Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Shidduch Crisis... Correct Me If I'm Wrong

Earlier this year, I went to an event organized by some ladies in my community. It was called "Meet the Shadchan" and was meant to give the single girls in my community an opportunity to meet out-of-town shadchanim, as well as local shadchanim. Being naive and optimistic, I went. I dressed up, printed out my resume and picture  (only for the Shadchan's eyes, of course) and headed off to meet the shadchan (read: meat market). It was kind of fun in a way-- seeing all my friends in one night. Obviously so, we were all feeling uncomfortable and vulnerable. I met with two out of town shadchanim and a few locals. I left feeling excited because someone had also mentioned my name in association with a local boy. So yea, I felt great. And ten months later, they arranged a second event. In the time between the first and second event, I did not hear from a single shadchan. Not. One. Single. Shadchan. I sent emails with updated resumes and pictures. I did what I was supposed to do and I did not hear anything. Not "Oh, thanks for getting in touch" or "we are thinking of you." NOTHING. So when this second event rolled around I was completely less than enthusiastic. I have definitely changed in ten months. My perspectives on the shidduch system have become a little darker, a little less optimistic. Now, I can't complain. I am young compared to others. I am not at the point of desperation or thinking of "settling." But I am upset.
So I didn't want to go. But, after some convincing, I paid my dues, and went to the event. It was just as awful. And it was worse because this time I could see how flawed it was. Tens of girls were lined up, looking DROP DEAD GORGEOUS in Shabbos clothes, heels, makeup and jewelry to the nines. To meet the SHADCHAN! It felt like something straight out Mulan... off to meet the matchmaker, minus the synchronized song and dance. And it just felt wrong. I couldn't muster the enthusiasm to put on a good show. I was chewing gum, wearing my double-sided studs, no heels and did not take off my coat. I was told off by one of the event planners to throw out my gum. I left on my coat. I met with one out of town shadchan who hardly looked at me and one other Rav who seemed genuinely interested. But so far, no calls, no email.s
Now why do I think this event is wrong?
First of all, a five minute conversation is not enough time. These shadchanim could care less. They get paid to come so its worth their while. 
Two, why are we dressing so nicely like we are prancing down a runway? We aren't marrying the Shadchan!
Three, WHERE ARE THE BOYS?! Let's get real people- if you want to make shidduchim, stop looking at the paper. Yes, checking out backgrounds and hashkafos is important, but I bet if you put the boys and girls in the same room FOR TACHLIS you would have a better chance of making a shidduch than a five minute interview and paper filed away for later reference.
Another thing-- where are the local shadchanim? I noticed there was an important (or two) local shadchan who was missing on the scene, a shadchan with a monopoly on a group of boys.
Like I said- I can't complain. I am young, I am still picky about who is redt to me, and BH I have a lot going for me so dating would be nice, but I am not forlorn or desperate. But it bothers me INTENSELY to see a room filled with beautiful girls INSIDE AND OUT, girls who I personally can attest to their maalos and kochos, having to hawk themselves to a market of buyers who just file them away.
Now you might say, putting the boys and girls in the same room would be the same thing, because everyone is just seeing the outside, how they look and what they are wearing, and I get that. I do. But this system, this meeting the shadchan, is unnatural. Strangers coming in to inspect our girls? Do they actually care? If you don't fit their "type" then forget it. 
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I am just bitter and jaded (and I haven't been dating for so long) but it's gotten personal. It's gotten personal when my close friends are struggling because they have been written off as not good enough. When my good friends are rejected because they aren't a size 0 and well off. When incredible girls are struggling because the shadchan doesn't like how they look. And a billion other reasons.
I don't have a solution. I don't have an answer. I have my own silent pain and rage. I have my own tears and frustration over all the boys who I have loved and lost. I have anger. And so maybe that's why the shadchanim don't call.

3 comments:

  1. Size 0 is overrated anyways. #MeatOnBones
    And Shadchans suck...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed #MeatOnBones I think most guys like a girl who eats.

      And the system sucks. Just find a cute guy, date him and marry him. Will save you on shadchanus fees as well...

      Delete
  2. Same here: Multitude of "professional shadchanim," maybe one or two dates from them over ten years.

    The dates and shidduchim that succeed usually come from a relative, friend, or acquaintance.

    As "shidduch crisis" hysteria reached a head, and countless pseudo-shadchanim emerged from the woodwork. Just because they say they are a "shadchan" does not mean they are.

    They think it's easy. Some may even mean well. But they don't realize what it actually entails, and that some don't have the ability to do it.

    Because girls are more eager to try and more open, "shadchanim" are able to lead them around by the nose. But many "shadchanim" are flat-out frightened of calling boys, because they don't know how to sell. Girls can always be threatened, frightened, cajoled, but many boys don't fold so easily. One shadchan even told me to "look into" her two off-base suggestions, since she doesn't know if they are married! (They were!)

    To be a "shadchan" is a quick and easy way to get some glory. You don't even have to have actually made a shidduch; you just say you are a "shadchan." When that fails, they then become "dating coaches."

    Dating events aren't much better, in my experience. What I find is that when girls are still very young and still very earnest about "hishtadlus," they will attend singles events, while boys appropriate to their age do not come since they currently have steady dates. The boys that do come are in their late 30s, the ones who are no longer getting steady dates. The girls who are in their 30s don't come, after getting burned too many times already. Events aren't a solution, either.

    There is no solution, because we have forgotten that Hashem is in charge of the whole process anyway. I think, as a whole, we are trying too hard, not seeing the forest for the trees.

    If everyday people took back shidduchim, introducing friends and family and acquaintances, we may get somewhere. Redting a shidduch is hard; getting a date is even harder. If a "shadchan" will only terrorize girls but get meek with the boys, get out of the arena; this business isn't for you.

    ReplyDelete

Labels

2011 (1) 49 (1) 5772 (1) acceptance (1) adar (1) adult (1) age (1) aish video (1) aish.com (1) alive (1) america (1) animals (1) apology (1) art (1) attack (1) bad for shidduchim (1) balloons (1) bar yochai (1) baud hamikdash (1) beasts (1) beauty (1) beginning (1) belief (2) benefit for bentzi (1) bentzi (1) black (1) black and white (1) black friday (1) bleed (1) bless (1) blessing (1) blood (4) boil (1) bomb (1) boston (1) boy (3) boyfriend (1) boys (1) breaking glass (1) breathe (1) broken (1) Building (2) burning (1) bus (1) buses (1) camera (1) cameron duncan (1) Camp Simcha (8) camp simcha special (1) cancer (1) candy (1) carboload (1) chai lifeline (5) chaim schvarcz (1) challenges (1) chances (2) change (4) channukka (1) chanuka (1) Chanukah (2) chayeinu (1) chesed (1) child (2) children (1) chizuk (1) choice (1) choices (1) chosson (1) christmas (1) chupah (1) cinema (1) class (1) climbing mountains (1) clock (1) close (1) clouds (1) cold (1) color (1) confusion (1) connected (1) Conversation 4 (1) convert (1) count (2) cousins (1) cry (1) CT (1) cyber monday (1) dance (2) danielle (1) danielle zfat (1) dating (3) davening (2) day (1) deals (1) death (6) decision (1) decisions (4) defying gravity (1) desire (1) desires (1) destruction (1) details (1) different (2) diploma (1) direction (1) disconnect (1) donation (1) dr. seuss (1) dreams (2) driving (1) dying (1) education (1) egged (1) eight days (1) El Al (1) emotion (1) emuna (3) end (1) end of the world (1) engaged (1) Eretz Yisroel (2) explosion (1) facebook (1) facebook nation (1) fairies (1) faith (2) family (1) fear (1) feelings (2) fieldn war zone (1) fighting (1) finish line (1) fire (1) flag (3) flags (1) flight (1) fluff (1) flying (2) Fogel (1) fools (1) forest (1) forever (1) forgiveness (1) freedom (2) friend (3) friends (5) friendship (2) future (3) G-d (2) gadol (1) games (1) gashmius (1) Gatorade (1) gila rina (1) girl (2) give (1) giving (1) going away (1) gone (1) good (1) goodbye (1) google (1) graduation (1) graffiti (1) greeks (1) greeting (1) grin (1) grow (2) growing (3) growth (2) hannukah (1) hanukah (1) happiness (8) happy (2) Hashem (16) head (1) heart (8) heaven (1) hell (1) hello (1) help (2) helping (1) hide (2) holding (1) holiday (1) home (5) honey (1) hot (1) hours (1) hurt (2) hush (1) ice (1) imagination (1) indecisive (1) independence (2) infinite (1) ing (1) innocence (1) insanity (1) insomnia (1) intellect (1) introspection (1) Israel (9) israel day parade (1) israeli flag (2) itamar (2) jerusalem (2) Jewish (1) jewish action (1) jewish geography (1) jewish novels (1) jewsic passover music video (1) job (1) judaism (1) Judgment (2) kallah (1) klal yisroel (1) LA (1) lag baomer (1) language (1) learn (1) learning (1) legacy (1) lessons (3) life (17) life support (1) light (2) limbo (1) list (1) little leaf (1) lives (1) living (1) look (1) los angelos (1) loss (3) lost (1) love (6) lying (1) magic (1) Mamilla (1) Mamilla Mall (1) man (1) marathon (2) marriage (2) mask (2) masquerade (1) math (1) maybe (1) mazel tov (2) Me (2) meetings (1) meme (1) memories (1) memory (1) Mercy (1) meron (1) messages (1) miami (2) milk (1) mime (1) mind (2) miracle (1) miracles (2) mirror (1) missing (3) Mitzvos (1) mohel (1) mold (1) monkey bars (1) months (1) morality (1) morley (2) morning (1) moshiach (1) movie (1) murder (1) music (1) natural (1) nature (1) neo-chassid (1) neo-chassidus (1) neochassid (1) neochassidus (1) new (1) Newtown (1) night (1) no (1) novel (1) now (1) o (1) oil (1) omek hadavar (1) omer (1) orthodox jews (1) others (1) pace (1) pain (2) palm trees (1) passover (1) past (1) paste (1) people (1) personal (1) personality (1) pesach (2) peter pan (1) place (1) poem (1) poetic (1) poetry (1) Pop Chassid (1) popchassid (1) pot (1) prayer (2) present (1) pressure (1) pretend (2) priorities (1) prism (1) problem (1) professional (1) profile (1) psychology (1) pulse (1) purge (1) question (1) questions (3) quiet (1) quote (1) rabbi akiva (1) race (2) rashbi (1) reading (1) reality (1) recycle (1) redeem (1) redemption (3) related (1) reminders (1) repentance (1) resume (1) return (2) revelation (1) rise (1) road trip (1) roads (1) rogue (1) roller coaster (1) Rosh Hashana (1) round tuit (1) ruin (1) rules (1) run (4) running (1) rushing (1) sad (1) sadness (1) sales (1) Sandy Hook (1) schizo (1) schizophrenia (1) school (2) searching (1) seasons (1) secrets (1) sefira (2) Shabbos (5) shadchan (1) shakespeare (1) shavuos (2) sheva brachos (1) shidduch (3) shidduch crisis (1) shidduch profile (1) shidduch resume (1) shidduchim (2) shield (1) shochet (1) shooteast (1) Shooting (2) sickness (1) silence (3) simcha (1) sing (1) slavery (1) sleep (2) smile (2) smiling (3) smoke (1) sneakers (1) snow (2) soaring (1) sobiech (1) social network (1) society (1) soul (4) spark (1) speaking (2) speical (1) stain (1) staircase (1) starbucks (2) status update (1) stoppard (1) strangers (1) street (1) street art (1) strength (2) strong (1) struggle (1) stuggling (1) stupid (1) suffering (1) sukkah (1) sukkos (1) summer (1) sunglasses (1) superhero (1) survive (1) swimming (1) talk (1) teacher (2) tears (1) technology (1) teenager (1) tefilla (1) tel aviv (1) terror (1) teshuva (1) texting (1) thanks (1) thanksgiving (1) the purge (1) the purge movie (1) the purge trailer (1) thinking (2) thunder (1) tightrope (1) time (5) tired (2) top ten (1) torah (3) tragedy (1) trailer (1) travel (2) tree (1) tricks (1) truth (1) trying (2) tuesday (1) tuesday tunes (1) tunes (1) twitter (1) uncertainty (1) understanding (1) unite (1) unity (1) unspoken (1) video (1) voices (1) waiting (2) watch (1) wavin'g flags (1) waving (3) waving flags (2) wayfarers (1) wedding (4) week (1) weird (1) whatsapp (1) Who am I? (1) why (1) wicked (1) wishes (2) wonder (3) wondering (2) wonderland (1) words (2) world (1) wrist (1) wristwatch (1) writing (1) x-mas (1) xmas (1) year (2) Yerushalayim (3) yeshivishe (1) Yetzer Hara (2) yetzer tov (1) yevanim (1) Yirmiyahu (1) Yom Kippur (2) yom tov (1) yom yerushalayim (2) youtube (1) zach (1) zach sobiech (1)