So, dating....How does it work?
Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:13 PM
Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:37 PM
also by not touching the person, you'll learn to know them more and see what u have in common more b/c ull talk more and get to know each other!! by touching each other, ur too focused on the physical aspect and u don't appreciate the person as a person w/ feelings and emotions as much
Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:00 PM
Allow me to give you an outline of the system, which, when explained properly, actually makes a tremendous amount of sense and works a whole lot better than the secular one out there.
To answer your first question(s):
Coming from where you are, you are well aware that a strong chemistry exists between the two genders, and why would you tempt the yetzer hara by giving him even the smallest opening by allowing general mingling and chatting between boys and girls, even with being shomer negiah? And you know what, as a girl, you cannot even fully appreciate the problem. The way Hashem made the world is that guys have a tremendous yetzer hara in this area - it is not their "fault," it is their responsibility to do their best to fight it. And we, as women, are incapable of understanding to what extent this nisayon reaches. So, while it might seem far-fetched to say that “just talking” is creating an opening for the yetzer hara, it is. It is more understandable once you’re married (I know – small comfort). (And it is immature and close-minded of anyone to say "it's not my problem - it's his" - it sure is your problem! First of all, this is something that was put into creation; there is no way around it, and you are making it unnecessarily hard for them! Second of all, as I once heard someone say (Rabbi Wallerstein, I believe), that's like saying "anti-semitism is their problem, not ours" - that may be true, but it affects the Jews very much, wouldn't you say?)
And about being shomer negiah - on the very baseline level, it's assur. Going a bit beyond that, it is one step further in terms of creating an opening for the yetzer hara, as well being something which has been proven time and time again to blind people to realities in a relationship - they become emotionally involved and unable to see important truths. I'm not going to elaborate here - you can very easily find sources; there are many even just on this site.
Now that we've dealt with the two issues you brought up, let's look at the actual system in practicality and see how it does work, barring those two channels (speaking, touching):
The dating system in place (I’m talking Litvish, here) is such that the first step, before anything else happens, is that you must clarify for yourself who you are as a person, where you are going in life, and what is important to you. Only once you have this backing can you even begin to know what type of person you want to marry, and once you know this for yourself, you know that you are looking for someone who not only compliments your personality, but also shares your goals, and is going in the same direction as you are. This narrows the massive ballpark of shidduch prospects – there are a lot of guys out there! Then you network – friends, shadchanim, teachers; let them know what you are looking for.
Once a name comes up, the process progresses to checking each other out. This is very, very thorough – you might speak to former and current teachers, people this person looks up to and has a close relationship with, his Rav, his friends, roommates, neighbors, etc. You are checking both to see if what looked good on paper also sounds good when you are speaking to people who actually know him, and also to eliminate as many possible potential problems – such as various lacking in key character traits, abusive tendencies, etc. One of many benefits of having a close knit, almost world-wide, community (the frum world) is that it is very hard to hide such bits of information – you live in a community with people who have seen you grow up, in all different settings, and who know you, your family… If it still sounds good after this stage, then you meet – why? Three reasons: One, everything can sound perfect on paper and from everyone else, but it may be a different reality when you actually meet the person. Second, you have to see if you “click” together – can you talk easily, comfortably? And lastly, looks – are you attracted to each other?
This system allows you to make a much more informed, logical, clear decision about the man whom you are choosing to marry. The dates themselves are set up to be conducive to serious, focused, deep discussions about ideals, ideas, goals, hashkafos, and life views. This is also why it takes what to so many people looks “so fast!” Once you have met a number of times (this can vary – from two weeks to two months, or other!), you can come to a decision – can I imagine myself living with this person for the rest of my life? (Marriage is not disposable! This is it! Unless something serious comes up along the way, and it just won’t work out after consulting with Rabbanim and professionals, there is no “and we can always divorce if it doesn’t work.”). Do I respect him? Do I trust him? Do I enjoy spending time with him? Do we share the same goals, and can we work together towards the same direction in life? If yes, then honestly, why not get engaged? And why push off the wedding – so you can doubt and redoubt yourself? (that happens with any huge decision – and this is about one of the biggest you’ll make!) You know that it’s hard to remain shomer negiah, and upkeep proper boundaries, especially when you are already engaged – why do that to yourself? Give yourself time to make arrangements, and learn the pertinent halachos, and then start your life! We go into marriage knowing that there are no such thing as fantasies, that marriage takes work, and that both the best and most challenging times lie after the wedding – it doesn’t end there, as Hollywood likes to imply.
(My husband is laughing at me - he says that I wrote a whole lot more than he ever would. Guys. I hope you don't mind, though.)
Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:06 PM
Posted 11 March 2012 - 12:25 PM
Remaining faithful to the rules of Tznius on dates actually helps the dating process considerably. How often does the physical involvement couples have during dating and the strong emotional effects thereof prevent people from being objective about each other? How often does it blind people to obvious defects in the other person (or vice versa)?
To frum people,dating is not a relationship. It is due diligence. It is a process to see whether these two people are compatible to be married. Part of that is to see how they feel about each other, or more accurately, how they will feel about each other in a marriage setting. The main purpose of dating - no, the only purpose of dating - is to assess these things. Anything that could cloud this assessment, an assessment that will be used to decide the most important decision of one's life is counterproductive. That includes physical contact r"l.
It is important to understand that, in the frum world, dating is not a relationship like it is in the secular world.There is nothing immoral, in the frum world, for someone to date two people at the same time (It is a personal preference. Some people find it confusing; others find it expedient). It is not considered "cheating" on the one you are already dating. Dating does not mean a commitment. It means that this couple has been deemed to be a potential match based on the information that was obtained - "on paper" it could work. His goals match hers; his aspirations match hers; they are both willing to live in New York (or wherever), and they are happy with each other's backgrounds. The only question left is: Are they a match? Dating is supposed to give the couple the ability to answer that question.
Many times have I seen married couples who really have very little in common or who are completely incompatible but they "fell in love" so they didn't see what kind of disaster awaits them when they get married. People would be surprised who they could end up falling in love with. It does not mean in the slightest that the couple is compatible for marriage.
As far as the "weirdness" of not being able to "high-five" and the like, that's a cultural thing. To some, it's weird not being able to move in together. Depends what you're used to. You'll get over the feeling of weirdness. It's just an issue of getting into the new mode of dating. You'll see.
Posted 21 March 2012 - 03:45 PM
Posted 18 July 2012 - 04:46 PM
As a BT, we don't have that world-wide community though (like the FFB). We don't have the Bais Yaakov parents and teachers that've watched us grow up. We can only rely on our Rabbi/Rebbetzen, and maybe other BT friend
I hear you. And I won't deny that certain aspects of shidduchim can be more challenging as a ba'al/as teshuva. May I just ask a question on what you wrote, though? What's wrong with giving your Rabbi and Rebbetzin as references? Or a friend, who is also a ba'al/as teshuva? Or many friends who fit into that description? Are they incapable of answering the same questions that are asked about everyone else? I am assuming, perhaps wrongly, that anyone who would be looking into you knows that you are not coming from a frum background, and won't be shocked to discover that your family doesn't keep Shabbos, or that you didn't go to Bais Yaakov starting from Kindergarten. Also, you make it sound as if you have three people, if, that you could give as references. This question is purely out of curiousity - but if you have been frum for long enough, and are integrated into the "frum lifestyle" to the point that you are using this system to date, who makes up your community? Surely not only your Rav and Rebbetzin, and perhaps one friend! That would be a rather lonely way to live, wouldn't it? Because even if that were true, I'm assuming they aren't the only people you associate with, and if the majority of the people that you spend time, etc, together with (again, assuming it isn't just another three) are living a totally different lifestyle than you - not passing judgement or anything of the sort on them - it's just gotta be difficult sometimes, no?
Posted 19 July 2012 - 01:30 PM
1) if someone/shadchan is so nit picky into your background, and doesnt want to marry you b/c you werent in the BY system, then you dont wanna marry them anyways!
2) people wanna know who you are NOW and what you want from marriage and things like that. watching someone grow up is a beautiful experience, however it is not always necessary for deciding on the type of person to marry and where they stand currently as an individual.