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10 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

How to know you’re ready to tie the knot.

by Rabbi  Dov Heller, M.A.

When you start thinking that he/she may be the one, make sure you ask these ten questions before you tie the knot.

#1: Do We Care about Each Other as Good Friends Do?

When you’re getting serious about someone, don’t ask: “Are we in love?” The question to first ask instead is: “Are we becoming good friends?”

“Being in love” often means infatuation, romance, and high chemistry – things that are essentially selfish. This type of “love” is not a good reason to get married, but friendship is. Friendship is not selfish. Real love is about giving to and caring about another person’s life. As Shaya Ostrov says in his book, The Inner Circle,“I’m watching you, hearing you, paying attention to you. I’ve put it all together and have arrived at the conclusion that you and your life mean something to me.” That’s why the essence of real love is friendship

In a Jewish wedding ceremony, the bride and groom are given seven blessings. Not once but twice, we bless the couple that they should become “beloved friends.” Make sure you’re friends first and then lovers. A lover who is not your friend can easily hurt you. A friend who is your lover will never hurt you. And if they do, they will make every effort to repair the hurt, just like you do with your best friends. Friends care about each others’ happiness and well-being.


#2: Are We Emotionally Honest and Vulnerable with Each Other?

Two people who cannot be emotionally open with each other can never have true intimacy and love. When we share our feelings with another we connect and feel close to that person.

We tend to be afraid to share what we feel because expressing it makes us vulnerable; it’s dangerous. With the person you’re considering marrying you must be sure you feel safe.

How do you know if the two of you are emotionally open and honest? The next time you have a conversation with your partner, ask him or her, “What do you feel about me right now?” or, “How does what I just said make you feel?” If you can communicate like this with each other consistently, you have the potential for building an intimate relationship.

#3: Do We Consistently Reach Win/Win Resolutions To Our Problems?

To get married, you must be sure you have great communication. The reason is that marriage is nothing but problems! I know this doesn’t sound very romantic, but it’s very realistic. Couples often mistake good chemistry for good communication. Just because you can talk for hours on the phone and feel very connected, doesn’t mean you have good communication. The only way you know if you have good communication is when you have problems. When there is a disagreement of any kind, small or large, this is when you find out how good or how bad your communication is. The essence of good communication is that you can consistently reach win-win solutions to your problems and disagreements. This means when you are finished talking, both of you feel good about the solution. There are no bad feelings on either side.

Problems that don’t get fully resolved turn into resentments. And when resentments build, love departs. The problem is not the problem. The communication about the problem is the problem.

#4: Do We Take Care of Each Other’s Needs?

One of the most important principles of marriage is: If it’s important to you, it’s important to me. Taking care of each other’s needs is about wanting to give each other pleasure. Being a giver is probably the most important character trait to have for getting married. People are naturally takers. It takes a great deal of effort to become a genuine giver. Giving in order to get something back is being a taker.

An important question to ask yourself is, “Do I enjoy giving to this person or do I find it burdensome?” Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages, suggests that each of us has a dominant love language or emotional need that makes us feel loved when another “speaks” that language to us. They are: gifts, quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, and physical touch. What is your partner’s love language? Do you enjoy taking care of this need? Giving builds love. Taking destroys it.

#5: Do We Admire And Respect Each Other?

We need to respect and admire the person we marry. We respect a person’s good character, meaningful aspirations and goals he/she is committed to, and the good deeds he/she has done, not the way he/she looks.

How do you talk to each other? If you truly respect someone, you talk to that person with respect and dignity. Do you criticize or put each other down? Are you patient or impatient with each other? Do you make jokes about the other person in front of others and then try to cover it by saying, “I was only joking”?

One of the biggest ways that couples demonstrate a lack of respect for each other is by playing games. Playing games is immature and childish. Mature people who respect each other don’t play games. They are consistently up front, open, and honest.

#6: For the Man: Are You Ready to Take Responsibility for a Wife and Family?

When my three sons told me they wanted to get married, the first question I asked each of them was, “Are you ready to take on the responsibility of taking care of a wife and family?” If you’re not ready to be fully responsible, you’re not ready to get married. For a man marriage isn’t about getting his needs met. It’s about taking on responsibility and being a giver. Judaism understands that the essence of being a man is to give and provide. Boys are takers; men are givers. Are you ready to be a man?

The strongest need of a woman is to be cherished. The three A’s of cherishing a woman are: Attention, Affection, and Appreciation. Neglect destroys a woman’s spirit. Making your wife feel loved and cherished is not just a nice idea; it’s a Torah obligation.

#7: For the Woman: Do You Believe in Him?

Your man needs your respect and support. He needs you to believe in him. Men today are under so much pressure and so many demands are being made of them. The one place he doesn’t need to feel more pressure is at home. He needs you to believe that he is trying hard to provide for you and the needs of the family. The cruelest thing a wife can do is nag her husband. If he’s a good man and he’s trying hard, give him your love, not your list of demands. So before you commit your life to him, make sure you don’t have any hidden agenda or unexpressed expectations. Be up front. And if you decide to be his wife, then be his friend as well. Don’t turn on him.

#8: Do I Trust This Person Completely?

The emotional foundation of love is trust. Without complete trust, you can’t build love. (I highly recommend Dr.John Gottman’s new book, The Science of Trust.) The essential issue of trust is captured in the question, “Are you there for me?” A solid marriage is built on solid trust. Can I trust that you will provide a safe home for my feelings and needs? Can I be sure I can be vulnerable with you? Am I afraid you will abandon, reject, or shame me?

A key way to build trust is by respecting and validating another person’s feelings. Listening to another person’s feelings is one of the greatest acts of kindness we can perform. If you don’t trust each other with your feelings, think twice about getting married.

#9: Do We Want the Same Things Out of Life?

One of two things happens in a marriage: People either grow together or grow apart. Spiritual compatibility is one of the best ways to insure you’ll grow together. This means you are on the same page in terms of your values, priorities, and life goals. Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of blessed memory, would often teach that life’s most important question is “What am I living for?” He maintained that until you can answer this question, you have no business getting married. A soul mate is a goal mate. Marriage is risky. Two people who don’t know what they’re living for may have a difficult time growing together and staying together over the long run.

#10: Do I Have Peace of Mind About This Decision?

To have peace of mind you have to identify and resolve the things that bother you about getting married or about marrying this person. To identify everything that bothers you, you must be ruthlessly honest with yourself and listen to your feelings. If you don’t have peace of mind about marrying this person, track down the reason. If you are diligent, you’ll discover the reason why you are dragging your feet. And if you can’t track it down through your own efforts, see a competent therapist to help you.

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As we approach Rosh Hashana – we are coming to another year and new beginnings – today I decided to spend some time “helping” those that are looking for their “Beshert” – (Partner). Rabbi Yonason ben Uziel -  Rabbi Yonason died unmarried. He had no children and raised no family. What better then a person who went through being single – to know  what the frustrations are.

His buriel site is in Amuka – a half hour from my home – people of all ages who are single, or others on behalf of those that are – go to his “Kever” and daven (pray) – I went there for all the single’s I work with – and those that I know. I hope this year brings you your partner, and you should have a year filled with peace, love, health and happiness


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It is amazing – I just had my 18th engagement through the site. I also made 1 off site. Jewish Dating as we all know is so difficult – and it is realistic to say we are in a Dating crisis. Limited potential – more men out there then woman, and the modern technology that should be making things easier – in some ways doesn’t.

So  many people ask me how do I do it, and I have to admit I am really not sure. I can’t say I am different then any  of the other matchmakers on the site, make the match try to follow-up with the member, and see how things go. Maybe it is that I really speak with my members and ask them to be as realistic as possible. I try to follow through with them and mention that they can always contact me if they have questions or concerns.

But in the end I have to admit – it is not ME making the match – I am just the Shaliach for it to happen – the Messenger.

They say to meet your Beshert…..

 best translated as your soul mate that G-d has pre-ordained that two souls will meet. It says in the Bible that 40 days before you are born that “the daughter of so and so is destined for this person” This is your, Beshert. A match made in heaven.

Does this mean that we should wait around? If G-d has already chosen our Beshert, then one day that person should just appear. The answer to this is no, just as your Beshert has been chosen for you there is the possibility that with free will involved, you may not actually meet your Beshert.

Finding your Beshert is bringing two souls together. Just as Eve was made from Adam’s ribs, and then they were reunited, so to is the connection for husband and wife, finding your Beshert means bringing your two souls together, and becoming whole once again.

Finding your Beshert. What happens today is so many people want to get a good education, and advanced degree. They are so involved in this that they may have the potential to missing out on finding there Beshert. They spend so much time pursuing what they think will be a good thing then find themselves in there 30′s and 40′s missing out on something. .

Others may decide that to travel and see the world is there way of life. So they spend the time working hard to pay for the extended trips around the world. Not making the time to meet .

Maybe for some it is time to stop and think. What do you really want? Meeting your Beshert?  Or the degree, stamps in the passport, or the family that you could go home to at night, that will be there for you. Your Beshert is out there, if you take the time, but we also don’t know if you wait to long your Beshert will go to someone else while you are involved in other things. Sometimes you have to be more open when someone makes a suggestion for you. You may be loosing out on your Beshert as you are not open to dating someone with children from a previous marriage, someone a little older/younger or with characteristics that weren’t exactly that you thought would be your ideal.

You will always hear incredible stories on how people met. Through travels, the boy next door, blind dates, parties. You will not know how you will meet your Beshert. But by sitting around and waiting it will not happen. You must be open minded and really consider when someone discusses a potential match for you.

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Dating is difficult – it is frustrating the longer you date you become more so, plus you loose self-esteem and find yourself thinking will this even happen to me.

Maybe it is time to take a break from Jewish Dating,  refocus, and figure out what and who you are looking for. If you, are not happy with who you are, where you are, this will come across while dating. Reconsider your criteria, are you looking for someone that just doesn’t exist, or are your expectations just a little too high?

Do you have a “best friend” of the opposite sex. Who you never even considered to be “the one” maybe they are. Take the chance – don’t worry about loosing a friend you may gain a partner.

If your career, friends, family, take too much of your time, and you say you want to meet someone, well you will have to find the time in your already hectic schedule to meet, and make a relationship work. A relationship is work – it is compromise, finding time to go out, speak to each other, see if there can be  potential. So if you aren’t really serious about making the TIME, then you may require to figure out how to do this.

Remember what ever your decision, if you really want it – then it can happen. No one knows how or where or when you will meet, but if you don’t make the effort, the time, the steps to have yourself ready for a committed relationship then it will be impossible. So if need be, take time out and refocus, rethink and get yourself ready.

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How do I Know?

Wanted to share this with you…


Dear Rachel,

I know this question sounds a bit ridiculous, but how do I know when I have found “the one”? I have always had this dream that one day I will meet the right man, we will lock eyes, and just know that we are soulmates. But now I’m worried that I keep passing on great guys because there were no fireworks like I expected when we met. And I am scared that while I wait for Mr. Perfect, I am letting go of Mr. Almost Perfect. How will I know when I really have found the right guy?

Still Single


Dear Still Single,

Life would be so easy if, when we met the right person, a neon light would start flashing “Your Soulmate!” If only we could always know instantaneously as you describe. And for some people, it really does happen that way. Which I think makes it all the harder for those for whom it doesn’t happen that way. Take any of these romantic notions, such as love at first sight, and you will find real-life examples of people who met and just knew. I mean, look back to Genesis, where we are told that when Rebecca first saw Isaac, she was so smitten that she fell off her camel! And yet, you can find true love, even if it wasn’t there at first sight (or second, third, or fourth sight, for that matter).

We are complex beings. Just trying to understand ourselves and how we work can take a lifetime to figure out. Then try to figure out another person and how the two of you will connect, and clearly there is a lot to deal with. The Talmud states that it is as hard for G‑d to make a match between a man and a woman as it was for Him to split the sea (kasheh le-zavgan ki-kriyat yam suf). So you can feel a little better that you are having a hard time knowing who is your soulmate.

You mention, though, that you are waiting for Mr. Perfect. In case you haven’t already figured it out, he doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as Mr. Perfect. Nobody is perfect, including you. However, even though there is no Mr. Perfect, there is Mr. Perfect for You. And that is who you need to focus on finding. First drop your desire for perfection, and drop your idealized romantic notion that if he is right for you, you will immediately know. Then, without those pressures on your head, you can start to wonder about the actual human being you meet. But there is something else you need to know. And that is: even though there is a Mr. Perfect for You, that doesn’t mean that he is everything you ever wanted. Because that would make him once again Mr. Perfect, who we just said doesn’t exist. Being “perfect for you” means that he is the one who will help you become a better person; he is the one with whom you can work together, so that the two of you will be able to really accomplish something in this world.

That doesn’t mean that things will be easy. If anything, sometimes it is the relationships with the most challenges that are the strongest ones, but it means that the right one for you will help you become the person you are meant to be. So how will you know when you have met him? While I know you want a real simple equation, it is not always so simple.

But one thing that can help is: before you even meet him, you need to know what you are looking for. The better you know yourself—what is important for you and what you need—the more you will be able to know when you have found the right person for you. And you will need to also distinguish between what you need and what you want. There is nothing wrong with wants, but just make sure that they are lower on your list than the needs. And when you think of what is most important to you, you must prioritize and know which qualities and attributes you will not compromise on, and which ones are up for discussion. You are the only one who knows what is most important to you, and the qualities that are essential to you in your husband. And when you think about these qualities, think about those that do not fade with time, and those that will be necessary when things are not so easy in life. You may want someone good looking, or muscular, or with a stable job, but these are things that can all change instantaneously. We lose our looks with age, and we can lose our job without any notice. But a person who is compassionate, responsible, supportive, caring, dedicated, etc., is the person who will be able to adapt to whatever comes your way in life.

It sounds like, if you really want to settle down and find someone with whom you can spend your life, you need to spend some time realizing the kind of life you want to live and the kind of person who can help you accomplish that. Recognizing your own flaws will also make you more compassionate and accepting of someone else’s. I hope to hear good news soon, when you find the one with whom you can truly grow and develop.


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Are you still looking over your shoulder?


You are at a Jewish singles event and speaking with someone – but still tend to look out to see who else comes in that may be cuter or more attractive and not give the person you are speaking with your full attention – you may not be ready.


If you go out on a date, and you are still thinking of you last relationship – you may not be ready.


If you are out on a date, and that is all you are speaking about is your last date, previous relationships, and comparing one person to the other on your date – you may not be ready.


It is time to stop comparing, thinking that there may be someone out there better, stop looking for the perfect, and instead give someone time, and effort to make it work or at least see if it can – you may not be ready.


So if this is you – stop meeting and looking over your shoulder, take the time you need to get over the last relationship, put yourself in the position that you know you are willing and available to take the time to work on a relationship, because YES it is work, and only then will you be available to let someone into you life.



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Why Get Married

I would like to share this with you….


By Aron Moss
“Chupah” by chassidic artist Zalman Kleinman
“Chupah” by chassidic artist Zalman Kleinman


In today’s world, is marriage still relevant? Unlike a hundred years ago, a couple today can live together without getting married. What are they missing? (This is not a theoretical question for me . . . )


Marriage is more relevant today than ever before in history. Marriage used to be a given. Now it is a choice. All the old arguments for marriage have fallen away, and we are left with only one true reason to get married. We can finally get married for the right reason.

What were once good reasons to get married are largely irrelevant today. Here are four classic reasons to get married:

So we can live together. As you pointed out in your question, this reason no longer applies to the many couples who live happily together without getting married.

So we can have children. Again, it is possible to have children and be wonderful parents without getting married.

To make a solid commitment. That’s a charming one. We are getting married to make it harder to walk away from each other. How romantic.

To make our relationship official. You could achieve that by placing an announcement in the newspaper saying, “We are now official.” You don’t need a caterer to serve gazpacho soup in a ballroom just to make it official.

So what are we left with? If not to live together, to start a family, to make a commitment or to make it official, why get married?

There’s only one reason.

Marriage makes a relationship divine. Getting married means that something bigger than both of you is bringing you together. A wedding achieves something that simply can’t happen otherwise: G‑d is introduced into the relationship.

Until they are married, a couple’s commitment to each other is a human commitment, with all the limitations of being human. We can’t see the future, we can’t know what may change and what may eventuate, and we make mistakes. The chupah elevates the commitment beyond human limitations. The blessings made under the chupah invoke G‑d’s name upon the couple, and bring G‑d into the union as a partner. You are married not just because you chose to be, but because G‑d has said so.

Without a chupah, you can have love, commitment and family—but it isn’t holy. Only by standing under a chupah and marrying according to tradition does your union become sacred. Only after the wedding is your love blessed with the divine imprint of eternity.

By Aron Moss
Rabbi Aron Moss teaches Kabbalah, Talmud and practical Judaism in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to

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Why waste your time or anyone else’s. If you are not going to make an effort in dating then DON’T date.

Go out with you friends and hang out at home or work – but if you are not serious why go through the motions.

I am so tired of hearing my members complaining that they called, left a message with a mutually approved match – and the other person has not contacted them back. Why bother going through the motions to pay for a Jewish on-line site, log in, accept matches, matches get approved, and then no follow-up. It is so difficult to actually get couples to agree to go out and meet – then not to. WHY

Everyone is busy in life, no matter the stage you are in, school, careers, life. But if you want a future with a spouse, and family, then the efforts have to be made to actually go out. We all know life is not easy, and with every stage there are challenges – some come easier then others, and other’s have to work harder for some things. Dating is difficult – but if you have an opportunity and you say you are interested then why not take it?

Dating is difficult – let alone Jewish Dating – to find someone that you are not only compatible personality wise but level of “Jewishness” as well. Dating on-line is easy – especially Jretromatch. You have someone looking out for you – sending you a match, if you like the match, accept, if it gets mutually approved you call and meet.

Take the time, an hour of the day to meet for coffee. If you can’t do that then maybe just reconsider – and when you are ready, we will be waiting for you.




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I would like to ask people their opinion:

I know many people will meet more the one person at a time, and other’s prefer to only go out and see how one date goes before they go out with someone else. What do you do when you are using a on-line matchmaking site and have a really good potential match, then get a call from your Shadchan that a match that she has been working on – the person is ready to go out and everything has been checked with references and appears to be a good potential match as well?

How do you make the decision of which person to go out with first?



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Jretromatch did it again.

Another successful Shidduch (match). With all the frustrations of setting people up, the amount of declines, complaints, and hours spent reviewing emails, seeing the reasons for the declined matches, the mutually approved matches that one person doesn’t follow through on, just to see it closed up a few weeks later….this is the reason all the matchmakers continue to spend the time.

When a match is made – we say Mazel Tov, and are thrilled to be doing what we do.


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