Dating During The Pandemic

This Corona experience has given us time to rethink our approach to dating as a mindset and lifestyle. Now that we’re a safe distance from how life used to be we can be more honest, realistic, and objective about the entire picture of dating in our lives. 

There should be no difference in the way you conduct your life today because of the isolation or distancing we are facing. If something is real, if something is true, if something is natural then it should apply under all circumstances. The fact that we’re keeping a distance has a sobering effect. 

The first notion we should examine is that somehow dating takes away the feeling of being alone in the world, that somehow that gives you a relationship. We’ve created an alternative to marriage – a semi marriage, a quasi marriage. It turns out that this semi marriage has all the problems of a real marriage and none of its benefits. It produces more anxiety than it resolves and it makes you feel lonelier than if you had nobody. We should be grateful that we cannot date- dating as an artificial lifestyle or alternative to marriage was never a good idea. 

The only thing that a man gains from a woman is the completeness of the merging of male and female which happens only in a marriage. The Torah tells us that when God created the first human being, that being, that one person was male and female and that was the perfect model, the perfect standard. To be only male is not enough, and to be only female is not enough – you need to be both. After we were separated by God himself the only way to become male and female is through a permanent bonding, where they literally become one and their identity has merged. “I” becomes “we” – “us”. Any real intimate bonding experience has to be created in heaven. It can’t happen by human effort because it’s a superhuman achievement.

The bond of marriage is created by a humility and vulnerability that is absolutely essential, natural, and true. Vulnerability doesn’t mean vulnerable to hurt – that’s a weakness. Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness. Healthy vulnerability is the realization that I am not enough, that I cannot be satisfied with myself. To be vulnerable means to be lacking intimacy. Intimacy is the bonding that brings two people together so that they become one. The me is not the enemy, it’s the absence of the other. When you don’t have an other, you’re lacking in intimacy and your vulnerability is painful but it’s a strength not a weakness. 

The first vulnerability that every human being should have is with God. The first statement of any religion should be you’re not alone – you have a God, your God, your Creator. When you get married, you reproduce an intimacy with a human being that you already have with God.

 We should always try to act that intimacy out, to find another human being with whom we can be one. God gives you love to be able to love others, not to love yourself. Keep a minimum for yourself and give the rest away. You need to be more than you, not more of you. You don’t need to be more of you, you need to have someone else beside you. God will not deprive you of anything you need. He also won’t give you everything you want. It’s a good deal – make that deal with God. 

Leave the “me” monster out of the conversation – it’s not about me, it’s about where the me can go to become bigger, to become complete, to become more purposeful. That is the meaning of serving God with joy. Look for something beyond yourself and then people will be attracted to you, you will become a true nurturer, you give off life. This separation we are currently facing can be a great blessing for us. Let it be the turning point in your life where you get past yourself into something bigger, better, richer, and more Godly.

Click here from some more dating tips from Rabbi Friedman:

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