Tips for Jewish Singles: How to Maximize your Shidduchim and Find Your Bashert More Easily – Part 1December 8th, 2015
by Michelle Mond
Once upon a time, the grandmother of a boy would see a girl at shul and say, “I have the best boy for you!” She’d give a few details, and the young people would agree to go out and see for themselves if the shidduch was shayach (suitable). This is the way all of our grandparents would do it. Someone would meet a great girl at a shabbos meal, and ask her out. Or they’d meet at the Night of Stars”, a planned event where marriageable age singles would go and meet each other. Times have changed since that decade and have left many of us in the dark. Mothers and singles feel at the mercy of shadchanim, who are overloaded with singles, have limited hours in the day, and are not compensated for their hours and hours of time spent doing this most important job. Most shadchanim I speak to wish there was a different way, and that their role of being a shadchan was unnecessary, since it would be so much easier for singles to be able to meet on their own.
Today, however, resumes are crucial to our shidduchim. It’s the only way to put out there most of the imformation people ask for when inquiring about a single they’re looking into. However resumes they have their drawbacks. It very often happens that a shidduch is stopped in its tracks even before the couple gets to meet. Yes,there is a great deal of information on paper, but could it be that that is the problem? A piece of paper should never replace going out on a first date and seeing where it goes. But, unfortunately, when everything about a person is in front of you on that resume, it can lead singles to forget the big picture of who a person is, and they refuse to even go on a date. This happens even when the girl and boy are in the same town. Rather, singles tend to revert to the perfect picture that exists only in their minds. Feeling that things can not be compromised on, they say it doesn’t seem ideal, so “why give it a date?” As the famous quote goes, “Don’t let the imaginary person in your head keep you from learning to love the person standing right in front of you.”
I have seen many examples of such situations, which I feel must be told to others as a learning experience. For instance, one boy said no to meeting a wonderful, beautiful girl, living in the same town. This was because, after inquiring how outgoing the girl was, on a scale of one to ten, he heard she was a seven – and he said, “I need more of an eight, personality-wise.” I have heard from the parent of a kollel boy that he would like a girl who shops at high-end stores like Saks 5th Ave and Nordstrom rather than Macy’s-type stores, yet she should also be open to supporting him in learning for the first five years. I’ve had a girl go out who told me everything was perfect with a boy she was dating, however it bothered her too much that he was only 2 inches taller than her.
It’s not just the boys, though. Many girls say no to even giving a wonderful guy a chance because something on his resume is not perfectly in line with her ideal picture. For instance I have seen girls nix shidduchim with wonderfully shtark (religiously strong) and learned boys, because they were looking for someone in full-time learning, and the boy on paper had plans to go to work and be kovea itim. I have also often heard girls say no because a boy seemed “too quiet” on paper. There is nothing wrong with having a general picture of what you are looking for, but if you have everything planned out, and you see something different on a resume, don’t make the mistake of saying no to meeting the boy because of this. A resume should never replace a date.
As Rabbi Manis Friedman once said, rather than looking for the perfect guy or the perfect girl, our singles should be looking for a good wife, or a good husband. Because as we all know, the perfect guy/girl does not exist; and if one thinks she exists, and one marries someone he thinks is perfect, he is in for a shock once he is actually married to the person, and will have a lot to work on during marriage. Yes one must be very attracted to the person he marries, but if he’s looking to get married he must also realize and come to terms that this perfect girl will age, she will gain weight while pregnant, and if he only married her because she was ‘the perfect girl’ – he will have many issues staying married. Rather than if he’s looking for an amazing wife, which includes being attracted (but in no way looking for perfection) those qualities are ones that never age and never fade.
As long as the important basics are there – basics such as middos (character), how the person treats others, chesed, basic attraction, and other qualities that are crucial to a happy marriage, please do yourselves a favor and give it a date to see if things go well in person.
Part 2 to follow….
Author Biography: Michelle Mond from Baltimore, MD is a licensed Esthetician by profession, and is currently working as a busy wife and mother. In her extra time she works as a shadchan for young men and women all over the US, in addition to writing about shidduch-related topics for local papers.