Dating Advice

When you are looking for a shidduch (a suitable match) it is often confusing. Many doubts may enter a person’s mind. This is not necessarily a negative thing.  The Lubavitcher Rebbe’s father, Reb Levi Yitzchak the kabbalist, wrote a letter to the Rebbe when he got engaged explaining that doubts and engagement go hand in hand. The union of soulmates is so high that the mind cannot grasp it. when something is higher than our intellect and beyond our understanding there is always an element of doubt.  Such doubt is a positive thing, recognizing the miracle of finding your soul mate and acknowledging that it is a wonder that logic cannot process.
Doubts such as how can I know for sure this is my bashert? Will I really be happy my whole life? maybe there is someone better out there? these are normal doubts that generally disappear quickly after marriage. 
Doubts based on personality issues, or problems you notice in the behavior , speech or yirat shomayim of the  other person are things you should not ignore. You need to notice warning signals before marriage and check things out. Speak to your parents, and if necessary to a Rav or mentor to see how to proceed and if those things are really something to be concerned about .
Many times when dating, young people complain they don’t feel anything. Somehow the chemistry is not there.  Well, it is very important to have what the Rebbe calls “hamshochas halev”: a pulling of the hearts. It is difficult to describe but basically a feeling that you are drawn to each other. There needs to be some physical attraction, some type of chemistry that you just click with each other and feel very connected on some level.  But these feelings may not manifest on the first date or even the second date.  Don’t discard the shidduch without giving things a bit more of a chance. If after a bit of dating you still feel nothing special, the Rebbe suggested that people should date next to water or fire, as those things arouse emotions. And if nothing works, then the shidduch is most likely not meant to be.
You need to marry someone that you feel excited to be around, that you look up to and feel happy to be with. If you come home after a date and do not look forward to the next date, that is not a positive sign. If you don’t miss each other when apart, that is also not a positive thing.
Choosing a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions of your life: date until you feel sure one way or the other.
But realize you will not find perfection in anyone. Be ready to compromise on things that are not so important for you. But do not compromise on issues of major importance.
Your spouse to be may not be on the same spiritual level you are, but as long as the person is committed to keeping the basics and is looking to grow, that is a good sign.
If you cannot handle an angry person and the person you are dating has anger issues, you need to know if you can deal with that or it will be too much for you to handle. Be honest to yourself.
And very important: talk about everything. Do not ignore things or hide concerns. Discuss your concerns seriously. And ask a lot of questions. Do not waste time discussing the weather. Talk about tachlis! Discuss things that are relevant to your married life, your future, you children to be etc.
Realize that often with time and dating more you will develop the feelings and appreciation you are looking for….give yourself that opportunity. Do not reject too fast unless you are sure the person is not for you.  It is always advisable to date two times to give each other a chance.
And keep in mind that even if a shidduch does not work out, it either is not the right shidduch, or not the right time and it will come around later at the proper timing.
There are many cases of women who got married older because their husbands were not religious yet or were not matured enough etc. There are cases of women who married much older because their husbands had to first get divorced before meeting them. We cannot see the whole picture so we cannot understand why things take time. But do not give up. Hashem has a soul mate for everyone.
But do not make yourself so picky that you reject everyone who is suggested based on silly reasons. Realize that many things will not be an issue after marriage.
Be realistic, honest, sincere and pray a lot. With Hashem’s help you will find the one intended for you in this lifetime. May it be with good mazal and bracha!