• Can be done by your parents or your advocate. As applicable, you can do your own research too.
    At this point, you and your parents/ advocate should be on the same page about what you want and need in a spouse.  *Check in every so often to make sure that they (still) are on the same page and presenting you and what you want as you really as and that you really are looking for. [Research in Shiduchim]

  • Dor Yesharim is checked.


First Dates

Prelude to possible future dates. The purpose of the first and second dates are just to determine if you to meet again. Don’t make too many judgments based on a first date.


Purpose of the meetings/ dates

  • To get to know if you want to know more about him/ her.

  • To see if you are comfortable (enough) with each other.

  • To break the ice.

What to do/ talk about

  • Practice non judgmental listening!   [ Really Listening ] 

  • Sit across from each other. Across the table (not on couches in a lounge; it is best to have the table space between you). This is not the time to ‘do something’ together.

  • Talk about just regular basic chitchat/ nothing important/ nothing personal.   [Conversation Starters for First Date]

What to do after the date

  • Process; do you like how you feel sitting across from each other? Do not analyze every little thing. [What to do after a date]

  • If there was no glaring reason not to go out again, then meet for a second date.

  • If after a second date, you still feel nothing, then you can simply state to the shadchen that it is not for you; no need to articulate why.

Next Dates

  • How many? Depends on how things are moving along.

Purpose of the meetings/ dates

  • This is the time to communicate your values and goals and to learn more about the other’s values and goals.  Of course, throughout the conversations, there will be some lighter topics as well.

  • Intentionally getting to know more about each other.
  • Intentionally letting the other know more about you.
  • Determining is s/he is the right person for what you want and need for your life.
  • Determining if you are the right person for what s/he wants and needs.

What to do/ talk about

  • Plan what you hope to cover during each date. Prepare your discussion starters and questions that you want to find out (and how) and what you want to share. Be intentional!  Plan your Date

  • Practice non judgmental listening!

  • Always confirm what you think you understand, what you infer.  Either ask directly, or if it is early in the process, ask the shadchen.
  • Move at a pace that feels comfortable to you.  Make sure you are conscious and comfortable about moving to the ‘next level’. No one should rush you – not your date, not the shadchen, not your parents, friends.  If you are stuck at a certain level for a while, then work through that. Do not move to the next level – until you are comfortable to do that.
  • If you don’t yet feel comfortable to answer a personal question, you should not feel that you must share. Sharing personal story while dating
  • If you feel that the other is not yet comfortable to share enough to move things along, try to make him/her more comfortable. Make it comfortable for the other to open up
  • Do other things besides just sitting across the table from each other.  !!! It’s not about doing something fun together as much as seeing each other in different contexts.
  • Listen into passion tone, choice of words, vehemence.
    – You can tell more about a person by what they say about others then you can by what others say about them.
    – Listen to how s/he presents a person/ situation that s/he disagrees with or is not happy with.

Some questions to build relationships

Conversations for Real Connection

Medical Conditions: To Share or Not?

Dating at the Speed of Trust

How to recognize if your date has a growth mindset

Will He Be a Good Husband for Me?

How to detect narcissistic tendencies during dating

Recognizing Controlling Behaviors while Dating

Recognizing Verbal Abuse

‘Taking a break’

  • Next Dates
  • How many? Depends on how things are moving along.

Purpose of the meetings/ dates

  • Build the relationship so that you
    – feel safe to disclose whatever it is that you’d like to disclose
    – want only the best for each other
    – want to spend time together

  • At some point, you will have to bring up the ‘undiscussables’, the things you don’t feel comfortable talking about – from difficult family issues to _________.
  • At some point, you will have to let your guard down. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Allow yourself not be in control of your feelings. This may be a very new feeling for you …

What Should I Be Feeling?

What is Hamshachas HaLev? And how do I know if I am feeling that?

*What is emotional intimacy?

  • feelings of deep friendship and mutual caring

  • feeling more comfortable when together

  • feeling concerned for the other’s welfare
  • feeling affection toward each other

  • feeling safe to share almost anything that you’d want to.

  • feeling emotionally safe to be vulnerable.
  • feeling that you only want to best for each other, and wanting to do the best for each other (even if it means doing something differently than you might have otherwise).

  • feeling that the other is the first person you want to turn to with good or bad news.

  • mutual trust, respect, admiration.

  • Make decisions with your head.  Your heart and emotions can have a say, but in the end, use your head. Not anyone else’s head or heart.

  • Before committing to marriage, make sure that you know enough about each other to make the decision.  Did you share everything that should be shared; do not hold back anything important.
  • Do not let anyone or anything pressure you. You must be very confident that this is what you want.

  “Pressure-Cooker” Shidduch Time

How well do you know the other person

How people get engaged to the ‘wrong person’

How to end a shiduch, with dignity and respect

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