If you’re looking to date within the Jewish community, here are a few things to consider:
“Jewish” can mean different things to different people. By intentionally seeking a Jewish date, know how to articulate your experience with the Jewish faith. Are you observant? Do you keep kosher? Are Jewish holidays important for religious reasons, or merely cultural ones?
Tensions often arise in relationships in which faiths are either different or held to different levels of importance. Talk about how you see your faith play out in your daily life. Don’t assume that just because you’re both Jewish, you’re on the same page spiritually.
Why is dating someone who’s Jewish important to you? Know the answer before you pursue your next relationship.
Jewish Dating: Communication
Before you even go on that first date, be honest with yourself about what you’re looking for, and initiate conversations that will help determine if the person you’re pursuing shares similar values. Early on, discuss the trajectory of the relationship. Are you looking for a marriage partner? Are you still reeling from a difficult breakup? Be open and express fears, dreams and concerns. Start your relationship off well by avoiding mixed signals and vague conversations.
Can you talk about life issues, priorities and life goals? Carefully observe how the two of you deal with differing opinions and conflict.
Make no assumptions about one another’s ideas of how a relationship should move forward. Just because you met in a Jewish-specific setting doesn’t guarantee that you’ll each organically understand where the other person is coming from.
Jewish Dating: Vision
The present is important, but so is the future. Are you looking for the same things? Do you agree on how you want to raise a family? Do you see eye-to-eye on how you plan to incorporate faith into your daily life? Even work/life balance is important to discuss. Cast a vision for your relationship. Eventually, you’ll be merging lives. It’s best to talk about dreams for the future before you’re caught in a relationship that doesn’t accommodate your goals, lifestyle, or family plans. Relationships are more about common goals than they are just common interests, so don’t be afraid to “get deep” on dates.
Also note that many people, when raising a family, return to the traditions they were brought up with. So talk about your childhoods as you contemplate a future together.
Jewish Dating: Choose Character
Chemistry is important, but character is essential. Look for someone who exemplifies the values and characteristics you want in a future mate. Also check yourself: Do you exhibit humility, kindness and responsibility in your life?
The Torah prohibits ginevat da’at, misleading another person. From the very beginning of your relationship, be honest about who you are, why you’re dating, and what you’re looking for. Choose to date honorably, not wasting someone’s time or taking advantage of his or her generosity.