Only Date Jewish: a Letter to My Younger Brother

Dear [younger brother],

There are several attitudes a person can have regarding getting married at any given time:

1. I am not ready, even if I find the right person.

2. I will be ready when I find the right person.

3. I am ready, so let me set about finding the right person.

Anyone holding to  position 2 should immediately take on, instead, position 3. The reason is simple: a person is more likely to do something right when he does it intentionally.

If you will first figure out which qualities are characteristic of a good wife, and then set out looking for a woman that meets those criteria, you will be far more likely to fall in love with and marry a good wife than you will be if you just hit the dating scene without purpose, forethought and planning.

Because when one dates without purpose, he looks for different things than he looks for when he dates to marry:

While, when looking to marry, a sensible man will pay little (serious) attention to the high heeled halter topped woman in the local coffee house or the wild drunk chick at the company party, a sensible man who is only dating might pay these woman significant attention.

Or–a less crass but more dangerous example–a sensible man only dating may be looking for more than a fleeting, meaningless relationship; he may be looking for companionship–a girlfriend. Now what makes a fun girl friend does not necessarily make a good wife, and, conversely, what makes a good wife does not necessarily make a fun girlfriend: a fun girlfriend need not want children; a good wife must; a fun girl friend can think maintaining a house is beneath her; a good wife must not. a fun girlfriend can love clubbing with her girlfriends; a good wife must not (trust me). A militant feminist might make a fun girl friend; she would make a horrible wife. A pot-head, dead-head might make a fun girl friend; she would make a miserable wife.

Here is the problem: often a person falls in love with his girlfriend, and he sometimes even marries her. It is unlikely–if not utterly impossible–that a man will be as demanding of quality in a woman after falling in love with her than he would have been before he fell in love with her. And when you consider that this girl, with whom he has now fallen in love and decided to marry, very likely would not even have come up on his radar screen as a potential wife had he been looking for one to begin with, you will see that this marriage may well be a disaster waiting to happen.

It seems, therefore, that a man who is ready to marry when he finds the right person should set out purposefully to make it happen. And he must not just let it happen, when it happens, in any which way it happens. Because when you don’t make things happen rightly, they often happen wrongly. And this is especially true regarding matters of the heart.

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