click here to jump to start of article
  • Torah Reading: Naso
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​

Looking for Love

Looking for Love

Seven dating rules that will help you find your soul mate.


“I just want someone to love me.”

This is the mindset that many have when dating— they're looking to be loved. Will he make me feel special? Will she give me what I want?

But this focus is the reason why so many singles end up frustrated and often alone. “Looking to be loved” is not the same as looking for the right person; in fact, it’s the complete opposite.

When you are looking to be loved, your primary focus is on yourself; what the other person needs to do to make you feel good, happy and whole. However, Judaism teaches us to extend beyond ourselves. A truly successful marriage involves two individuals whose focus is not on themselves, but rather on the other person.

When you focus on the other person, you are less troubled by times in life when perhaps you are not given 100% love all the time. You are not completely dependent on it so you can more easily overcome challenges together. In this way feelings, unpredictable as they can be, can go through ups and downs without the threat of the relationship falling apart.

Where do your needs come into the picture when looking for the right one?

When you can answer the following three questions:

  1. What do I have to offer to a potential mate?
  2. What is my mission in life?
  3. What do I value in life?

When you know what you have to offer to another human being, your needs become finding someone who is willing to receive what you can easily provide.

Secondly, when you know what drives you — what you have to give to life (your mission) — your needs become finding someone with a complementary life mission so that your future involves the both of you living together and facing the same direction, instead of growing apart.

Thirdly, your values will greatly determine where you will focus much of your time and attention, your outlook on life and what is important to you.

When you can answer the above three questions, your needs become simply to find the person who most closely complements your life’s mission and values and who is openly willing to receive what you have to give.

Contrast this with simply looking to be loved, which has more to do with emotions instead of a secure union that is likely to build a true partnership.

The following seven dating rules will help you find your soul mate and give you the greatest chance to create a truly successful marriage.

  1. Switch from thinking of yourself as “single” and instead think of yourself as “ready to get married.” This doesn’t mean heading off to shop for a bridal dress or tux. This means you are dating with a purpose and not with a “whatever I feel like doing” attitude. You are not blowing your time and money on self indulgent activities, or having close friendships with the opposite sex — after all, you are not single. You are ready to get married! And when you are ready to get married you send out a message to the world that you are looking for your soul mate.
  2. Hold off on dating when you are going through life challenges that are draining you emotionally — including breaking off from a recent relationship that you are still emotional about. If you are unable to put aside you past emotional baggage, then you should not be dating. Dating for the purpose of marriage is sacred and deserving of the greatest respect and dignity. This is the person who you will share your life with — who deserves to meet you when you are fully available and capable of giving of yourself, without interferences.
  3. Look for real chemistry. The kind of chemistry that truly counts is not only based on physical attraction. It is based on the complementary interaction between the man and the woman; their ease in communication, their ability to draw out the good in each other, to understand one another. Two compatible personalities have the greatest chance for chemistry that lasts.
  4. Be aware of your weaknesses and limitations while continually striving to better your character. Humble yourself and reduce your ego. We only have the capability of changing ourselves. The more you dedicate yourself to improving your character, the more you have to offer to not only your soul mate, but to the world at large.
  5. Our sages teach us that before birth, our soul is split into two and our quest in life becomes to find our other half. For this to happen, we must focus on finding the soul of the individual. Instead of separating a person’s physical side from his inner qualities, view the individual as a whole. Allow his soul to move you gradually by getting to know him. Observe his actions and get a true sense of who he really is. What is his mission? What does he value? What moves him? What drives him?
  6. When it seems that you will never meet your pre destined soul mate, practice trusting what God brings your way. Remind yourself that in trusting what you cannot control, you can let go of the unknown…the “how?” and the “when?” And focus simply on the here and now.
  7. Many pray that they should meet their other half. Why not also pray for your other half? That God should keep him safe from harm…that he is happy and living life with purpose. After all, just because you haven’t found him yet doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist or that he couldn’t benefit from your prayers. And you can benefit in knowing that even though you haven’t met your soul mate yet…you can do the one thing that true love depends on — you can make the choice to give.

November 6, 2011

Give Tzedakah! Help create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 24

(15) Esther, September 29, 2013 11:21 PM

Question- help please!

There's a guy I know (who I'm not dating) - he actually was interested in me a few months ago when I didn't know him so well but I turned him down because I didn't think we had potential for something real as described above- we don't share such close goals and values in life and I don't think he'd be the ideal recipient of what I have to offer. He is less religious than me, which doesn't bother me as much but although he's okay with my level of religiousness, he doesn't necessarily strive to meet it or to continue to grow with me, which I think is important. Considering all this logically I believe I made the right decision several months ago to reject his offer. However, after getting to know him in a different context (our families have been hanging out more, we've had a few conversations) I have noticed that there is a very real chemistry between us- not necessarily physical attraction, but more personality-linked things mentioned above such as ease in communication, understanding one another, laughing together, having certain other things in common, etc.. And now, part of me tells me maybe this is only good enough for friendship at best since the other essential part is missing, but another part regrets not giving him a chance to get to know each other better back then. I still see him often but I am hesitant to try and spark up something more again after rejecting him, especially since I have no idea what's going on in his head! I know that even real chemistry by itself is not enough for a lifelong relationship, but should I put myself through the slight embarrassment of asking for another chance? My mind is completely torn by this dilemma and I am real unsure what to do. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much I've read this article several times it's fantastic.

Rachel, May 7, 2014 7:18 PM


I saw your comment late. Personality and chemistry works well in a marriage if you have like minded values. He may not be to your level of observance (and that's fine) but if he does not strive to grow and this is something you value, then it could become a problem in the marriage. It may be that your gut to end the relationship was right.

(14) lorraine, December 28, 2012 12:07 AM

thank you

I have read your inspirational piece about looking for love. I do feel ready for marriage and i am so grateful to have read this article and will follow the wise steps and move away from feeling upset that i cannot find my soul mate. I will now pray for my soul mate and hope we find each other x

(13) Isaac rebele, October 30, 2012 9:05 PM

What makes love to fall apart?

I have been in love with a girl whom i cant mension her name i have been there for her gave her what ever she needed i gave her love,trust and support i did things that i never thought i would do with anyone in my life we where happy together ,things started to fall apart when she asked me for a break without a reason why.

Anonymous, November 23, 2012 11:35 PM


What makes love fall apart when you did not initiate this to happen is all in G-d's hands. There is always a reason, even if we are not always aware of the reason. And the reason is always a good one. The best we can do when we cannot control the outcome, is to pray for strength, clarity, and wisdom and see if there was SOMETHING that could be learned or gained from the experience that will be positive for you (ex. the experience made you realize the importance of developing TRUST in G-d's plan for you and relying on His guidance). May you blessed with clarity and with your bashert (other half) very soon!

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment