I was approached by someone who asked me what are dates for?
So the obvious answer is to look for the right person to get married to. When asked what to look for, they would answer “I know what I like and need.” However there was a story of a king who wanted to give one poor man a lot of money to show how benevolent he was. So he picked a man, showed him the treasury house and said come back tomorrow at 1pm, and for one hour you will take want you want. The poor man left. Immediately the king servant said to the king, “this man will come with a big uhul truck take bags full of diamonds and gold, he will then have so much power.” The king said that he was right and replied, “Find out what he likes and tell me.” The next day at 1pm the poor man comes with 2 uhul trucks, the big moment occurred. The treasury house was opened. The poor man came in to collect. Wow! He first saw the most spectacular dynamic and skilled clowns. He loved clowns! The colors the prowler’s and the music he was in awe. When he got tired, he smelled the most delicious foods. His favorites, and he then ate and ate then! Than the servant tapped him on the shoulder and said, mister you have 30 second’s. he got involved what he thought was most important and he lost precious jewels and riches. Today with shidduchim it could also be this way. There are the main points to look for, and other points which are not important.
Another issue is that we are spoiled at a very early age to get want we want, we get the breakfast we want, the dress and suit we want. Than as we get older we get phones, cars and many things we want, the word “no” and answer “no” is impossible to deal with. Then dating it’s the same, we want exactly want we want and think it’s good for us. Se we reject and get rejected this is the big problem, we have to get a mentor and learn to look for what’s most important then we will be successful.
A woman should look for the following and a man you should be the following
Industrious –working, be involved in yiddishkeit, Daven regular, learn
See he is a kind person, who knows how to give attention and appreciate,
he should know how to validate you and listen to you. He should want to please, he should honor his parents, has a mentor or rabbi that his accountable to, be somewhat attracted
What a man should look for what a woman should be:
Industrious she should be busy doing good things kind acts, constructive and productive activities. Being involved in being Jewish says Tehillim involved in Shabbos and Yom tov, happy being Jewish. She must be a good listener she should validate your words and not be argumentive, she should know how to give attention and appreciates, she aims to please. Honors her parents, has a reliable mentor, be some what attracted.
It should be fun no interrogation you should have a lot to speak about. Make a list of your interests, family activities, work activities, ect, plus you must practice reflective listening when the other person speaks show interest and encourage it by asking questions and adding information. If you want to know something about the person , for example if you feel to be close to family is important. Instead asking questions about the family tell about your relationship with your family. And see if you get a positive or negative response.
Lets delve into the importance of where you go on dates. for a man dinner means money, sometimes a lot of money. Remember hes going out with someone he doesn’t know. This will make him look at her with a critical eye on how much she makes him spend. He might think shes not sensitive to his finances and he might feel uneasy about this pressure. Therefore, this is introducing on the date a very negative, not needed emotion, why create it?
A woman also might feel uneasy in making him spend, or she might judge his way he deals with finances and think he’s cheap. That is also a pressure that is not necessary. “ITS NOT WHAT A DATE IS FOR” and what marriage is about. Instead pick a place free of financial or external pressures where both sides are very comfortable and where they can talk and enjoy. ” The fancy place and extravagant lights are not the purpose.” And sometimes people make mistakes and go to the wrong place, still give each other a chance.
It is important that each party be sensitive of where they go on the date. Again each be totally comfortable. Going out for a fancy dinner sometimes can add to distractions to what is important. “Remember the goals involved in why you are dating.”
After the first date speak to your mentor plus keep in mind my list on what to look for. These are the main points.
The second date should be fun to light conversation, listening is crucial keep reminding your self what’s important to look for. The good person is what lasts, forget about your lists you can get along with many different people, marriage is the goal.
Third date: again tell each other whats important to you, their reponse will help you know if you are on the same page. Be flexible, open and realize what marriage really is. Be realistic and you will see good results because marriage is work and what you make out of it. That’s why you should speak to people with a good marriage. They’ll talk about the ups and downs and what’s important in marriage.
So let’s begin today, get a mentor, become realistic and review what to look for.
Rabbi Ben Tzion Greiper is author of getting & staying married the torah way and many other books