What to Look out for While Dating

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  • #590619

    shaindel
    Member

    Recently there have been many broken engagements,young divorces and unhappy marriages. what do singles have to look out for to prevent their relationship from ending up like that chas v’shalom??

    #681907

    Joseph
    Participant

    Its all due to the age gap. If everyone would just marry within their age, all shidduch problems would be solved. /sarcasm

    #681908

    oomis
    Participant

    IMO, singles have to look out for being pushed into rushing into an engagement after only a few short weeks of dating someone. They also have to forget everything they were brainwashed to believe in Seminary, lose the stars in their eyes about shidduchim and their future as Mrs. Kollel Wife, and cash a reality check, before making such an important decision. They need to focus on the middos that THEY observe in the boy or girl, how that person treats tradespeople, waiters, their parents and siblings. They need to determine if the person has outlandish opinions or demands that need to be met.

    How do the parents treat each OTHER (especially the father treating his wife with respect). They need to know what a budget looks like, and discuss how they will live financially should Mommy and Totty NOT be able to help with support. What happens when they have kids (as they probably will, right away)? Too many couples do not discuss these things fully. They focus on the transient outer trappings of being engaged, the excitement, the vort, the wedding plans, but not on the things that matter because they are supposed to last a lifetime.

    One boy I met together with his kallah for the first time, expressed the definite demand to have an extremely small (and I mean exactly that) wedding, and no need for people to be dancing and making it lebedig. Even when his kallah questioned that idea, he told her he dislikes groups of people, and that is that. Then when he paused and she began to make a comment, he yelled at her in front of us, that he was not finished speaking. When he saw the look on our faces at his rudeness, he softened his tone, but in my mind the damage was done. She called us the next day to ask our opinion, and I told her that while I tried never to make judgments to someone, especially a kallah, I felt very uneasy about this guy, and felt she deserved better treatment and derech eretz from someone who supposedly loved her. She ended up breaking it off (her parents were ecstatic and thanked me a million times – (ooh, maybe I should have received NON-shadchanus gelt for saving her from a bad marriage… JUST KIDDING), and she married a truly fine, ehrlich mensch later that year.

    My children have at least four friends among them, who married and divorced within a year or two at most. That appalls me.

    #681909

    I think that what people should look for while dating is compatibility , maturity, and responsibility.

    I believe that this trend is due to boys and girls living in a virtual world without any sense of reality.

    Most of the girls are taught that they should look only for a learning boy. However, none of the teachers are educating these girls, what it means, how to live a kollel wife lifestyle. Most of these girls are 19-23 and have never had much responsibility in their short life. They expect everything to be “peachy” until they get into their first fight with their husband (and fights do occur in marriage) or the first bump in their young marriage, and they go running back to their parents.

    The same applies to the boys. I believe that boys are never taught how to interact with a girl and that the chosson classes do not come close to teaching them the intricacies involved with talking to, living and dealing with a spouse. This will lead to strife.

    Furthermore, I believe that dating a boy/girl for only an average of 6 weeks is not conducive to a wholesome relationship. One does not find out the secrets a person has(and everyone has secrets, some big, some small)in such a short time (don’t forget they are only seeing each other a few hours, at most 6-7 hours, each date). One can easily gloss over or hide his/her shortcomings in this time period.

    I believe that dating should be spread out over a couple of months at the least. In this way, a person would be able to truly get to another the significant other, and gain an accurate awareness of the other person. This would help tremendously with the decreasing the amount of “broken engagements,young divorces and unhappy marriages”.

    #681910

    mybat
    Member

    Oomis and working make good points, another point would be is be realistic. Know that marriage isn’t the excitement of being engaged and the wedding, its real life. Look at the persons character and at his personality. Look out for big laziness and rudeness, traits that you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life. Remember that your friends will not live your life they will get married to other people and make their own lives, don’t choose or reject a spouse because you are afraid of what your friends will think. Its your life and ultimately the one that is going to live with your decisions for the rest of your life is you.

    #681911

    tzippi
    Member

    Looking at the topics here should give you a good working list:

    Colored shirts?

    Brooklyn eruv?

    Does s/he compliment?

    Kollel?

    etc.

    #681912

    Gezuntheit
    Member

    Just a point to keep in mind…some of the divorces now a days are not because of a lack of checking into the other side…it’s because Hashem wanted that person to hear / see certain things, and not others! If one side keeps something major a secret, can you blame the other side for divorcing? I do agree that many young couples rush and don’t check the shidduch out for the important things…but it’s not always their fault!

    #681913

    lakewoodwife
    Member

    Everyone is making such great points. I just have one very important thing to add…

    Pay attention to the ‘red flags’ that come up, discuss them with someone you trust (or at least someone with some experience), and if there seems to be a problem don’t just sweep it under the carpet.

    Case in point:

    I recently got a call from a twenty year old BT who had recently started dating. She was trying to decide if she should get engaged to this guy she was dating. This was the first guy she had ever dated! He had said and done some troubling things which she listed for me (I will not repeat them here for 2 reasons: I would hope some of them would not get through the Mods and if they did they might help her & her friends identify me). In my opinion, they were signs of current (or possibly a leaning towards future) deviant behaviors. I was very clear with her about my suspicions and the reasoning behind them. She heard me out and then said “but he’s such a nice guy”. This was the only positive thing she could find to say about him, and even then she could not be at all specific about what she meant or how she knew that. I told her she was, in my opinion (and that of my husband who had heard only some of the things she mentioned)making a big mistake if she married him . She said she would think about what I had said.

    I was told that as soon as she got off the phone she turned to a mutual friend who was in her house and said “but she doesn’t know me so well”. She continued to date him and was still planning to get engaged.

    (B”H I found out that she did eventually dump him, I think even before an engagement although I was told that it had nothing to do with our conversation)

    This is not the first time I have seen something like this. In my experience it happens more often with girls. I think that they become attracted to a guy, or to the thought of a guy liking them, and are willing to turn a blind eye to all of their real concerns. So they get engaged and, hopefully, break the engagement, or even get married and then these things come back to haunt them.

    Please, ladies (and gentlemen) if something seems like it might be a problem, get advice and act on that advice. You could save yourself a lot of heartache.

    #681914

    Phyllis
    Member

    It’s always good to discuss a serious date with a mentor. Sometimes someone objective hears things differently and can spot red flags. Don’t push your concerns under the carpet bec of excitement. Voice your concerns to someone you trust (s/o experienced, not your 20 yr old friend) to see if they are indeed valid.

    Remember that Yom Hachuppa is a tremendous day and affects your whole life. There are some pple that didnt have the rosiest engagements but then went on to be very happily married. I am no prophet, but this for sure can be attributed to the tefillos on the Yom Hachuppa.

    #681915

    kapusta
    Participant

    s/o experienced, not your 20 yr old friend

    I’m gonna take this a little bit out of context. I can not emphasize how important it is not to discuss things with friends. Firstly, no one (I repeat, NO ONE), as happy as they may be for you, will not be a tiny bit jealous and that never brings good things. Secondly, usually a young girl (in this case a 20 year old) has a very distorted view of things that may or may not be potential problems. Choose a mentor that you trust, and someone with some measure of life experience. (generally 35+)

    *kapusta*

    #681916

    ronrsr
    Member

    I would always find myself looking at some of the clues to the person’s true character: how do they treat the waitress? How do they react when things go wrong? How do they interact with their family members? Their roommates? Their friends? How do they speak of former dates, or former spouses?

    #681917

    tamazaball
    Member

    i agree ronsr .look out how they treat other ppl. ,someone ones told me to throw my date a glass of water by mistake ontop of him and to see his reaction, and as a coincidence it fell by mistake and bh” everything worked out well!! the truth is unhappy marriges divorces etc. is nonsense ppl are fighting and separating from there true zivugim and they dont realize it. they just think what if..i married someone else and they would be happier. but there wrong!! the person your with is because your meant to be.

    #681918

    mybat
    Member

    Yes tamazaball unless there is a very serious problem.

    #681919

    NY Mom
    Member

    In my opinion, people are very much influenced by what they see in society. The goyishe influences have seeped into our homes, unfortunately. People think that marriage is about being in love all the time, and if they don’t feel that way, then something is wrong.

    They don’t know the Torah perspective is to be giving to each other, and to do this it takes a lot of work. It’s not about what the other person can do for me or how the other person makes me feel. It’s about what can I do to help my spouse and make him/her happy. If you both think this way, then you can make a marriage work.

    #681920

    tamazaball
    Member

    Very well said ny mom!

    #681921

    pg
    Member

    They should also be taught to look for signs within themselves–of feeling tension, inability to hold a conversation, inability to really listen.

    #681922

    NY Mom
    Member

    You know it’s interesting, but I have often seen that what a person may complain about in their spouse, is often something that was first attractive to the person in the first place.

    For example, While dating: I just love his sense of humor! He is always making jokes and making me laugh! Same couple, married: He can never be serious!

    While dating: I love the fact that she is always dressed well with attention to every detail! Same couple, married: She is always shopping for clothes, spending so much money! We can never get out on time because she takes so much time with her getting ready!

    Try to project the ramifications of a middah or personality trait, and gauge whether this is something that you can live with in a marriage! If you are married already, try to remember that that was something you knew about the other person, and try to be understanding about it.

    #681923

    BasYisroel2
    Participant

    Middos , middos and some more middos.If the person is lacking in any which way in midos then drop them.

    #681924

    mybat
    Member

    Yes, bas yisroel middot are essential. Just remember there doesn’t exist perfection. (are we perfect?)

    #681925

    aaryd621
    Participant

    the most important thing is to watch out for those who stack their plates or use a soft plastic tablecloth. u can always tell its a bad match by things like these. if u find out they use plastic dont even look into it because its a waste of time

    #681926

    Metziut
    Member

    Look to see if he’s interested in what you’re saying, or just waiting to get a word in.

    #681927

    tamazaball
    Member

    you all have said very true things, lets just hope that ppl choose wisely there spouses, and dont get blinded by other things.

    #681928

    tamazaball
    Member

    yes you all have said very true things, but we should also know that people should choose wisely there zivugim and shouldnt get blinded by other things,like money looks,etc

    #681929

    noitallmr
    Participant

    I say you look at his shirt…if it’s pink, drop him!

    #681930

    Joseph
    Participant

    I say you look at his shirt…if it’s pink, drop him!

    Finally, some common sense!

    #681931

    cherrybim
    Participant

    What to look out for while dating?

    Look out for Joseph.

    #681932

    Joseph
    Participant

    Not available. Sorry.

    #681933

    mepal
    Member

    Why are you being so egoistical? There are more than one Joseph’s out there.

    #681934

    Joseph
    Participant

    Who else in known by only one name?

    #681935

    neatfreak
    Member

    You have to look for compatibility and similar goals in life. You check into the guy befre you go out and then you have to recheck into him (as if you never heard anything) from HIS perspective. meaning while you were told ny the shadchan and the refrences that he is such and such adn wants to learn for this long and …. get him to say what he is really looking for to make sure you truly are aimed the same way in life. also make sure to think of extremes (as mentioned above). when we went out i could see that my husband was laid back, which i wanted, but based on his stories adn actions i was able to figure out that he wouldnt be too laid back (not care about anything. also at some point you should discuss finances. it doesnt need to be an exact figure or budget, but how you are planning on living and dealing with life in terms of money. Also when money does come up later it wont be such a taboo subject. now i had 7 dates and then a 30 min date when we got engaged and dated for exactly four weeks. i wouldnt recommend that for everyone, but sometimes you can tell and it can work out fine- as long as you make sure of things. and talk it over with someone who knows and has your intrests at heart.

    #681936

    Jax
    Member

    make sure he’s not the Joe who lives at 26 Berditchev Lane!

    #681937

    mazca
    Member

    make sure he brushes his teeth, is a clean person, showers everyday and its not cheap with money, a generous person will always make you happy and Hashem will always send blessings. He should have a nice character and never talk or raise his voice to you.

    You should feel proud to be next to him. a good family is very important make sure the family is in a normal situation, like everybody should get along.

    Check his past and make sure you are in your senses and do not look only for looks, looks are decieving and the most important thing he should be good. And please dont forget he should never ever raise his voice.

    #681938

    Jewess
    Member

    See how he treats his mama and what he does when he gets upset (like if a waiter messed up an order or somebody takes his parking spot…). Does he always tell you where you’re going on a date, or does he want your input? Trust your instincts, but don’t judge people solely on them.

    #681939

    cherrybim
    Participant

    The hardest part is to make sure he has no addictions to: drugs; smoking; gambling; women. Many new wives find out about addictions after the wedding, and then its usually too late.

    #681940

    sammygol
    Member

    Who else?

    #681941

    sm29
    Participant

    you all make excellent points

    #681942

    dont let anyone convince you that he likes you!! if you dont feel it, its not there!

    #681943

    mt mehdi
    Member

    “IMO, singles have to look out for being pushed into rushing into an engagement after only a few short weeks of dating someone. They also have to forget everything they were brainwashed to believe in Seminary, lose the stars in their eyes about shidduchim and their future as Mrs. Kollel Wife, and cash a reality check, before making such an important decision. They need to focus on the middos that THEY observe in the boy or girl, how that person treats tradespeople, waiters, their parents and siblings. They need to determine if the person has outlandish opinions or demands that need to be met.

    How do the parents treat each OTHER (especially the father treating his wife with respect). They need to know what a budget looks like, and discuss how they will live financially should Mommy and Totty NOT be able to help with support. What happens when they have kids (as they probably will, right away)? Too many couples do not discuss these things fully. They focus on the transient outer trappings of being engaged, the excitement, the vort, the wedding plans, but not on the things that matter because they are supposed to last a lifetime.”

    Nothing to add.

    #681944

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    FWIW, I agree with rosnr’s point. See how he treats the people he’s around. If he treats other people nicely, then he’s likely to treat you nicely as well. If, OTOH, he treats other people as garbage, there is little reason to see that you would be an exception to the rule.

    The Wolf

    #681945

    aries2756
    Participant

    Really there is nothing more to add except maybe, make sure his eyes are always on you and not casing the room looking for his friends or anyone else he knows or might want to know. And of course that goes for the girl as well. If they don’t give their 100 percent undivided attention while dating or through the engagement period, then you will certainly not get it after marriage.

    If either party are not acting like they are the luckiest person in the world to have found you, put your thinking cap on and figure out why not.

    #681946

    allboutme
    Participant

    BasYisroel2 couldn’t agree with you more, so many things can fall into place/be worked out if they have good middos.

    #681947

    Metziut
    Member

    Look out for anything that isn’t normal.

    The most important thing is to be normal, not to be super this or that.

    And he or she should really really like you, not just be ok with the idea of marrying you.

    #681948

    FunnyBunny
    Member

    Should it be worrisome if a guy says he doesn’t understand why his friends are totally obsessed (with their wives) right after marriage, and they’ve disappeared off the face of earth? Is that just because he’s never experienced the feeling of being a newlywed or does that mean there may be a possibility that he won’t pay enough attention to his wife?

    #681949

    bein_hasdorim
    Participant

    Whoa! I have so much to say here, but no time now, so here goes…

    I know some of you will go crazy if I tell you guys & girls to test your dates,

    but the truth is it is a great thing to do If you are NORMAL & REASONABLE.

    Since the previous traits are up for debate if you really have them,

    I wouldn’t suggest testing

    Like guys… don’t pour orange soda over her dress to see if she gets angry

    that’s just nuts!!!

    or girls… don’t put chewing gum on his chair when he excuses

    himself to go to the restroom, (really checking his cell)

    that’s just crazy!!!

    But if you are sure your normal (get 3 friends to agree to that)

    & your test is very reasonable plus it shows a foolproof reliable results

    as to what you were looking to confirm. Go Ahead!

    Disclaimer:

    Know this though, if you really are a little meshuggah this might cause

    you to lose a really good shidduch, so tread carefully!!!

    #681950

    Metziut
    Member

    I would not test a date, and would not want to be tested. I don’t think it’s fair, you don’t always know why a person responds the way they do.

    Also dating is itself a very stressful situation, who needs to be worrying about being tested? Just see who the person is, over time stresses come up, you hear about their history, no one lives without stress and you will have a chance to see how they respond to challenges. you’re not evaluating the person, you’re seeing if you’re compatible with them.

    I see a date as getting to know the other person, not to put nisyonos in their path.

    #681951

    bein_hasdorim
    Participant

    Eliezer tested Rifka Imeinu to see if she was worthy of Yitzchok, and to enter

    Avrohom Avinu’s Family & she passed with flying colors!!!

    In This sense I mean testing. Like bringing up a a story or a hypothetical

    about being sensitive to other poeples feelings, and seeing her reaction,

    if she really gets it or it just doesn’t have an impact. There is no exact science

    to this but if you’re tuned into people, you can get a good feel for a

    midah that she or he doesnt seem to be tuned into, after bringing it up

    at different times in different ways.

    I really don’t mean putting someone into a difficult situation

    to see how they act.

    Although if Hashgocha Protis sends a situation, PLEASE be tuned into

    the person and how they react it is a sign from HB”H

    those who are tuned into the right station will get the message loud and clear,

    while those who are to busy with Chiztonius, (outer appearance only)

    might be left with just that.

    #681952

    dvorak
    Member

    So much to say, much of it already said by others…

    I am one of those young people, every other week we hear of another divorce r’l, either one of my friends or one of my husband’s friends…

    I have 2 bits of advice, they sound a little contradictory, but I like to think of them as two sides of the same coin.

    #1: Have someone older OTHER THAN your parents who you can go to for advice. Of course your parents are important and you should listen to what they have to say, but you have to remember that when it comes to your shidduchim, they too are ‘nogeah b’dovar” and they too can have clouded judgment. It is a good idea to have another adult you can talk to for a true “third party” perspective that may see things that both you and your parents may miss.

    #2: You have to know yourself, what you’re looking for, and what you’re comfortable with. If you are seriously uncomfortable with something- the person, how fast things are moving etc- DO NOT allow others to discount that or to pressure you to do something you don’t want to do. Marriage is serious business, and it is HARD WORK (how pathetically unprepared most of our peers are for marriage is another discussion that requires its own thread).

    Many people above have suggested that part of the problem is that couples aren’t dating for long enough. I agree- but only to an extent. We know plenty of couples who got engaged in 6-8 weeks who ended up divorced in as many months. Should those couples have waited longer to get engaged? Probably. But we also know plenty of couples who met in NCSY in high school and dated for 3-4 years, or people who didn’t want to decide too quickly who dated for a year or 2, and these couples were divorced just as quickly as the ones who dated for “too little” time. My point is, you have to do what’s right for yourself. If you’re still unsure 2 months in, don’t go and get engaged just because everyone is telling you that you ought to know by now. Conversely, don’t drag things out an extra 6 months just because everyone around you is saying that there is no way you can make such a monumental decision in only 2 months. The extra time can hurt things too (as in, after investing all that time, people decide to go ahead despite reservations because they don’t like the idea of having wasted so much time on one person). Again, you have to work according to your own comfort level. Chanoch l’naar al pi darko really needs to be applied to shidduchim as well.

    Of course, all the other things that people have said about middos, hashkafah, maturity etc apply as well. But I think that’s all included in my points: if you have that outside mentor and you move according to a pace that’s comfortable for you, you should be able to sort out those essential aspects and avoid getting too far into a doomed relationship.

    #681953

    Metziut
    Member

    yes but Yitzchak didn’t test her- Eliezer did- your mother or whoever does your research should do the testing, not you.

    #681954

    bein_hasdorim
    Participant

    🙂 LOL!!! If the mothers of the boys would test the girls they’d NEVER pass!!!

    and they’d probably quit dating all together, then there would be a whole other

    shidduch crises. Potential Shvigger Meddlingitis, not good at all.

    Don’t worry, if he’s watching you too intently, he’s probably testing you. 🙂

    #681955

    aries2756
    Participant

    FunnyBunny, I would say the guy is immature and uninformed. I would watch out for that. He might need a couple of pre-chasan classes to get it.

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