How to incorporate Jewish rituals into your dating life

Veteran singles often grumble about dating: they're sick of the small talk; the same rehashing of old relationships; the repeated apologizes for deviations from online profiles. But the problem for many of these kvetchers isn't dating: it's the dates. How many dinners and movies can one person endure?

Dating can seem much more exciting when there's something different on the agenda. One fun and affordable addition to the usual program of eating and drinking is a Jewish-themed activity.

If you and your date have nothing else in common, you know being Jewish is important to both of you: otherwise, neither of you would be searching for a date with a Jewish background. So why not get to know each other while doing something that celebrates your culture?

Some activities are clearly out: observing a fast together or studying Talmud would be excessively solemn for most first daters. But the Jewish calendar is crowded with holidays that seem custom-made for dating. Many holidays are occasions for parties: local synagogues or community centers may organize a masquerade in conjunction with Purim or an Israeli dancing festival for Yom Ha'atzmaut.

If you'd rather keep your distance from the dance floor, you might create your own holiday project: nothing brings two people together like a task to complete (unless they're contestants on a reality show). You could plant trees for Tu b'Shvat or – assuming you own an excellent tool kit – build a sukkah for Sukkoth.

One ambitious Jewish dater arranged a Rosh Hashanah visit to a local nursing home, during which she and her online match blew the shofar for residents who couldn't travel to a synagogue to hear it. Both daters had a good time, and thirty appreciative nursing home residents had a great one.

Family Influence on Dating

Family tradition and religious beliefs are two factors that will always influence a person’s decisions in the dating world. There are many pressures in the dating world as is, without the added stress of family influence and family expectations. For many cultures and religious groups, pressure is put on individuals to date someone from their own culture, ethnic background or religion. This really limits the opportunities for a connection with another person.

Jewish and Christian families are two of the many religious groups that feel their traditional background is a factor in their social relationships. This type of pressure on a person results in forced decisions and unsatisfactory choices. From this small group of people that fit in these expectations of the family traditions and religion, they are forced to choose a soul mate. This makes a person feel like they have no other options. Therefore, out of discouragement and frustration, people in this type of situation find themselves settling for someone who makes their family happy, but not themselves. By putting themselves second and their beliefs first, they are creating for themselves a life of unhappiness.

On the other hand, this type of pressure can be good for a person. If it is followed to a point of realism. Do not sacrifice your happiness for something that does not have to be a factor in a relationship. Relationships should be based on love and honestly, and just that.