judaism, and learned FINALLY that a person could convert to Judaism. It still took me a while to get up the nerve to go to talk with a rabbi. I finally did, though, and as they say, the rest is history. I converted to Judaism in 1997, and it's one of the best decisions I ever made in my life.
I personally had already done a lot of reading simply out of curiousity, but there were distinct gaps in my knowledge. That's where the rabbi came in, and helped me to learn the other things that I needed to know. I went through a "Beginning Judaism" class at a synagogue in Arlington, Texas (yes - there ARE Jews in Texas!); I was the only person in the class who wasn't either married to someone Jewish, or planning to do so. I did get a bit of - not exactly discouragement - but neutrality from the rabbi for a time, until a couple of discussions had taken place, and a couple of things had occurred with the church that I had previously attended and its minister (that would take a lot of explanation, but suffice it to say that it was good enough for the rabbi to start to actively encourage my efforts).
After about 8 months of study, attending services, and studying Hebrew (I'm pretty good with languages), I realized I was ready. I converted officially, and have been happily Jewish ever since - or that's what I thought - because there's more.
A couple of years later, I started doing genealogy as a hobby. I learned that my great-great grandparents came from Germany around 1845-1850 - and they were Jewish! My GG grandmother died when she was only 26 years old (probably due to diptheria - her eldest son also died within days); I'm a descendant of her only daughter. My GG grandfather remarried, and his second wife was Christian. My great-grandmother was only about eight at the time, and was subsequently raised Christian. The relationship is down the direct maternal line - she was the mother of my maternal grandmother; I was Jewish all along :-)
Some things... perhaps they're meant to be.
In any case, that's my story. It was far from an ordeal - it was a wonderful experience!