Feb 23, 2012
Unwritten Rules of Dating

SOS Shidduchim: A married man shares a few rules for dating based on things he personally experienced on shidduch dates.

By Yaakov for COLlive

I'm writing this article today, not because I'm looking to become a published blogger or writer, I'm writing because of a few things that came to my attention, and things I personally experienced.

Sadly, common sense is "not that common" today! There are many aspects of dating and relationships that I would like to bring to the public's attention, however because of the urgency I will focus on 5 things today.

1. Right to Privacy

During the course of dating, (especially in our circles where we date for marriage purposes only) we may speak things that are extremely personal and very private. Therefore, it should go without saying, that nothing that 2 people on a date ever discussed should be repeated. This should be taken as seriously as not eating on Yom Kipur!

2. Decisions

While your sibling is dating, it is very likely they may confide in you, with any doubts or issues they have about the person. This is very common. However, please remember - Don't ever make decisions for them!

In truth, all they want is a listening ear, and by listening, you will help them make up their minds. By telling them straight out to end it with a guy or girl, you're creating 2 huge problems 1. You're not letting them make the logical decision that they should come to 2. if they do choose to marry the person against your advice, you just became the new enemy (and don't kid yourself - it WILL get back to the person that you advised against them).

3. End it right

If a guy or girl decides that they don't want to continue dating an individual, (which of course is perfectly alright), make sure you inform them properly.

If it's after only one date, you don't owe them any explanation, let the Shadchan be the one to notify them. Even if it's after 2, or even 3 dates, most Shadchanim agree that the Shadchan can still be the one to notify them. If, however, you decide to end things after dating 4, 5, or more times, please don't be unprofessional and end it through a text message, or a 3rd person. Be a mentch and call the individual, and say thanks for your time and wish them well in the future. If you're not mature enough to do that, if I may be blunt - you don't belong on the dating scene. Please don't use the lame excuse that it's not Tznius. You just dated the person for countless hours, you may have spent up to 30 hours with them, and hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars, a 3 minute conversation is perfectly acceptable.

4. Don't ask, don't tell

Your dating partners of the past should not to be discussed, as players in major league baseball, and what that means is as follows:
1. Don't tell your friends, I dated so and so.
2. Don't tell your spouse, I dated so and so (it has absolutely no benefits, and according to Rabbi Manis Friedman it usually does harm, I have recordings of them both saying this).
3. Please don't tell your engaged friends that your Chosson or Kalla is someone I dated, it's can be very hurtful and embarrassing.
4. If a boy or girl comes up for you, and you're not interested, don't go around telling everyone you know that they were interested in you. If you turn someone down, move on.

5. Just say Mazal Tov

When a close friend of yours gets engaged, please respect their privacy. Their partner in life is not like everything in their life until now, that you were entitled to an opinion on (this is not an IPhone 4 VS a 4S you are comparing/discussing). A true friend should smile, and give them the privacy they deserve.

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nicely said!
(2/24/2012 12:05:13 AM)
100% TRUE!
I couldn't agree with you more!!
(2/24/2012 12:11:58 AM)
Very well said!
If more people would follow this advice, there would be less hurt in the shidduch process.

It is unfortunate that some people take the liberty to nix the shidduch of another on superficial grounds.

As it is, it's a challenge to finally get a boy and girl to meet, but then you have the well meaning friend advising that "you could do better". Says who? Do you have a guaranty that this person will meet another who he/she will connect to as well?

Before you nix a shidduch for another - think! It is a big responsibility - maybe this is this person's bashert!
(2/24/2012 12:12:37 AM)
Just Facts - No Reasoning "Mr. Know It All"
Well, as everyone is entitled to their own opinion...

Besides for the things you mentioned that can be harmful to others, don't just state commandments because that's what YOU feel is right, let everyone make their own decisions.
(2/24/2012 12:16:46 AM)
Absolutely 100% Right
Thanks for bringing up this most important point which is
essential for the benefit of all .
(2/24/2012 12:18:35 AM)
= Be a mentch & have common sense. Unfortunately, common sense is not so common.
(2/24/2012 12:22:46 AM)
Well said!!
Thanks for sharing
(2/24/2012 12:31:14 AM)
To the author
While your advice seems "logical", have you consulted with a Rov regarding the suggestions you are posing here?

Regarding your point #3, I have once asked Rav Heller Shlita, who said that if you don't want to continue dating, always have the SHADCHAN notify the other party, regardless of how long you have been dating for.

Furthermore, he said that the entire dating process should be through a Shadchan, and NEVER directly between the parties. The guy/girl should not, at any time, exchange phone numbers.

(Of course, this only applies to those who hold steadfast to our Rabbonim and tradition. As for Chabad Lite, what I have said is completely irrelevant, for you can do as you wish.)
(2/24/2012 12:32:23 AM)
short and to the point w/out pointing any fingers
(2/24/2012 12:44:12 AM)
(2/24/2012 12:45:43 AM)
a positive, constructive and common sense shiduchim op ed
(2/24/2012 12:59:57 AM)
well said!
(2/24/2012 1:08:30 AM)
Rule Number 3
I am a HUGE supporter of rule number 3. Respect the other person enough to just tell the him that you don't think that you two are right for each other. The people you're dating have probably trusted you with many personal details of their lives and they deserve closure.
(2/24/2012 1:16:06 AM)
Very well written
You make very mature and important points.
(2/24/2012 1:16:59 AM)
Well Said
Finally a article worth reading
(2/24/2012 2:01:29 AM)
good points
Just one more. Take a deep breath before you go on any date and relax. It never hurts and almost always helps. A real breath not a short pause to gather yourself but breath in and out deeply
(2/24/2012 2:40:09 AM)
What about the latest craze??
guys dating 10 - 18 or more times and then taking time to decide that this is not what they want????
(2/24/2012 3:09:56 AM)
well said.
(2/24/2012 3:27:37 AM)
Amazing Article!!!
Thanx for sending in this article. I really agree with it all.Especially point number 3 which was applicable in our case here.
Wish the other person reads this article too.
Well written.
(2/24/2012 3:32:51 AM)
Very nice
Well done.
(2/24/2012 3:45:20 AM)
(2/24/2012 5:42:41 AM)
Many true points... but was written by an amature. and I dont agree with everything
(2/24/2012 5:43:57 AM)
nice article
and so right!

older single
(2/24/2012 5:53:23 AM)
Text MSG
People use shaddchens, ditch them after two dates because they like the person, then 2 months later they call up the shadchen saying the person is not for me....thanks. And then they feel bad so they send a txt MSG we are just not right for each other......
(2/24/2012 6:56:18 AM)
Sorry number 8.
I totally disagree with you.
I really thing its a good idea for them to be in touch with each other if they have been dating for more than 3 times and be decent about the whole thing.
Also if the girl & her family had to pay towards the fare of the boy they would think twice before taking a chance of just asking a boy to come over to any place whatsoever.
(2/24/2012 7:58:23 AM)
to #8b

it dsnt have to be the boy telling the girl, he/she could ask a third to pass the meassege personally and not trough the shadchan. its much nicer and it shows that u really care and not just blow them away. u could even call the mother/father of the boy/girl
(2/24/2012 8:18:51 AM)
not telling your spouse who you dated?
I am not sure about this one. it only leaves him/her wondering if there is still any feelings there. it could make for embarrasing episodes - we are a tight knit small community. i am not suggesting you tell while still only engaged, nor is it necessary within 72 hours of slipping on the ring. But why keep secrets? I think this is a secret, and generally speaking, secrets should not be kept from a spouse.
(2/24/2012 8:47:39 AM)
Amerika iz nisht andresh
As almost everyone has commented how Nice ! Great ! etc..
I want number 8 to know YOU HIT IT RIGHT ON THE MARK!!!!
Who made the author of this article a Daeh Zoger???What is right what is wrong?Harav Heller Shlita is a most highly respected Rov....
one last note... how right you are regarding Chabad Lite.aza och in vey!!!
(2/24/2012 9:10:43 AM)
If everything up until that point went through the shadchan, then point 3 is unimportant.
(2/24/2012 9:34:32 AM)
to number 8
thanks for bringing rabbi hellers opinion!

(although in my opinion, there was no need to bash other people together with that...)
(2/24/2012 9:35:06 AM)
What about the people that don't know the "rule" about not telling
something about someone before they go out,unless they are specifically asked? Like if that person was ever in a mental hospital,is seeing a therapist or has a serious medical condition?The attitude ,especially among baal teshuvah's meshpiim is that we are all grouped together in some sort of "defective" classification,and it all just will somehow work itself out.
(2/24/2012 9:39:50 AM)
Mother of Eight
Well said!
(2/24/2012 9:42:20 AM)
good oped
more plz on this topic -from this author!!
(2/24/2012 10:09:45 AM)
(2/24/2012 10:55:13 AM)
you SHOULD be blogging!
i don't know who you are and unfortunately for me, you are already married, lol....but don't sell yourself short.
you are completely right about everything and seem to have your head on straight. these are simple common sense topics and what's so amazing about this is ...that it needs to be said. it's not ingrained in all of us.
what does this say about us as a community of 'chassidim"...pious, holy etc that chassidim should be?

re point number 3 that everyone seems to feel is important to comment on: i have witnessed many of my friends being 'rejected' after many times through an email or text. it is SHOCKING that any bochur or girl would be so insensitive. if you can't face him/her...tell the shadchan for goodness sake, but an email?
cowards don't make good spouses anyway...so the recipients of these should feel relieved, not rejected.

wishing every single that this rosh chodesh should immediately bring them the right one. bshaa tovah.

p.s. all the comments about CHABAD LITE are despicable, small minded, self righteous and many other epithets i don't want to list. please don't set me up with any of their kind.

single in seattle
(2/24/2012 11:19:56 AM)
Well written, well expressed....but
TO # 8:
With all due respect to you, the rule about not exchanging phone numbers doesn't seem to make sense anymore.
(2/24/2012 11:41:34 AM)
Mutual Friend
Nice article.
I want to add something to point number 4, If you dated someone and that person got engaged to a friend of yours, not only should you not tell the new Chasson (as the author rightfully pointed out( don't tell your mutual friends either!
(2/24/2012 11:54:15 AM)
can anyone tell me where I can get Rabbi Manis Friedmans cd's on dating?
(2/24/2012 12:34:38 PM)
to number 8
To whoever posted comment number 8 - you are so self righteous. The so called 'chabad lite' might be more of a mentsh than you are - and I can tell that you may be lacking in that department from the way you wrote your response.
(2/24/2012 12:41:13 PM)
Please learn from my mother
To #8

My mother always taught me 'if you have nothing good to say, SAY NOTHING.' Having just recently passed yud Shavat and learnt the maamar (it is also in Tanya), take a lesson that not saying anything is a big expression of iskafya and it will bring you great revelations from above.

Concerning what you actually said 'this only applies to those who hold steadfast to our Rabbonim and tradition' there are many rabbonim in Lubavitch and I presume that they don't all agree in the topic of whether it is appropriate or not to swap phone numbers. Is it fair to assume that if they don't follow you and your rav that they don't follow any rav nor do they follow our traditions? This is an awful thing to say about our brethren.

As for your second negative comment 'As for Chabad Lite, what I have said is completely irrelevant, for you can do as you wish' may I mention something I heard many times directly from our Rebbe. Anyone that bothers (chepes) a fellow Jew bothers the pupil of Hashem's eye, so to speak. This is not very advisable. I'm sure that anyone that was present at the times the Rebbe spoke these words will never forget the experience as whenever they were spoken they were spoken with great passion.

It seems that you have much pent up anger and frustration. May I suggest you speak to your mashpia (perhaps even Rabbi Heller) or a therapist as it is not healthy?

(2/24/2012 1:02:43 PM)
from a different angle
NOt only should the single (who has dated a friend's spouse) not speak... but what about the new couple?
Once you are married, do not discuss with your spouse all the people you have dated, especially if they are friendly with your spouse. It becomes obvious and is very yentish and immature.
(2/24/2012 1:25:12 PM)
must disagree with point #3
I am sorry but I have a different opinion than most of you. If you have dated more than 3 times this does not mean that it is going well. It simply means that you are willing to continue dating because you see potential. Now, if you are not sure where this is leading WHY SHOULD YOU BE IN CONTACT DIRECTLY? keep the shadchan in between- until both of u are on the same page and ready to go forward. I definitely understand that there are feelings of another person and you must be sensitive. but there are other ways to show your mentshlichkeit and caring for the other person- you don't have to exchange #'s if either of you are uncomfortable or not ready. And keep in mind... some people need time to digest and therefore take longer to date and make a decision. If both parties would understand each other, neither would get insulted. and finally, if either boy/girl decides it is not the right one, why do they have to call him/ her if they haven't been in contact till now? I think it is perfectly alright to pass on a kind message and thank you through the shadchan.
There actually is a rule about that- do not discuss on a date if you are right for each other. and don't give a reason to the shadchan and definitely not to the person you are dating.
If people would realize that going through the shadchan is a more sensitive way to deal with it, there would be less hurt. After all, you want the guy/girl to tell you straight to your face why they don't like you?
(2/24/2012 1:36:56 PM)
Amerika iz nisht andresh
NUMBER #36... "the rule about not exchanging phone numbers doest seem to make "SENSE".........I will try to say this as nicely as possible ..or at least try... Rabbi Heller shlita Hoirois.... dont make sense anymore????!!!!!
Since when do Yidden Chassidhe Yidden Lubavitcher Chassidim....became capable of making that kind of remark!!!This is whats wrong with this entire generation...No respect for rabbonim...{because they fight ... moischisten not
etc..its not for anyone to say they dont deserve respect or not!!!!!! where is Bittul...???what is it our business...with the politics etc... Rabonimare not there to win popularity contests... We plain people at least myself... dont mish vu ich baleing nisht I have Kovid PERIOD!!!!} and as far as this PROBLEM TODAY ABOUT SHIDDUCHIM....... If we dont cant or want to beleive Amerika iz nisht andresh... that the TOIREH doesnt change because of cell phones computers pictures before dates...My generation a shadcan hot geredt a shidduch all this checking resumes asking friends,,{as if you will hear the truth anyways!} we relied on our parents shadchan etc we went out we talked we saw if we have the same values ...the Meshicas Halev... etc and Gebrochen a Teller.... Are all the marriages from that era happy... I am sure not... People are people... with or without the new era of computers etc...Bottom Line if YOU are a MENTCH... you wont a shlep a girl out or boy and all the items mentioned here that are undesirable... YOU KNOW WHY TODAY ITS SUCH A PROBLEM BECAUSE WE LET THE MODERN WORLD IN WE DONT AHVE THE SECHEL VU EIN VU OIS....THAT ARE BIGGEST ADVOCATES ARE STILL OUR PARENTS...... WHEN MENCHLKEIT BECOMES THE "DATING ETTIQUETTE" OF THE GOYISHE WORLD.... AND MEN LEIGT NIT AF DEM REBBEMS PLEITZES... AND WE "KNOW BETTER .... ALEIN BLONSHET MEN... ALONE YOU WILL GET LOST..So of course the natural progression is to say "I THINK THE WORLD CHANGED" NO it didnt WE changed.... {not me of course ....just a joke} If you want to be modern ,,cool, with it, rock,etc ..its a free world or so they tell me.... so you can think Rabbi Heller Shlita... is wrong... ess iz a bittern rachmonus... in hopes that eveyone has Menchas Hanefesh... A Gut Shabboss
(2/24/2012 1:44:02 PM)
All of the points are common sense and people who don't agree with number three are insensitive.
(2/24/2012 3:00:45 PM)
Also if the girl & her family had to pay towards the fare of the boy...

Well if travel fare is a problem for the boy??? What about for the girl? I don't see what that should have. The boy or his family could/should help
(2/24/2012 3:31:32 PM)
# 17
unfortunately alot of guys out there have comitting issues and should not date till they r ready to make a commitment and not lead anybody on
(2/24/2012 3:38:22 PM)
To 28
Amerike iz nit andersh.

(2/25/2012 9:53:28 PM)
Good Points
Well written article, some good points.

Just to put in my votes, I'm with the author on #3, a person after so many hours of sharing so much of herself and her feeling has the right to closure. It will also make the next time you run into each other less awkward.

BTW in the alte heim in the shtetel, everyone knew everyone, boys, girls included, don't kid yourself. All this ultra separation shtick in a new invention.
(2/25/2012 11:41:15 PM)
now they are written
(2/26/2012 12:18:51 AM)
usually the boy travels to meet the girl
never heard the other way!!
(2/26/2012 2:28:27 AM)
thanks for sharing
well said!
(2/26/2012 2:57:47 AM)
seriously asking please give your opinion
if a couple dates 4-5 or even more times but this is all going through the shadchan, is it necessary for the girl to be the one to do the closure? just to clarify.. they have not exchanged phone numbers yet!
(2/26/2012 3:36:01 AM)
bothered by #3
you seriously want the girl to tell you to your face why she is not interested in you? how does that work? just picturing this conversation... it will lead to places you do not want to get to(especially that you will not be getting married after all) and is really awkward!!!
(2/26/2012 3:38:12 AM)
a 20 yr old bochur
noticed a comment about a "new shtick" of 18 dates..
i cant seem to understand what the issue is? isnt this a once in a lifetime choice? shouldnt parents and shadchanim be backing off once the boy starts deciding this may be the right one. so what if you go on 18 dates if your not sure it's way worse to rush into marriage! could these extra dates really hurt?! and on the other hand couldnt these extra dates really help and save someone from a HUGE mistake!!
even if you want to say that after 5 or 6 proper dates you should be confident enough and know enough etc. you'll always admit there's a chance that your not right for each other. now, if you date more say 18-20 sure there's still a chance but it lessons, obviously even people that are married 20+ years find out surprises bout their spouses but the point is we're speaking about a meager few dates that may save you alot of tzorros afterwards, is there a limit? i think the limit is once you feel that you like that person enough and she has enough qualities that you were looking for that you are willing to live with her with her chesroines your ready to marry and until then find date her more. why is everyone pushing for so little dates?!
(2/26/2012 11:11:43 AM)
As the Rebbe told Chan Sharfstein in Yechidus(see Tishrei N'shei newsletter) Love is an emotion that increases in strength throughout life. It is sharing and caring and respcting one another. The love u feel as a young bride and groom is only the beginning of real love.It is through small everyday acts of living that love flourishesand grows. so going out more and more won't necessarily accomplish this. Once you decide that this bochur or girl has the qualities u want to base your home and and that u admire u r ready and if u can"t commit then going out more and more will only confuse u and u will start looking for the negative. and so the Rebbe continued put aside the romantic notions developed by reading novels and view love aND MARRIAGE WITH MATURITY.
love is not the overwhelmng blinding emotion that is portrayed in romance. These books don't portray real life. It is a fantasy world. Quoted from Yechidus with the Rebbe
(2/26/2012 3:43:46 PM)
Manis Friedman
says NEVER to say no to someones face. thats what a shadchan is for
(2/26/2012 3:45:03 PM)
to 55
your point is valid but that does not negate what 54 has said. Some individuals need time to decide and feel comfortable with their choice, and cannot accomplish this in 4 dates. There's nothing wrong with going out 10 times..or more if needed to make a decision. and that does not mean that someone is looking for romance such as in the novels..etc.
If I remember correctly, the Rebbe did not limit the amount of dates, on the contrary, one shall date for as much time as s/he needs to come to a decision.
Usually the girls are the ones who need time, and the boys are ahead, but whoever it is shall take as much time as needed.
(2/27/2012 5:51:03 PM)
(2/28/2012 11:27:47 AM)
Don't tell someone you dated the person they are engaged to...
Definitely! ...And the same goes for someone who is married!
My husband and I got married in our forties B"H. We had been married for a few years and were at a certain shabbos table when a single woman exclaimed very loudly, to my husband - in a coy tone: "OH!!!! I know who YOU are!!!!!! Do YOU remember ME?!"
I was horrified.
Later, my husband told me he had been set up on a shidduch date with her via an acquaintance and had been very disappointed in the suggestion and didn't ask the woman out for a second date. This woman lives in our community.
A few years later, I was in a room with her and she said, "SO...you know I dated your husband, right?!!!" Obviously not a well person...may HaShem help her...
What could I say? I just said, "It was only one date - that is not "dating someone" and got away from her - oy.
(2/28/2012 7:27:29 PM)
CM in CH
For those that have to use a shadchan to say no... Are you really so immature that you can't handle it yourself? As the author said, if you can't have a mature conversation, then what are you doing dating much less married?
(2/29/2012 10:40:16 AM)
to #43
#43 said "...BTW in the alte heim in the shtetel, everyone knew everyone, boys, girls included, don't kid yourself. All this ultra separation shtick in a new invention."

There was much more innocence back then. It's different now.
(2/29/2012 11:37:23 PM)
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