I’ve met so many Jews who are successful and satisfied with virtually every aspect of their lives, except one – dating. It’s an area that confounds even the best and the brightest.
Maybe it’s because so many Jews don't date Jewishly.
I don't mean just dating another Jew, or talking Jewish geography over lox and bagels. Rather, dating Jewishly is a structured approach to dating that is in sync with Torah values and wisdom. Dating Jewishly is serious business.
And that's why I believe it's a formula for success.
Are you dating Jewishly? Here's a short quiz to find out:
1. Why are you dating?
- For companionship, romance, physical intimacy, to learn more about the opposite sex, or to acquire status among my peers.
- To determine compatibility for marriage.
2. At what age do you think it's best to start dating?
- Before one is ready for marriage (i.e., teenage years), so one can acquire experience.
- Date only when you are ready for marriage. Use the prior time period to work on your character traits and grow as a person.
3. How long should you date someone before deciding whether to commit?
- At least a few months. Perhaps years.
- Normally not more than a few months.
4. How involved should your parents be?
- Minimal. Best to introduce your significant other only after you've met with the caterer.
- Solicit their views early on, although ultimately the dating partners must decide for themselves whether or not to get married.
5. Where should you go on a date?
- Anywhere. Introduce him or her to your friends. Publicize it on Facebook.
- Be discreet. Avoid places where there's a good chance you'll be seen by your friends. (At the same time, avoid places where you would be completely secluded from other people.)
6. What should you do on a date?
- Have fun. Get intimate. Anything goes.
- Stay focused on the purpose of dating. Seek out information that will help you gauge compatibility. Avoid physical contact (This helps both partners maintain a clear head to be able to accurately assess the other).
7. How should you dress on a date?
- The more enticing, the better. Expose your body in order to win admirers.
- Dress modestly. By covering up, there's less chance the person you’re dating will 'fall in love' with the shape of your flesh as opposed to an inner quality of your personality.
8. How do you decide whether your date is Mr./Ms. Right?
- Ask yourself, “Do I love this person?” Ultimately, that's all that matters.
- Ask yourself, “Is there potential for me to love this person -- i.e., do we have similar goals and values and chemistry?” Love best grows and deepens once the partners have made a life-long commitment to each other.
9. What happens next?
- Once you're in love, marriage is optional, certainly not urgent. As Oscar Wilde said: “One should always be in love. This is the reason one should never marry.”
- Set the wedding date as soon as you both know with reasonable certainty that you're a match. Don't delay the next great chapter of your life unnecessarily.
10. Should you plan to have children?
- Get married and then play it by ear. After all, children are discretionary items.
- Children are a tremendous blessing. But never assume anything – get confirmation from your date as early as possible!
Now, add up how many times you answered “B”. The higher your score, the more you can be said to be “dating Jewishly.”
It’s wise to tackle anything challenging and worthwhile in life with objectivity, self-discipline and focus. Dating is no exception; if fact it’s even more important to remain objective since the stakes are so high and our emotions can easily get the best of us. Dating Jewishly helps us avoid unhealthy relationships, while steering us towards compatible marriage prospects.
Because how we date is just as important as who we date.