The Top Ten Rules of Jewish Dating

 

1.       Be fully who you are. 

 If you want to meet your soulmate, you first have to be willing  to meet your own soul. When you marry the right person, that person will encourage you to be the best you can be. The more fully you develop who you are, the more likely it is that you will attract a mate who will appreciate you. The time you are given before you are married is a special time for growth. Use this time to develop yourself into the kind of partner you want to be, and to attract to yourself.

2.       Soulmates are two halves of a soul. If half the soul is Jewish, the other half is also Jewish.

There are no exceptions. If you cut an apple in half and hide one half, forever and always, its other half will be apple - not orange, not pear, not egg. The whole soul is male and female. If you are male, your soulmate is female. If you are female, your soulmate is male.

You may be attracted to people who are not Jewish. You might be attracted to someone of the same gender.  But those people can never be your true soulmates, the one that G-d chose for you before you were born.  This is not any one personís opinion. This is Torah law and the wisdom of the Jewish mystical tradition as it has been handed down for thousands of years.

3.       First define your own goals.

Then look for someone who has the same goals.

Successful marriages are focused on the things both partners have in common. Your lives should be moving in the same general direction. Make sure your goals and values are not on a collision course. You donít have to have all of the same interests but you do need to respect each otherís differences.

4.       Never judge a person on the first date.

Let the personality of the person you are meeting unfold.

A personís nervousness can mask his or her true qualities.  Donít have any expectations on a first date. Unless the first date is a really bad experience, go out on a second date. It may be the fourth date before you can really see the inner person. Many successful marriages have resulted when reluctant people were willing to give the other person a second chance.

5.       Donít touch and come close.  

Donít touch! Are you crazy? Thatís right. Not even holding hands...not even touching pinkies. Put the physical attraction (or lack thereof)  on hold while you explore the deeper things. Outward appearances are the least accurate indicator of true love. Beauty fades, but the inner qualities improve with age for those people who are willing to refine themselves throughout a lifetime. ďDonít touchĒ is the way to come closer to developing the emotional intimacy that is necessary for a relationship to blossom into marriage. How do you date without touching? Make a rule that you wonít touch for the first 30 days. You will find that your respect for each other grows so great you are afraid to touch, and this deep respect is the strongest foundation for a successful marriage. Itís hard to do that?  Yes! But think of the consequences if you donít!

6.       Jews donít fall in love. We grow in love. 

There is no Prince or Princess Charming and happily-ever-after without effort. 5,765 years ago, the Jews were betrothed to G-d at Mt. Sinai, and we have been developing the relationship ever since. Beware of ďfallingĒ in love with your eyes closed. The goal is to ascend in love with full awareness of the divine potential between you. You will never find the ďperfectĒ mate, but if you keep your priorities straight and your goals in mind, with the help of G-d, you will find someone you can love, grow with, and give to for a lifetime.

7.       Never marry with the intention of changing anyone but yourself.

You canít marry for potential. The way you are has to be a match in this moment with the person you are dating. Make sure the person you are dating is someone you like ďas is.Ē Of course, you will both change and grow through time, but the desire for growth has to come from inside each person. It cannot be forced from the outside.  You cannot change another person. You can only change yourself.

8.       If we call ourselves single, we make ourselves lonely.

A single is a person shipwrecked on an island. Adam HaRishon, the first man was single. Nobody else has been single since. When you feel alone and single, make your life more meaningful. Start appreciating those around you. Use the most precious gift an unmarried person has - your free time - to help others in your community. Volunteer your time to help families and the lonely elderly in your neighborhood. Practice giving as much as you can and you will be well-prepared for marriage which is all about giving.

9.       Look to the Divine Wisdom for help. 

How do you find Divine Wisdom? The Jewish wisdom tradition teaches us to seek a Jewish spiritual counselor who knows Torah law and lives by it.  Find a rabbi whom you respect. Go to them for Shabbat. Help them and let them get to know you. Tell them what you are looking for and ask them if they know of anyone for you. Then ask for guidance about your problems and dating decisions. Listen and act on their advice. Strengthen your relationship with your Creator so that your priorities are clear when you are dating. Then you will not make a mistake in your choice of whom to marry. Pray, beg, cry out to G-d to help you find your soulmate. Recite Psalms.

10.     Donít Despair! Never Give up!

No prayer is ever wasted. No good deed is ever done in vain. No tear is ever ignored in heaven.  Our sages tell us that 40 days before we are born, a heavenly voice calls out for each person, ďThis soul, So-and-So is destined to marry that soul, So-and-So!Ē There is a Divine Plan and you are in it! Even if you feel you missed your destiny - donít worry. The Torah tells us that our Matriarch, Leahís eyes were weak. Our sages ask: Why were they weak? Her eyes were weak from crying. Why was she crying? Leah knew that she was destined to marry the evil Esau. She prayed and wept and begged that her destiny be changed. And it was! Her prayers were so effective that she married Jacob first.

 

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