Is Sex Before Marriage A Sin?
Dear Rabbi Singer,
I joined JDate in late October and got a few dates out of it. I then met a guy who traveled from far away to meet me. He would call and text, and after the first date he contacted me to let me know he enjoyed the date. We went on to date for a few weeks, but then out of nowhere he stopped answering the phone.
My question is this: he wanted to make love to me and I asked if it is acceptable or considered a “sin” (he is an Orthodox Jew). He told me that Judaism does not talk against it, saying that if both people are single, it is ok. I am not sure I trust him about it. Yes, we did it and I think it may be the reason he perhaps broke up with me?
I would really like to know if it is ok to have sex without being married… if we are both single and not in the baby productive age any more.
Please let me know,
Dear Confused Dater,
According to Jewish law, sex outside of marriage is not permitted, period. Now that we got that out of the way, let me address your issue.
The fact that this man is Orthodox doesn’t mean that everything he does is in accordance with Jewish law. People are people. They don’t always do what they should be doing. As one wise rabbi once said, “Don’t judge Judaism by the Jews.”
In my opinion the reason he broke up with you had nothing to do with the sex. I’m guessing his intention from day one was to have sex with you, not to enter into a committed relationship with you. Once he accomplished his goal, he had no desire to be in a relationship with you, so he disappeared. Or maybe he was just really messed up. It doesn’t really matter anymore.
Don’t torture yourself by over-thinking this unfortunate situation. You did nothing wrong. Move on to find a man who shares your desire to be in a relationship and is on the same page as you regarding sex.
As a side note, I believe most Orthodox men and women who are looking for serious relationships want a partner who is either Orthodox, or wants to become Orthodox. If you don’t want to be Orthodox, you shouldn’t date an Orthodox partner. From my experience, it doesn’t usually end well.
Wishing you much Mazal in your search for love,
To ask Rabbi Singer a question, email email@example.com.