According to Rabbi Shmuley, loneliness is one of mankind’s oldest problems. The solution to that problem is love, and the path that most people take to get to love is dating. “You go on dates because you acknowledge that you’re lonely,” he says. “You’re missing something in your life, and you want love.”

Rabbi Shmuley’s Rules of Dating:

  1. Do not get the four stages of romantic relationships out of order, namely (1) physical attraction, (2) verbal communication, (3) emotional intimacy and (4) physical intimacy. These four stages need to unfold gradually and in the right order, he says. “If you get them out of order, then the relationship is going to be very troubled.”
  2. You must observe a two-date minimum. “Give people a chance,” Rabbi Shmuley says.
  3. Don’t get too personal on the first date. Rabbi Shmuley says you’ll lose your mystique and risk revealing information that is inappropriate to share with a stranger.
  4. Show respect for the other person by being on time and turning off your cell phone.
  5. Don’t stare at members of the opposite sex during the date. Focus on your date to show you care.
  6. As dating progresses, slowly reveal more and more about yourself. “But do so organically and naturally—don’t force it,” Rabbi Shmuley says.
  7. Be yourself. “Be natural, be confident,” he says.
  8. Don’t use cheap pickup lines. Introduce yourself with sincerity, not gimmicks.
  9. Do not bring up an ex or talk about previous lovers. “It’s insulting to the person you’re dating,” Rabbi Shmuley says. “It makes them feel like you’re still stuck in the previous relationship. It makes them feel like you’re comparing them.”
  10. Do not use sexually suggestive words. It sends the wrong message.
  11. Do not talk about yourself constantly. “Make [your date] feel they’re being listened to,” he says.
  12. Do not go to a movie. “That’s not a meaningful date—a meaningful date is the two of you sharing a conversation,” he says.
  13. Do not bring along a friend, relative or any third party on your date.