Oy, how it hurts my neshama to think about all the pointless sex going on out there. Won’t people ever learn that mind-blowing orgasms with a rapid succession of attractive partners is not the way to achieve lasting happiness?
In the secular dating system, young people meet and date for fun. Nearly everyone is a potential partner and everywhere – college, workplace, vacation, a bus ride – a potential meeting spot. In this system, if people like each other, they choose to spend more and more time together. Eventually, they may decide to marry. Whatever its flaws, it allows for many opportunities to meet a potential mate. It also allows commitment to evolve naturally from a long-term relationship.
Shidduch dating blends these two approaches. Many in our community are uncomfortable with arranged marriages, believing that young people should have the freedom to choose their own spouse. At the same time, we fear that too much freedom will lead to unacceptable results, from bad choices to frivolous and immodest behavior to intermarriage.
So we’ve developed a hybrid: shidduch dating. In this system, couples are expected to date – to learn about each other, develop some level of feelings, and then exercise their right to choose. But they exercise these rights and freedoms within the strictures of the shidduch system: the type of person they may meet, the places they may go, the clothing they may wear, the length of their relationship and many other factors are strictly controlled by social norms.