[Podcast episode] How to Date For Marriage
Rabbi Manis Friedman shares his thoughts on how to date for marriage. You’ll hear about intimacy, sex, and why free love has made us more lonely than ever.
Rabbi Manis Friedman spoke with me on Last First Date Radio about how to date for marriage. While his perspective is conservative, and we don’t always agree, I think you’ll find this episode to be thought-provoking.
Rabbi Friedman is a world-renowned author, counselor, lecturer and philosopher. He uses ancient wisdom and modern wit as he captivates audiences around the country and the world. Rabbi Friedman started an organization called “It’s Good To Know” which reaches thousands of people every month through his online classes and events.
His first book, Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore? published by Harper San Francisco in 1990, is widely praised and is currently in its eighth printing.
EP 395: Manis Friedman on How to Date For Marriage
You’ve been advising people in dating for over 50 years. How has dating shifted today?
I hope it’s shifting. It started back in the 60s when people decided we’re taking intimacy too seriously. We opted for free love; Free of intimacy, free of commitment and meaning. Now we’re finding out the lack of intimacy and respect for intimacy is causing trouble.
Do we understand what intimacy means? Do we know how to cultivate it? We don’t. The most painful symptom is that people who are happily married complain that they feel completely alone in the world, and that shouldn’t happen.
If marriage can’t make that feeling go away, nothing can. When marriage doesn’t make that feeling go away, they’re not achieving intimacy, they’re just living side by side.
What is intimacy to you?
Intimacy is the ability to blend into another person until we become one. Love is a personal experience. You can love someone who doesn’t want it. ‘You are the object of my love.’ When it’s mutual love, the timing is perfect. We’re both doing our own thing and remaining separate beings. If we marry to get something, whether it’s love or money, it’s the same thing.
Marrying for love without the whole package doesn’t bring people together. The things ruining most relationships are sex and love, which we take from each other.
How do we cultivate intimacy?
Be enamored with marriage. Make the relationship the most important thing. If you want to be married, ask for what you really want. Be specific. ‘This time next year I want to be married.’
In Piano Man, Billy Joel sang, “They’re sharing a drink they call loneliness, but it’s better than drinking alone.” Loneliness you can share. Aloneness is dangerous.
It weakens your immune system. Love is a false god. We worship it, and we fight for it.
Find a person who believes in marriage and wants a family of their own at this time next year. Pick a date. Mark it on your calendar. Take out your calendar on the first date. Tell them you’re scheduled for that date.
Meet a few times, and decide whether you want to get married. If not, call it off.
Don’t get too intimate. Stay practical and factual on dates. You’re talking to a stranger. Don’t expect him to open up too much. In addition to trying to figure out if he’s a serial killer, do some research on the people you date. Find out as much as you can before you have coffee.
If he’s responsible, capable, generous, why marry him? What’s the clincher? How do you know he’s for you? Chemistry. Good chemistry is rare. If it’s good, get married. What is good chemistry? Not physical attraction. You find yourself feeling good about being yourself. And he feels comfortable being a man. You bring out the woman and man in each other.
What does it mean to ‘bring out the woman in you’ or ‘the man in him’?
When a woman needs a man, she feels like a woman.
When a man needs a woman and wants to take care of her, he feels like a man.
What lessons have you learned from your own marriage?
- The need to be right is ugly. Don’t keep proving that you’re right. Do what’s right.
- Be sympathetic to everything about your spouse.
- Be objective about your needs and subjective about your spouse’s needs.
What are your final word of advice for anyone who wants to go on their last first date?
It’s tragic that sex has been reduced to a performance. It used to be that sex was intimacy. Today, they’re two different things. Magazines tell us we have to achieve better sex. We become so self-conscious about it. The physical divorced from the intimate is toxic and degrading. When a couple experiences intimacy, they feel more innocent than before. You can stop being you and melt and dissolve into the relationship. Let’s reclaim the sacredness that makes sex intimate.
Learn more about Rabbi Friedman here: https://itsgoodtoknow.org/
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