Halachot of Dating

From Halachipedia
This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.

Looking at One's Date

  1. If you're interested in getting married it is permitted and appropriate to look at a woman in order to see if you like her.[1] However, he may not look in an inappropriate way (derech zenut).[2]

Looking at a Shidduch Picture before Going Out

  1. Rabbi Yair Hoffman (www.5tjt.com/shidduch-pictures-rav-chaim-and-a-new-perspective/ Jan 6 2015) wrote an article describing why it isn't appropriate for a boy to demand a shidduch picture before going out.[3]

Number of Dates

  1. Some poskim advised against having too many dates such as 3 or 4.[4]
  2. A person should consult with his rebbe from yeshiva how often to go out during engagement is considered appropriate.[5]

Age for Marriage

  1. If a person is concerned that getting married will cause him to be caught up with concerns of parnasa and won’t have an ability to learn he can delay getting married until he is 24.[6]


See the Yichud page.

  1. The couple should be extra vigilant in being cautious of the halachot of yichud during dating especially after engagement.[7]
  2. While engaged a couple shouldn’t sleep in the same house even if there’s no issue of yichud.[8]

Revealing Information

See the Lashon Hara page.

  1. It is forbidden to find something seriously negative in a shidduch.[9]
  2. If someone asks about a negative trait in a shidduch one may not lie.[10]
  3. One doesn't have to reveal negative information before going out. One should do so when the two think that they are seriously considering getting married.[11]

Following Women in the Street

See the Inappropriate Staring at the Opposite Gender page.

  1. Even though today it isn't possible for a man not to walk behind a woman at all when walking in the street, still a person should be careful what he looks at when walking.[12]

Giving Gifts

  1. A man shouldn’t give mishloach manot to a woman or vice versa. Some explain that it isn’t an appropriate interaction, while others explain that there is a concern that people will think that they are married even though they aren’t. Some permit a man giving mishloach to a woman if his intentions are actually completely pure.[13]

Date Specific Shaylot

Paint Night, Wax sculptures

  1. See Drawing a Pasuk Respecting_Holy_Books#Writing_Pesukim
  2. See Drawing a Sun, Moon or Stars Drawing_or_Sculpting_Forbidden_Images#Sun.2C_Moon.2C_and_Stars
  3. Making a human sculptures Drawing_or_Sculpting_Forbidden_Images#Human_Images

Art Museums

  1. See Kippah#Wearing_a_Kippah_in_a_Place_not_Suitable_for_a_Religious_Jew


  1. See Internet,_TV,_Social_Media

Sports Games

  1. See Inappropriate Staring at the Opposite Gender

Ice Skating, Archery

  1. See Modesty
  2. See Inappropriate Staring at the Opposite Gender
  3. Catching her if she falls see Negiah

Arcade, Casino, Bingo

  1. Regarding gambling see Minhagim_of_Chanukah#Dreidel

Going to the Zoo

  1. Regarding Brachos when seeing certain animals see Bracha for an Unusual Creature.
  2. (Does seeing non-kosher animals cause spiritual damage?)

Scavenger Hunt in Barnes&Nobles

  1. See Deceitful Practices#Window Shopping

Hotel Lobby

  1. See Marit Ayin

Pouching a Shidduch

  1. If a couple got engaged (and they wrote up tenayim or shidduchim or didn't write anything, but made a decision to get engaged in a place where they don't write tenayim or shidduchim) it is forbidden for a man to try to date and marry that woman. Stealing a shidduch is a violation of the cherem of breaking an engagement as well as a violation of stealing something that someone else was trying to get (ani ha'mehapech b'charara).[14]
  2. If a couple got engaged and in their place they usually write up tenayim or shidduchim and they didn't yet get to do that, according to Ashkenazim it is technically permitted for a man to try to date marry that woman but a yireh shamayim would not do such a thing.[15]
  3. If a man and woman are dating and are not engaged, it is technically permitted for another man to try to date and marry that woman.[16]


  1. Rambam Isurei Biyah 21:3, Shulchan Aruch EH 21:3, Nitai Gavriel Shidduchim p. 84
  2. Shulchan Aruch E.H. 21:3, Shevet Halevi 5:200
  3. He quoted the Chabiner Rav, Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav Moshe Heinemann, Rav Shmuel Fuerst, and Rav Chaim Kanievsky as all expressing disapproval of this practice because either it doesn't give the girl a fair chance, pictures can be deceiving, and it isn't tzanua for a girl to be giving out her picture.
  4. Nitai Gavriel Shidduchim p. 86, Valehu Lo Yibol 2:179 quoted Rav Shlomo Zalman as saying that it is sufficient to have 3 or 4 dates.
  5. Beer Yisrael p. 51
  6. Nitai Gavriel Shiduchim p. 71
  7. Beer Yisrael p. 50
  8. Rama EH 55:1
  9. Beer Yisrael p. 42 citing Igrot Moshe OC 4:118, Chafetz Chaim klal 9
  10. Beer Yisrael p. 42
  11. Beer Yisrael p. 43 quoting the Steipler and other gedolim, Igrot Moshe 4:118
  12. The Gemara Brachot 61a states that it is better to walk behind a lion than a women in the marketplace. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in Minchat Shlomo 1:91 writes that today since there are as many women as there are men on the street unlike in the days of chazal it is impossible not to follow a woman in the street. He concludes that for a mitzvah or for etiquette one can be lenient to follow a woman in the street. Rabbi Willig (approx min 30) added that even though it is impossible not to walk behind women but still you need to be careful of what you see. Rav Nissim Karelitz in Chut Shani (Shabbat v. 3 p. 268) writes that nowadays when it is impossible not to walk behind a woman in the streets one should walk quickly so as not to follow a particular woman. The Leket Yosher YD p. 37 writes that it is permitted to follow a religious woman nowadays. Tzitz Eliezer 9:50 explained that today it is permitted to follow a woman in the street since it is so common it doesn't arouse inappropriate thoughts. He quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach as agreeing with him. Yabia Omer OC 6:13:5 seems to agree.
    • However, Gan Naul (Tzeniyut v. 1 3:4) holds that the prohibition still applies today. He quotes Doleh Umashkeh p. 290 who records that Rav Chaim Kanievsky said that it is proper to avoid walking behind a woman today if it is possible. He also cites the Bnei Yakov siman
    21 who quotes Rav Ovadia Yosef as holding that one can be lenient since woman commonly walk the streets.
    • The Mahari Barin (cited by Darkei Moshe 695:7) writes that a man shouldn’t give mishloach manot to a woman or the opposite. The Rama OC 695:4 codifies this. The Machasit Hashekel 695:15 explains that the concern that through these gifts the man will affect a questionable kiddushin with the woman isn’t an issue because there would need to be witnesses for it to be a valid kiddushin. Rather the concern is that perhaps someone seeing this interaction will think that they are married and this is a gift between them. Magen Avraham 695:15 and Mishna Brurah 695:26 concur.
    • Aruch Hashulchan 695:18 adds that the real issue is that when a man gives a woman a gift it leads to a closeness which is inappropriate. Tzemech Yehuda 3:235:4 agrees. Chashukei Chemed Megillah 4a quotes Rav Elyashiv as holding that if there’s no other choice a man could give mishloach manot to a woman if given in a manner that wouldn’t cause to closeness.
    Betzel Chochma 5:51 writes that the Rama was only concerned about kiddushin. He adds that one doesn’t have to be concerned about inappropriate interactions since one is doing a mitzvah of mishloach manot. Additionally, nowadays we are lenient to greet a woman (Rama EH 21:4) and as such we can be lenient in this regard as well. However, he advises not relying on that unless one’s intent is completely pure.
  13. Igrot Moshe EH 1:91. Rav Moshe explains that there's a cherem to break an engaged once they if they wrote up tenayim or shidduchim or if they decided to get engaged in a place where they do not write tenayim or shidduchim. In terms of ani hamehapech b'charara seemingly it should be permitted for two reasons: 1) According to Rabbenu Tam, there's no issue of ani hamehapech b'charara when dealing with something that is free. Since marrying a woman is like getting something from hefker (ownerless), stealing a fiancé is permitted. 2) According to Maharam, there's no issue of ani hamehapech b'charara before the buyer and seller decided on a price. So too, with an engagement there's no prohibition before they write the tenayim. However, Rav Moshe writes that since there's a cherem to break the engagement there's also a prohibition of ani hamehapech b'charara to steal an engaged woman. He explains that there's two approach to Rabbenu Tam. One is that something that everyone can acquire equally like hefker is not subject to ani hamehapech b'charara (Rama citing Radach). But the engaged woman is not equally available to anyone. Another reason for Rabbenu Tam, is that hefker doesn't belong to anyone so it is fine to take it (Shach citing Ramban). But with engagement since both the man and woman want to marry it is like they're married in the sense that it would be forbidden for anyone else to marry her.
  14. Igrot Moshe EH 1:91 s.v. yatza
  15. Igrot Moshe EH 1:91