M.S. - November 2022
“Dating and Marriage in the 21st Century” explores the issues, solutions, and shifting viewpoints on relationships in modern society.
With skyrocketing divorce rates and widespread dissatisfaction with the current dating scene, we’ve been talking to experts and consultants to fully understand the current dating landscape.
Rebbetzin Miriam Lipskier is on the front lines of this issue. She’s been the Co-Director at Chabad of Emory for over 20 years. She calls it her lab. She’s been listening to the shifting sentiments of young people throughout the past two decades.
Here’s what she had to say.
Are young people looking for a meaningful relationship, and not finding it? Or are they not looking for one in the first place?
“I often ask by an event or course, by a show of hands, how many people are in a serious relationship. Those numbers have been quite low for some time now. Then I ask how many people are interested in a serious relationship. Those numbers have just recently dropped drastically, especially post-pandemic. Most are uninterested in relationships of a more serious nature. It seems to have become the prevailing sentiment amongst young people in the past few years or so.”
What is your response to people who have trouble understanding the value of a more “traditional” dating experience?
“It really is the invert model of the contemporary dating experience. What we are seeing is a backwards, inside-out system. People are starting from a physical, external space, and slowly attempting to work their way into more meaningful elements of their relationship.”
“The “traditional” model is to start from a place of meaning and value. Trying to understand the other’s values, personality, preferences. Things which make us who we are and guide who we connect with. The physical elements of a relationship are a “follow-up”, an expression of a relationship based on the important things in life.”
It seems that many people are willing to devote time and effort to exercise or their career, but avoid the work of building a relationship. Why do you think that is?
“I think that relationship building is the hardest work there is. Your job, your body, these are things outside one’s true inner self. You don’t necessarily have to truly change from within to exercise or excel at your job.”
“Building a relationship with someone is to develop, share, and grow together. You can’t avoid your own mind or heart. That really makes it the most difficult type of endeavor. And unfortunately, that causes people to avoid it.”
“But the difficulty is most rewarding. There’s nothing more satisfying and life-changing than developing that soulmate connection, and I hope more people start to see that it's most definitely worth it.”
What would you suggest to someone trying to change their approach and adopt a more meaningful dating experience? What’s step A?
"The most basic starting point is how one decides to go out in the first place. You don’t take a job without first researching the employer. At least the same vigilance and thoughtful decision making should be involved in dating. Do some research. Make sure there is some sort of viability, a baseline for what you are looking for and deserve.”
This is an adapted version of the interview. See our social media for more from Mrs. Miriam Lipskier on dating and marriage.
Special thanks goes to Shaina Posner for conducting the interview and Mendel Laine for technical management.