Question to COLlive for Mrs. Sarah Junik:
While in most cases I agree with the above argument, maybe the Lubavitch Shidduch System is not for everyone.
Allow me to explain:
Take your average 770 Bocher. He hopefully has not had much contact with girls and the concept of sitting and talking with a girl and her giving him her undivided attention, is all new and very exciting for him. So in many cases he can rather easily “fall in love” with the girl (and her with him.)
But for a guy who’s a little more “chilled” who has had contact with girls over the years. That element of excitement is not really there.
The process sort of goes like this: you’re mother gets a call from a shadchin about a girl whom the Shadchin really doesn’t know. She looks into it and gets all the generic answers. You agree to go out, you go on a date and you think to yourself “nice girl, but why is she different than anyone else out there? What makes her the special one for me?”
At this point you can do one of two things: you can end it right there and keep on looking for the one who sweeps you off your feet, or you can commit to go out for a while (as is done in less religious circles), to see if any feelings develop and if you really are compatible with her.
In other words, in my opinion most any two people from similar backgrounds and with similar outlooks can get married and lead happy lives together. And the LSS takes advantage (in a good way) of the lack of cross gender exposure to bring together guys and girls, but maybe if you haven’t fully lived the Lubavitch lifestyle the LSS won’t work for you.
(I’m not saying 770 guys don’t have the same challenges but it’s not as pronounced and widespread)
Mrs. Junik’s Response
In order to answer your question properly let me define the LSS as you call it.
The first step starts with the determination, either by the parents or by the individual that they are ready for marriage.
I am not going to go in details about the stages, it would take too long, if interested check out the blog: shidduchim101.blogspot.com which does go into details.
Step 2- have a round table conversation about the qualities one brings to a marriage and the qualities that one looks for in a spouse that would complement or enhance one’s own.
Step 3- make a list with at the most 7 necessary qualities – if 3 are met, you are in good shape.
Step 4a – Shidduchim come from the Eibishter. Therefore, make yourself a keily for the brocha you are asking for. Daven, give tzedokah, etc.
Step 4- Time for the parents to talk to friends, family, neighbors and shadchonim. Let us not forget the new sources such as chabadmatch.com. (look on the blog about how to make it most effective) Please note: shadchonim are not the only ones that one should talk to about being “in the parsha”, in fact most shidduchim come about from family and friends, those shidduchim are still within the LSS. Do not think that because a shadchan did not make the shidduch this is not part of the system. The bocher or meidel should also ask their married friends to think of the right person for him/her, giving them the information from the list (step2).
Therefore, even if you are not a 770 bocher, even if you met your future wife at a party, if the parents (or mashpia or married friend, or anyone who will help you out) look into the background and character of your future mate and compare it to your qualities and shortcomings and they find a match, that is when shidduch dating will bring results and will save said bocher a lot of agmas nefesh.
Step 5 – When a name comes up, do your research. Be thorough, not obsessive.
Step 6 – Only when parents are satisfied with the research should the young man or lady go out. “Generic answers” do not count. When the parents is ready to make a lechaim based on their research, that is when the young man/lady should be told about it and a shidduch date set up . Shidduch dating is not a pastime; a lot of agonizing and reflection goes into it. Let the couple go out only when it is reasonably sure it will work out.
If Step 2 was done correctly then the offers will be within the ballpark we are looking for and the shidduch dates will be within the possible matches.
Step 7 – Shidduch dating. I cannot do justice to the subject here but suffice it to say that some people can decide sooner, whiles for some it will take longer, if someone for example had a broken engagement they will need more time. Just consider that no matter how many times one goes out, one will never know the other person totally, therefore the purpose of the going out is to see if there is a connection between the two and if the little irritants we all have are acceptable to the other person. Read Eternal Joy or Shidduchim U’nissuin.
Step 8 – one is not out of the woods even after the engagement, therefore limit the amount of times the couple goes out and speaks.
Now to reply to your comment, it makes no difference to the LSS if you are “chilled” frozen or cooked all the way!
If you are a bocher that has had no exposure to girls (what, no sisters?) and you are lucky enough to marry the first girl you go out with, you will have certain advantages in your connection to your wife that others who have had a more worldly outlook will not have. But the method of finding a wife is not different. Sure the chilled bocher will look for a different kind of girl to begin with, but the method of finding that girl is the same.
It is not well done to sneer at that 770 bocher and say it is easy for him to “fall in love”. No one should FALL, in love or in anything else; and “sweeps you off your feet” has the same effect of dumping you on the floor! A couple who has reached a decision to marry has hopefully done so because they have found the right combination of character and are comfortable and probably have a crush on one another. Real Love comes after marriage. This is true with the chilled bocher as well.