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I think it’s important for a person to be in touch with themselves, to know what they are looking for and be an active participant in the dates I.e. asking targeted questions and not being passive when you really don’t agree or feel comfortable with the other person’s opinion or hashkafa.
If a relationship has to end, try to take something positive away from it.
Use your time well to develop yourself and remain happy when you're not dating.
if you try ideas for other singles..then likely they will try to think of ideas for you
After all the dust settles it’s you and him or her. The engagement hype is just that hype- what she’s engaged to him wow the money wow the family! But after sheva brachos everyone is onto the next thing.
Give yourself time. Don’t jump to conclusions throughout the whole process. Let yourself see the positive and the whole picture.
Daven, Daven, and Daven to Hashem to give you clearity throughout the whole process. He is the one who knows who your real life partner is and He is the one who will lead you in the right direction.
Don’t take anyone's advice. Look into your own heart, for what makes you special and you-nique. Then ask yourself what type of person most needs what you are unique in. Those are the people you will be best with.
Consider the values and common culture of yourself and your counterpart. If the commonalities exceed the non-common factors, it’s a good starting point.
"Never say anything negative about yourself or anyone in your family.
Rabbi Avigdor Miller
Give things a chance… some people don’t open up on a first date / even second date. Explore every idea that comes up seriously and date many times (I would say from experience at least 4x) before giving a definite no. Try to learn the person you’re dating… and think to yourself if there were only 3 (men/ women) in the world would I marry this person? If the answer is a definite NO then it’s not for you. If the answer is maybe then keep dating…
Find yourself before you go out. Yes, everyone is in a rush to get married, but think deeply about what you really want in life and then find someone who you is compatible with those goals.
Never marry a person for anything other than the person themselves. All other considerations blind you from seeing the person fully for who they are. Money, yichus, great looks etc all distort your lens of perception. You may wind up marrying a very selfish rich person or a conceited beautiful person etc which you were blinded from because you were too focused on an alternative goal… Get beyond those things and really get to know the person, if they happen to have money, yichus and are attractive then it just might be icing on the cake.
Now that I said #1 and #2- take your shidduch shopping list and cut it in half. Most of the things we believe are non negotiable will mean so much less to you once you get married and start raising a family.
What should be non-negotiable? (a few examples)
All ‘No Nos’. Yes of course these people need to get married too, but let others have the honor.
Some positive traits to look for:
The flip sides of the above negative traits
Respect for others
The same way you would never take a salesman for their word on a product, don’t take a Shadchan’s synopsis on the prospect as the whole picture. Go into each shidduch with an open mind and try to do your best to discern the person’s qualities.
Neurosis in checking people out: When researching a shidduch look for WHAT’S IMPORTANT. All else is a distraction. I guarantee you - whether or not the parents use paper plates will not make a significant impact on your own marriage. If the person is a control freak, gets angry easily, is selfish WILL make a big difference on your marriage.
Don’t focus on looks. Looks fade and change with age. Focus on the person’s kind heart, common hashkafa, innate intelligence. Those are the traits that will give you a comfort with your life partner.
You may expect/ picture yourself with someone from a different background, different personality… don’t run away from what the heart tells you is best for you. You may be surprised because you had a different picture in mind but realize that this is really best for you.
It can be hard not to get dates often (that is, until the right one comes soon!). I was in that place. Leads didn't become dates for the 1.5-2 years I was in shidduchim, but when I did get a date, it was so clear it was the right one, and I was thankful I didn't have to go through the whole emotional roller coaster, and that I had the clarity when it came to the right one at the right time.
Best advice after dating for a while:
In Real estate they say “Your First Offer Is Your Best Offer”
Don't shelve your life during the dating process. Make sure you live life to the fullest, whether it's taking up a new hobby, traveling, growing in ruchniyus, volunteering, tapping into yourself, etc. Caution is advised to make sure that your goal of marriage and outside interests are balanced.
One of the things that people often tend to get cold feet about is when they think to themselves – “who says this is the right one? Maybe there’s someone else who’s a much better fit for me. what in the world am I getting myself into by committing to this one…?” Sadly, this can result in people chickening out of shidduchim that could very well have been their bashert, and in general add a lot of unnecessary stress and confusion throughout their dating experience.
What a person should focus on is the following: based on what I can see from dating this person (and from the research I’ve done), does he/she possess the points that I listed as to what’s important to me in a shidduch? Based on the personality, middos, and everything else that’s comprising my impression of him/her from our dates, will I be a happy person spending the rest of my life in this person’s company?
Of course no one can prophesize, but using common sense (and of course, proper hadracha), if one can say that yes, I can see myself having an enjoyable and fulfilling life with this person, then a person should tell themselves the following: who cares if there’s someone out there who is better. Who cares about whether or not this is the right one… (and all the other doubts that tend to abound) – what I do know is that I’ll be having a happy and fulfilling life – definitely a good enough reason to move forward with the shidduch!
As I write this, I can’t help but remember hearing this summed up so succinctly by Rav Pam zt’l. Someone asked this very question – how do I know if this is the right one? He responded with the following moshol:
Someone once came to a bus terminal, where there were many, many buses. He went over to someone and asked, “tell me, which is a good bus to take?” The man looked at him strangely and said, “what kind of question is that? The bus that’s going where you want to go, that’s the right bus for you to take!”
Look for a common thread in little things you like or don’t like about your date so you will get a better look into the middos and personality.
I think it is super important to have a mentor in place who’s familiar with who you are and what you are looking for. Even if you have wonderful parents an outside opinion when dating questions come up can be so valuable!
Focus more on whether the person is growing and working on improving themselves as opposed to where they are holding.
Don’t say no for silly reasons.
Firstly Daven for guidance!
Make sure your priorities are right when dating. More important than anything else is a good husband and father who has good middos and is a mentch.
Take one date at a time and not jump to conclusions on your first date ‘can I see myself marrying him’
I one time heard from R' Pesach Krohn – if you’re going to marry a girl for her back account, you’re going to lose interest…
My advice would be to keep the dating quiet. The more people know that you are dating, the more pple there are to call you, and possibly nudge for updates in between dates, when you might not be comfortable sharing. And things might be pressuring in general. The last thing you want, is added stress.
Have an unbiased dating mentor.
Daven for Siyata Dishmaya.
Don’t marry someone only because you’re worried what other people will think about you.
Disregard nonsense and focus on values that truly matter.
Look for someone that shares the same values as yourself, How you see yourself for the next 90 years.
Ten years from now make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.
During a date, especially the first or second, please do not hyper-focus on whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life with this person! Relax with an open mind as you allow your authentic personality and communications skills to shine through.
When you’re home after the first or second date – and it’s time to make a decision about moving forward, here’s a simple question you should ask yourself: “Am I enjoying his/her company enough to want to see him/her again?” If the answer is “yes” then by all means schedule another date.
Afraid of too many “quiet moments”? Prepare a list of 5 – 8 questions before the date. Review them
When you're dating someone specific don't say no until have you a reason to say no. Go out until you are positive that this person isn't for you. When deciding about another date or not.. (think ahead ) If you are still not married in 5 years from now and going through the list of all the people you dated will you get up to this person and think " remind me, why did I say no to another date again?"
When you aren't sure if you're attracted to the person your dating, be very real with yourself. Ask yourself , "Am I not attracted to him? Or am I just nervous that my friends might not approve their looks?"
Don't discuss your dates with your single friends. Have a mentor or a married friend you really trust be there for you to give an objective point of view. Although it's hard to believe , single friends who probably mean well, may give advice with a bit of jealousy and lack of knowledge or experience.
Express hakaras Hatov to the Shadchan. They are dedicating a lot of their time to try to get you out on a date. You have no idea how time consuming it is and it is generally volunteer work from the goodness of their heart. Respond to emails and ideas , even if it's a NO we prefer to hear back than not to. We spent a lot of time just coming up with this idea! Make a good impression and always respond nicely to the Shadchan ,even if you have no idea why they thought of this idea that you feel is totally not a match. Remember they were thinking of you , and that in itself is a reason to thank them! Feel free to send little texts , notes , emails or gifts to let them know you appreciate their hard work. ( P.s it makes a great impression on them and puts you on the top of their lift..so at least do it for selfish reasons ;)
Go on a second date! You can't always get an accurate first impression because people are nervous. You want to see a true representation of who the person is.
Focus on one suggestion at a time until you have clarity. If necessary appoint a "Gatekeeper" to screen your matches so you can do so.
Always remember that you are looking for someone who will accept you for who you are but will challenge you to become better than you are.
If you have any doubts, don't make a decision right after a date; sleep on it and seek guidance in the morning.
do not be rigid in your requirements...because no one marries a complete list of their qualifications...and you never know with whom you will have chemistry
unless the date is truly awful, give a second chance - people are often nervous on the first date - because you are strangers..and not everyone is a people person
Realize that even though you have a list of criteria for your life partner, try to be open to someone that is not on your list as Hashem might have a different list.
The 3 most important things in a match are patience, trust and respect. If one of those things is missing you cannot spend your life with that person. Other things fall into place.
If it is taking a long time to find a match, try to focus a good amount of your strength and energy on other endeavors aside from dating. If you focus on completing yourself, it weill give you confidence, which potential partners are drawn to.
Before meeting a shadchan, remember that they’re in the helping profession for a reason and that they want to see you married and happy. Don’t be intimidated.
Form a connection to a shadchan who will then work harder for you..because you will be in the forefront of his/her mind..
I think a good tip is to put a picture with their profile. Even though it seems a bit demeaning, for a shadchan it gives them an idea about the person and puts a face to the name. (They could always say if they don't want other singles to see it, and that request should be respected. )
Ask each shadchan what her preference in communication style is (email, text, whatsapp, phone call or etc) and about once a month check in with her. A good idea might be on or around Rose Chodesh to contact the shadchan to wish her Chodesh Tov and to ask her if she has any new ideas that might be shayach.
I think it’s a good idea to contact the shadchan as soon as possible after the date to let her know if you want to continue or not. Many times the shadchan did not actually arrange the date (ie the man called the woman directly to arrange the time and day) so she might not even know that you met someone the previous night and she’s waiting to hear from you! Sometimes both sides are waiting for the matchmaker to reach out to them but she might not know that they met so I advise that you proactively reach out to the shadchan after meeting!
If the shadchan invested a lot in the shidduch and it doesn’t work out, maybe give them a small gift card or Shabbos gift. They worked hard for you and you should be mentchlich and have hakaras hatov.
Say a perek of tehillim before each date - you will feel that H-shm is with you
If someone is perfectly fine with a circumstance or out of the box detail regarding their date i.e divorced parents, they shouldn’t hold back from going ahead due to what others will think/say about it.
I have a really good friend who told me that her parents were looking into a great boy for her (who she knew – friend’s brother) who had a prosthetic leg (it doesn’t affect his day to day performance at all). I was pretty shocked because I personally wouldn’t have been able to handle that but she assured me that she wasn’t bothered by it in the least. Her only hesitation was that people would think there is something wrong with her if she’s going for him and she wanted to say no as a result. I advised her (the above) that I really don’t think you can let what other people think determine your shidduch and B"H they are happily married now!
Take your time before a date so you have a chance to breathe, relax and get into the right perspective. Make sure you’re ready before you have to be so you don’t look or feel frazzled!
Don’t automatically say no before meeting because of something like an age gap, family background, major height difference etc. If you are concerned about an issue like this, give it one date and see if it’s actually something that bothers you in person.
Try to find out as much info as you can (the more phone calls the better) before going out.
Looking your best isn’t dishonest or unnecessary - it’s your basic hishtadlus. And it’ll also give you more confidence on the date, which is always a good thing!
Do something interactive. You get to see your date in a different light and how they interact with others.
Be respectful the entire date, even if you feel that it may not work out. He/she is still human and has feelings.
Make sure you’re wearing something comfortable! Looking your best is important, but not if it’ll stop you from acting your best.
Because you are opposite genders sometimes you may judge what he/she is doing as socially different but really it can be a gender difference.
Communication is most important, do you feel you can get info/thoughts to this person and be understood?
"I was dating my wife while being a counselor in TheZone (back then known as BoyZone) This was difficult for me and very tiring. During my dates I was in contact with my Rebbe and I expressed how I know from my friends how they “chat” about dates and are medayek in every little detail during the actual date trying to “figure out” the other person, is she “really” right for me etc. I said to him I was simply to tired and overwhelmed to be “medayek” during the dates…
To this he answered me “he wishes he can orchestrate all his kids shiduchim in such a scenario!” A single must be as detailed as possible during the “on paper stage” that’s when things “need” to make sense! During the actual date a single is looking for 1 thing and one thing only- Chemistry! Included in that is Attraction-definition: Am I looking forward to seeing her once more.
Make sure to thank the waiter, hold open the door for a stranger walking thru etc. it shows that you think about others.
Everyone deserves to be treated respectfully if the date is a no-go don’t take it out on your date.
Be open to other peoples’ world, even if its’ not what your used to it’ll make you a bigger person even if it doesn’t work out.
Remember that looking for good character traits should be at the top of the list.
Even if the single you go out with is not for you...be upbeat and give a good date..because people talk and you want a good name and maybe he/she will have another idea for you.
Which part of me/my personality does this person bring out? My competitive side? My nurturing side? My wit, or perhaps my negativity? What type of person do you become when you're with this person? Make sure you're comfortable with the answer, because whoever you are with this person will intensify and become part of your hard core personality. Look at yourself- am I my best, most compassionate/kind/happy/giving/relaxed/spiritually growing person when I'm with him/her?
Date with the mindset of “regardless of whether this person is for me or not we are going to have great time together, as for marriage we’ll see”, Rather than “is this person for me”? “Oh! I should enjoy myself”. “Ok, she’s not for me! I’ll try to give her a good time anyway”.
Don’t spend the whole date analyzing whether or not you’d like to meet again or if you think you should marry him. Throw yourself into the date and do the thinking afterwards!
Be yourself on dates!! Yes, the best version of yourself, but be no one but yourself!
Be tactful. I had a guy who wouldn’t open the car door for me on a date as he said he wouldn’t do that once he’s married. I wouldn’t have cared if he didn’t open the door, but the fact that he said it didn’t sit well with me.
My Rav mentioned to me his eitzah when I was dating : Watch carefully how the date orders food . Is she too picky with the menu choices and makpid over the service , He said it tells a lot about her Middos .
I am extremely picky across the board-on the occasion my husband complains about my being picky- I remind him that I also picked him!!
I still remember the dirty looking cutlery at the restaurant on one of our dates so I probably did comment at the time!
If there is something that bothers you very much about his look (nose, way he walks, etc), consider it, don’t ignore.
The underlying factor is that a single MUST not assume he will be marrying a “finished product” We all have faults and you are surely going to see them on theses extraordinary “long dates” which for some reason are famous in this country.
Chemistry is the main focus everything else needs can be worked on thereafter eizer and k’negdo!
From Rabbi Dr. Shimon Russel: Red flags in Dating (not definite no-nos but things to be wary of):
- If he embarrasses you and doesn't apologize
- If he only talks about himself or he only wants to talk about you
- Loses control of himself
Go in with an open mind, but look out for red flags.
The 2 main points to have in mind when dating are:
- Do we share the same Torah values, ideas in life, similar lifestyles.
- Do we get along and feel at ease with each other? Do conversations flow and do we enjoy each other’s company.
That’s it! If the 2 above points are positive, then it’s probably the right match.
Besides for that, if there’s anything that majorly bothers me, it’s probably not for me eg:
- Am I okay with them physically, are there any gestures etc that majorly bother me.
Everything else is secondary and not of importance and shouldn’t really matter in most cases.
(Ideas are from Rabbi Schafier’s shmuz book)
When dating never think imagine we got married what would it be like? Are they really for me? None of that! Just be yourself and think about these things later!
Don’t be embarrassed if people you know see you on dates. Even if it doesn’t work out, they’re going to think of you as on the dating scene, and they might just come up with someone for you.
After a bad date, make sure to separate the person you’re dating from the date itself. Could it be you were too cold/tired/uncomfortable (or any other external factor) that made it a bad date, and it had nothing to do with the person you dated?
Best advice I got! When I was dating someone a few times there was nothing wrong but my gut told me it was not going anywhere. A cousin of mine told me 'yeah everyone says keep going out he will grow on you but….. mold also grows on bread:)'
For beginning of relationship main question to ask yourself “do you like him/her?” other decisions come later.
After each date take time to reflect on how it went and compare it to what you are looking for.
If time goes by quickly during the date, it’s a good sign. If you had a good time, it’s also a good sign.
If doubting, think: would I feel comfortable walking together with them in the street. Would I want them to be a parent to my children? Are they someone I look up to? A role model? Will I be proud for them to be my spouse?
Look at a list of positive qualities and think how many of them they have.
A bad date isn’t always a dead end- your date might have a friend they think is a better fit for you. It’s happened.