I’ve always thought of myself as a nice person. I’m the type who will let someone with one item to buy go in front of me at the supermarket line, the type who will walk out of the room rather than argue. Yet I am sure that there are people who think I am a snob and a nasty one, too. Why? Because of the shiduchum search.
Having married off a few sons and daughters, and working on the next in line, I keep praying that I won’t hurt someone’s feelings, but it seems impossible to avoid. On the one hand, I don’t want to insult anyone, but on the other hand, I can’t let my child meet someone just to avoid hard feelings. If I don’t give a reason- the other side assumes that I am a snob, if I give a reason, then nine times out if ten, they will be terribly insulted.
When I first started on the shidduchim search for my children, rejections would upset me. Now that I am more experienced, rejections don’t bother me. I just understand that it is Hashem Yisborach’s way of saying that this is not the right one. Of course this is difficult when your child is getting older and you don’t see any salvation in sight. But isn’t the right person later better than the wrong person now?
Some of the things I’ve learned from experience (and believe me, I’m still learning in the job) are:
1. When making inquiries, avoid labels or derogatory questions. Don’t ask if he’s lazy, ask if he likes to be busy.
2. Try to ask open-ended questions.
3. When saying no to a suggestion, first give a compliment. Think before giving a reason for no, or don’t give a specific reason.
Shidduchim are as difficult as splitting the Red Sea, and needs the same level of bitachon to cross. It’s no easier for the boys than for the girls. As a friend once put it: Looking for a shidduch for my daughter, I felt like I was lost in the desert. When I started looking for my son, I suddenly found myself lost in the forest!
The One Above should help each of the singles to find his/her true match, without causing any bad feelings to anyone.