December 16, 2016 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #618859chulinParticipant
This was the title of an article in the yated the other week.
Can a couple still dating reach a deep emotional connection prior to marriage? Does it only come after marriage? Should either the guy or girl insist on feeling such a connection before agreeing to marry?December 17, 2016 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #1207330
The title asks about an emotional connection.
This thread asks about a deep emotional connection.
It is hard to imagine wanting to marry someone without a positive emotional connection.
How would an emotional connection not grow deeper between two people who are willingly, thoughtfully, considerately, gratefully, and lovingly bonded through marriage and more?
What else is there other than an emotional connection?
Perhaps having shared values, a common goal, and families that get along well could more than suffice for a marriage foundation.
If someone insists on the connection, it could be a valid demand. People change so maybe having that strong connection, commitment, and communication from before marriage may help get through obstacles.
Technically the physical connection is meant to come after marriage, and the emotional connection is often a vital component for an intimate physical connection.
For me, having a deep emotional connection to someone prior to marriage is vital. Though I am not married yet so I lack the personal experience to remark on the differencesame before and after marriage.
I think that there are at least two people who happily managed without an emotional connection from the start and approached their marriage with the faith that the deep emotional connector would come later.December 17, 2016 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm #1207331
Don’t you have to feel some connection to the person before you can marry them?
I never understood how people could say that it’s impossible to like someone before you are married to them, but at some point I realized that these people who say “there’s no such thing as love before marriage” and “I wasn’t in love with my husband before we were married” must have just been defining their terms differently than I was, because it was clear from things they said that they did like their husband to some extent before they got engaged.
The idea that you can’t like someone until you are married to them never made sense to me. After all, there are a lot of people in the world whom I like even though I am not married to them.
And I don’t see how I can marry someone whom I don’t like. I don’t understand the people who have told me to marry guys whom I couldn’t stand being on a date with. You can’t marry someone whom you don’t like being with. I think that’s crazy.
I wonder if that’s one of the reasons for all the divorces. I can think of at least one person I know who got divorced for that reason. When I think of all the times when people tried hard to pressure me to marry someone I didn’t like, it’s reasonable to assume that has happened to others, and that some of them did give in to the pressure.December 18, 2016 2:11 am at 2:11 am #1207332
LU +1 on explaining how people may be talking about the same thing but defining it differently. Someone else’s non-connection could could be considered another’s connection.December 18, 2016 3:22 am at 3:22 am #1207333
What if the guy and girl have great chemistry, they praise and appreciate each other, and hashkafos, aspirations, personality, temperament, are the same. Does that lead to an emotional connection? A deep one?December 18, 2016 3:48 am at 3:48 am #1207334
BG, I would say “yes” to the first question, and “probably not” to the second.
But I’m not married, so I wouldn’t really know.
I’m not sure if I know what a deep emotional connection is altogether. But maybe that’s just because it’s winter and because I haven’t left my house in a while, so I’m feeling lethargic.
I do think that’s probably what people mean when they say you can’t love someone before marriage. There has to be some kind of connection to start you off, but it’s not real until you get married and use it as a basis to start a real relationship.
But this is all guesswork based on books I’ve read and conversations I’ve had.December 18, 2016 4:07 am at 4:07 am #1207335
The love after marriage part I think comes when people go through hardships together and overcome struggles and still love, care for, and respect each other.
The commonalities from the start are good and can be enough for an initial emotional connection but the couple is really tested after marriage. Maybe that is when things get deeper. And deepest.December 18, 2016 4:30 am at 4:30 am #1207336
I don’t think it’s a requirement, otherwise there would be fewer marriages. Does it come after marriage? Sometimes. There needs to be some type of connection between husband and wife otherwise they will drift apart and divorce. Marriage is suppose to be a long term arrangement, not breaking up after the first disagreement.
Could you define what is meant by emotional connection.December 18, 2016 5:08 am at 5:08 am #1207337
I just read somewhere (can’t remember where and I don’t remember if it was Jewish or not) that there has to be an initial chemistry to start with to start things off but that disappears eventually. It’s just meant to start you off to build the real relationship which hopefully is lasting.
I think that’s kind of similar to what LB wrote and what I wrote previously. But you would have to ask married people if it’s true or not.December 18, 2016 5:15 am at 5:15 am #1207338
That’s a good question. What is meant by emotional connection?December 18, 2016 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #1207339
Any married folks with insight?December 18, 2016 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #1207340
Yeah, I’d like to hear what the married people have to say about the topic.December 18, 2016 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #1207341
Crickets in the married sectionDecember 18, 2016 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #1207342
LU +1 on explaining how people may be talking about the same thing but defining it differently. Someone else’s non-connection could could be considered another’s connection.
I don’t understand how one person’s non connection can be another’s connection. Although one person’s emotional connection can be another’s non emotional connection. Nobody seems to want to define emotional connection nor chemistry or initial chemistry. The only chemistry I had was in high school when it was [required to graduate.
I’ve been married 33 years and married off three of my children going on the fourth. If you are waiting until you feel something in your heart eat some spicy food and you will get heartburn. It’s not happening. You need to think,(see) can you spend the rest of your life with your date then take the plunge and get married.December 18, 2016 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #1207343
In addition to an emotional connection, I want to have someone who cares about and actively works on being healthy. Not extreme.
Yes the… Emotional connection (attraction and being able to communicate and relate and feel safe with the perso) for me is also a must.
Yet to get to the point of Abba_S’s “can you spend the rest of your life with your date then take the plunge and get married,” I can’t “see” myself living with junk food and alcohol in the house for the rest of my life.
What’s that? A lifestyle connection? A lifestyle/values/priorities mismatch wears away at an emotional connection.
Maybe having those in line is enough to Kindle an emotional connection in marriage.December 18, 2016 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #1207344
Though having children changes things. They eat treats. So maybe people end up giving up ideals to gain a partner and give back to him or her.December 18, 2016 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #1207345sheldyMember
I think it all depends on the individual. Most people need to have some sort of “like” in order to commit to marrying someone, but there are those (beleive it or not- I know people like this) that marry based on their logic. If they see that a respective spouse is everything they want and everything seems to match but the emotional connection is lacking (obviously the person in question doesn’t repulse them), they might go ahead and marry them. These people are usually the type of people who never felt emotionally dependant on others and in general look at life from a very logical prespective. They are the minority.December 18, 2016 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #1207346
Does approaching marriage from a logical perspective make it more or less vulnerable to be founded on conditional love?
I wonder if one or both spouses would be disappointed and lose interest if theor expectations aren’t fulfilled.
For example, marrying…
*A kollel guy who later wants to work
*A skinny woman who gains weight after having children
*A very neat and organized person who becomes less organized around the house [which could be due to married stresses and time restraints]
*Someone to have children but the spouse is sterile
*Someone on a high level of frumkeit who later goes otd
*A good cook who stops cooking
*Someone with similar athletic interests but later is injured and can no longer join the spouse
I imagine any of these scenarios being more of an issue if someone didn’t come into marriage with an emotional connection.
The logical point of view, imho (btw I always mean “In/in my humble opinion” when I say IMHO or imho), sometimes sounds like it is more of a business deal.
But… I do think it works for some people and real love and emotional connection comes afterward.December 19, 2016 1:22 am at 1:22 am #1207347
Yet to get to the point of Abba_S’s “can you spend the rest of your life with your date then take the plunge and get married,” I can’t “see” myself living with junk food and alcohol in the house for the rest of my life.
If you can’t see yourself living with the guy because of his unhealthy lifestyle why are you going out with him? I was only referring to those who need to feel an emotional attachment which may never happen. Take the plunge before it’s too late but it’s your life and nobody can make this decision for you.December 19, 2016 2:02 am at 2:02 am #1207348
A marriage should never be based on love, especially conditional love, because love is a fickle thing and if one person isn’t feeling it one day, then the whole thing goes down the drain. Marriage must have a permanent foundation. Ideally, it should be based on Torah and the husband and wife should take advantage of their marriage and relationship to help bring each other to new levels of avodas Hashem. Practically, that’s mostly impossible to implement for ordinary people, let alone non-Jewish people, so a marriage should be based on a shared future together and for their children, which is something that doesn’t change and isn’t subject to the whims of emotion.December 19, 2016 2:19 am at 2:19 am #1207349👑RebYidd23Participant
Good point. I’ll make sure to marry someone I hate, because hatred runs deep and isn’t easily lost.December 19, 2016 2:20 am at 2:20 am #1207350
Abba_S: Because the emotional connection and feelings are/were so strong. Maybe also denial. So many other qualities were great. Which made it hard to turn away based on reality.
FuturePOTUS: Wisdom.December 19, 2016 2:34 am at 2:34 am #1207351
The opposite of love is indifference.December 19, 2016 1:44 pm at 1:44 pm #1207352
This talk got me thinking. Say your dating someone and it’s getting serious, are there any strategies you and your date could use to help reach that connection? Things to do, things to say?December 19, 2016 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm #1207353
If it’s getting serious, doesn’t that mean there is a connection? (I wouldn’t know – I’m just asking because I think that’s what it would mean for me).
I guess you really need people who have been there to answer this, but I would think that it would come from conversations about things that are important to you and involve expressing your feelings and showing that the other person’s feelings matter to you.
It seems to me that connections are reached with other people when you feel comfortable opening up to them. And also, when you let them know that their feelings and opinions matter to you (not by telling them straight out obviously, but by showing them by the way you respond to things they say).
I would be interested in hearing what the married people have to say about this.December 19, 2016 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm #1207354
Maybe we can convince them to post by giving then an anacha on a kosher vacation, a free night out with babysitter included, and/or a Roomba.December 19, 2016 8:16 pm at 8:16 pm #1207355
I know, this a serious topic. Why do the frivolous threads get more responses than this?December 19, 2016 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #1207356ShloimelMember
Is it possible? Yes.
Is it a good thing? To a point, yes.
Is it encouraged? Not as much as it should be.
Source: A currently married person who dated for a number of years.December 19, 2016 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #1207357
Shloimel, I very much agree with your third point. I think that I would have been spared a lot of agmas nefesh as well as wasted time if I had been told that an emotional connection is important and I don’t have to keep going out with guys whom I can’t stand being around instead of being pressurred to keep on going out with and even marrying them (Boruch Hashem, I withstood the last pressure but it was very hard).December 20, 2016 3:30 am at 3:30 am #1207358
At the minimus, I think we can all agree that there is a necessity for the potential for a deep emotional connection. If two people are going out and they don’t feel any connection, potential, or anything, then there is no point in continuing the relationship.December 20, 2016 7:37 pm at 7:37 pm #1207359
Shlomiel +1December 20, 2016 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #1207360
How do you mean it’s not encouraged as much as it should?December 21, 2016 10:05 am at 10:05 am #1207361
Big Golem – I can’t tell you what Shloimel meant, but I can tell you what that means from my own experience. Over the past more than 2 decades, I have gotten a lot of mussar regarding dating and marriage. I have been told a lot of things, including a lot of contradictory things, and a lot of ridiculous things, and a lot of insulting things. There have probably also been some intelligent things mixed in, but unfortunately few and far-between.
However, it has almost never (if at all) been mentioned that I should have an emotional connection with my chosson or husband. No one (or almost no one) has ever said that I am supposed to like the guy at all, whether before marriage or after marriage.
Marriage has always been presented to me as a chiyuv – something you are supposed to do because it’s a Mitzvah, and something that I am supposed to feel guilty about not having done yet. The purpose of getting married is to support someone in Kollel because my life is meaningless since I’m a girl and have no chiyuv to learn, and my only purpose in life is to support someone in Kollel. But you don’t need an emotional connection for that.
Just so no one should get the wrong idea- I don’t think the last part is a common message in the Frum world – it was my own personal experience because of the people I happened to know.December 21, 2016 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #1207362
lilmod ulelamaid- thanks for that heartfelt post. I’m sure many girls feel like you do.
“…because my life is meaningless since I’m a girl and have no chiyuv to learn, and my only purpose in life is to support someone in Kollel.”
That line is like a stab to the heart. How tragic that girls today are getting such a message.December 21, 2016 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #1207363
BigGolem, Thanks for your vote of support! Much appreciated!
I could be wrong, but I really don’t think that most girls get that message. I think it was because of the places I was in and the people I knew.
Specifically, (without getting too specific), I was surrounded by people who were “mischareid” types – meaning people who did not grow up Yeshivish but were Yeshivish wannabes and had really messed up ideas about what being Yeshivish means.
Having also spent a lot of time in the Yeshivish world (both earlier and later than the era I am referring to), I do not find these attitudes to be prevalent in the Yeshivish world. I think that is because in the Yeshivish world people are more confident about their hashakafas than people who are Yeshivish -wannabes and they don’t feel a need to prove themselves.
But those were the circles I found myself in during those years, and I had no way to get out of them until much later on. Boruch Hashem, I did manage eventually to find my way to Yeshivish society where I encountered people who did not think that way and I managed to unbrainwash myself. But I did have a hard time for many years. Even if you know you are brainwashed (which I guess means you are not really brainwashed), it is very hard to unbrainwash yourself without a support system.December 21, 2016 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #1207364
The purpose of getting married is to support someone in Kollel because my life is meaningless since I’m a girl and have no chiyuv to learn, and my only purpose in life is to support someone in Kollel.
The purpose of marriage is to build a true house in Israel and have children. There is NO Obligation that the wife support her husband. Your life is meaningful whether or not you marry a kollel or working man. Your life is very important as you can bring Mosheach either by being his mother or through your righteous deeds. In the army there are Paratroopers and members of the Armour units. Both of them serve a purpose and no one will say the others meaningless. So too you are a soldier in Hashem’s army and have a purpose. Hashem created you different then any other female. Why? If your sole purpose is to support a kollel man he could have made all girls to look and act a like. You have a unique task which only you can accomplish.
I would like to apologize if any of my comments were offensive to you but your comment that your sole purpose is to serve and support your kollel husband are also offensive. This is a slave mentality and would be expressed by Radical Islam rather than a Frum Jew.December 21, 2016 5:30 pm at 5:30 pm #1207365
“but your comment that your sole purpose is to serve and support your kollel husband are also offensive”
What??? If you read my posts carefully, I made it quite clear that I don’t think that way – that is what I was told!!! And it was clear that I was upset by it!!
I am offended that you called my comments offensive! Please read what I write carefully next time before commenting! Thank you!December 21, 2016 5:48 pm at 5:48 pm #1207366
A marriage should never be based on love,
I disagree. Love is the foundation of a healthy marriage, and Hashem wants it to be the foundation of our relationship with Him (what comes after Shema and Baruch Sheim? V’ahavta).
especially conditional love,
There is no such thing as “conditional love.” That’s just a euphemism for manipulative behavior.
because love is a fickle thing
Love isn’t some external thing that flitters on to you and flutters off on its own will. Love is an active choice.
and if one person isn’t feeling it one day, then the whole thing goes down the drain.
I’ve never woken up and decided “I’m just not feelin’ the love today.” Yes I’ve woken up sleep deprived and in a sour mood, or annoyed by something, but those feelings are like dust on glass. They are the ephemeral feelings that can and should be brushed away. Proper perspective on our emotions is vital.
Marriage must have a permanent foundation. Ideally, it should be based on Torah and the husband and wife should take advantage of their marriage and relationship to help bring each other to new levels of avodas Hashem.
Agreed. But love is the fuel that makes that engine go.
Practically, that’s mostly impossible to implement for ordinary people
so a marriage should be based on a shared future together and for their children, which is something that doesn’t change and isn’t subject to the whims of emotion.
Why would we base our marriage on something we have absolutely no control over?December 21, 2016 6:13 pm at 6:13 pm #1207367
I am sorry I guess I misinterpreted your comments, “Just so no one should get the wrong idea- I don’t think the last part is a common message in the Frum world – it was my own personal experience because of the people I happened to know.” Was this going on your comments about emotional connection only or your comment about the sole purpose of marriage is to support a kollel man comment also.
I wasn’t the only one that misinterpreted your comment, Big Golem did also. Your clarification only showed up after I had already posted.December 21, 2016 7:07 pm at 7:07 pm #1207368
Thank you for apologizing. Big Golem actually did understand my comment and expressed his sympathy and support. That is why I was surprised by your interpration.
That sentence “Just so no one should get the wrong idea-…” was only going on the part about kollel.
It actually seems from his post that BG thought this was the message being given to girlsDecember 21, 2016 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #1207369
“It actually seems from his post that BG thought this was the message being given to girls”
That is true, but that is not the point being discussed. Regarding the point being discussed, he did understood what I meant.December 21, 2016 7:37 pm at 7:37 pm #1207370
Avram in MD: I think we can agree that, like you said, love is the fuel which makes the engine/marriage run. And without love, it is very to continue a relationship, let alone start one. But I think we have to make a differentiation in love. Infatuation is not love, and it is nearly impossible to attain a real feeling of love in the beginning stages of a marriage, because it is something that can only be reached with long-term effort, commitment, and a real knowledge and appreciation for one’s spouse. We can agree love is not an emotion, because emotions come and go but as you said “I’ve never woken up and decided ‘I’m just not feelin’ the love today.’ … Proper perspective on our emotions is vital.” So to start, I believe we can agree that basing a relationship on infatuation, and therefore on the feeling people think love is, will not work out, for the above reason that that comes and goes and isn’t yet substantial.December 21, 2016 7:39 pm at 7:39 pm #1207371
Basing a relationship on real love is a different question. When a marriage starts, love simply isn’t there, infatuation is, so when starting a relationship it’s impossible by definition to base a relationship on love. So it must be based on something else. Infatuation? “Teenager-Love?” They’re not permanent, it wouldn’t work. So it must be based on a shared future together, whatever happens.December 21, 2016 7:57 pm at 7:57 pm #1207372
Basing a relationship on real love is a different question.
Ok – any thoughts on that question?
When a marriage starts, love simply isn’t there, infatuation is,
Infatuation is a natural, G-d given feeling, and it has its place. It’s like the very bright flames that jump up when you put a match to kindling. If you carefully put logs on the kindling and tend the fire, you’ll get long lasting warmth that is difficult to put out (and you can toss more kindling onto the logs to get big flames again when wanted!). If you don’t do anything to tend the fire, however, the flames will die out as soon as the kindling is gone.
so when starting a relationship it’s impossible by definition to base a relationship on love.
Why not? Of course love after iy”H many years of marriage is very different from love in the first year. But I see love as an active decision more than a feeling. Would you say that a chosson saying “I love you” to his kalla is not being truthful?December 21, 2016 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #1207374
Avrum in MD & Future Potus – On behalf of Big Golem, Lightbrite, and myself , thanks so much for responding. We have been waiting for married people to respond (you are married, right?). Even though I normally hate arguments, I am happy to hear your different views of the topic, because it is something that I have been wondering about.
I have always heard that there is no such thing as love before marriage, and I have never understood that. There are people whom I love whom I am not married to. And we have a chiyuv to love EVERY Jew. So how is it possible to say that there is no love before marriage, and whatever you feel is based on nothing?December 21, 2016 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #1207375
I didn’t see your first response to my post before I responded to your second.
But I think we have to make a differentiation in love. Infatuation is not love,
100% agree here.
and it is nearly impossible to attain a real feeling of love in the beginning stages of a marriage, because it is something that can only be reached with long-term effort, commitment, and a real knowledge and appreciation for one’s spouse.
I mostly agree with you here, except I think we’re defining “real love” differently. You seem to consider real love to be the mature loving bond of a long lasting healthy marriage. I agree that this is not attainable in the first stages of a marriage. Just like we don’t expect someone in their first year of learning to master a tractate of Gemara. But I do think that someone learning their alef-beis is accomplishing “real” learning. The appreciation and commitment can and must start on day 1.
I’m guessing our discussion will largely boil down to differences in how we’re defining terms 🙂
So to start, I believe we can agree that basing a relationship on infatuation, and therefore on the feeling people think love is, will not work out, for the above reason that that comes and goes and isn’t yet substantial.
Yes, I agree 100%. I think unfortunately the American culture surrounding us conflates infatuation with love, to the detriment of marriages. Secular fairy tale “love” stories always end with, “and they lived happily ever after” right when the real love story is supposed to be beginning!December 21, 2016 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #1207376
“Secular fairy tale “love” stories always end with, “and they lived happily ever after” right when the real love story is supposed to be beginning!”
That’s fantastically correct. Who knows how many marriages, in the secular world and in ours, could be salvaged if the culture understood this.December 21, 2016 9:24 pm at 9:24 pm #1207377
Let’s also stipulate that there should be a love before marriage, but there are many levels of love. There’s the strong attraction, healthy infatuation, at first. That, over many years together, through ups and downs, blossoms into a deep love.
A shame such discussions almost never happen in our world. So many of us go into dating blind to what we should expect and feel.December 22, 2016 1:46 am at 1:46 am #1207378
Avram in MD: Infatuation by definition fades away after a certain point. So it wouldn’t be smart to base the relationship on something that will all of a sudden disappear. (It may not disappear all of a sudden, but the realization that it is gone generally happens in a flash of intuition). The point of infatuation is to kindle a flame between the couple to allow them to use that time to build a much deeper relationship that will last beyond the time that the infatuation fades. So as you said, it is real ‘learning.’ But it’s not yet strong enough to base an entire relationship on (similar to that we don’t expect a 5th grader to understand a Maharsha.) So in your opinion, what then should a new couple base their relationship upon?December 22, 2016 1:53 am at 1:53 am #1207379
lilmod ulelamaid: I’m not married, but I’ve been studying psychology on the side, and enjoy understanding people and life experiences.
On a technicality that statement isn’t true. Because people often take many years to marry, and can fall in love before that time. Marriage is a major help because it signifies a deep and undying commitment to one’s spouse, and vice versa. There are different types of love. This is one of those things that is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t felt it, and is harder for me to explain, as someone who hasn’t fully felt it myself. There’s a love between friends and people, where one person cares about the other and genuinely cares for them in every way possible, and there’s a love between genders that mixes in attraction and everything that comes along with it, and creates a much deeper relationship where each person fully understands, accepts, and cares for the other in both actions and words.
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