This past week, Shalom Task Force began beating a new path in the world of dating and relationship education. In partnership with YU Connects and JLIC Connects, STF launched the “Dating with Purpose” group for men in shidduchim. This unique group, a combination of education workshop and discussion group, gives young men “in the parshah” the opportunity to come together with their peers, learn about relationship dynamics, the psychology of the dating process, and what they can do to make the most of their experience in this often confusing and challenging time of life.
The first session, which took place on Tuesday, February 9, focused on the concept of self-awareness. The group discussed different aspects of how the concept plays out in everyday life, and how to harness it in order to be purposeful and intentional about dating. Deep questions were asked, and there was a lively give-and-take amongst the participants.
Facilitated by Yeshaya Kraus, LCSW, a therapist in private practice and the community education manager for Shalom Task Force, this program meets a need for the frum community. “Relationships are so much more fulfilling when they’re intentional,” Yeshaya explains. “There are many young people who start dating because it’s a check box they feel they’re up to checking off. With a little effort, the experience can be so much more than that.”
The new program will be meeting every other week for a total of six sessions, with each session addressing a different topic. Topics include building an emotional connection, managing nervousness, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, and the role of a mentor in the dating world.