By Mendy Mentz
3 close friends in the past 4 weeks opened up to me about their Shidduchim.
All 3 had just ended dating whoever they were out with, and I recognized 3 common denominators that they all shared.
There was nothing in particular that was a red flag or a definitive reason to end the Shidduch. They all said “Things just became too much mentally and emotionally for me to be able to move forward”.
All 3 started with a Shadchan and then later felt that they got close enough to the person they were dating to drop the Shadchan. Then, as things started to become tricky, they brought back the Shadchan, only after to end it entirely.
When I asked these 3 people if they had a mentor that they can discuss dating with, whether a parent or Mashpia, they all said no, as well.
All 3 said they would try to discuss different aspects of the dating with different friends and mainly trusted themselves to put the pieces together between everyone’s advice.
It is hard to see a person date someone for 2-3 months and tell you that things are going great, enjoying the time spent with the other party, and most importantly verbalizing how AMAZING, SMART, FUNNY, and UNDERSTANDING the other person is.
ALL 3 of these cases started to plan the proposal, only to shut it all down when the big moment came.
And when probed with: What happened? What’s the concern? What changed?
They said, “Nothing, I have no concerns, I just can’t move forward”.
This is hard to swallow.
Surprisingly, all 3 of these people, on a level wanted to get engaged to this person, but just couldn’t bring themselves to do it.
Are these just standard cases of cold feet?
I don’t think so.
Here is my opinion on the matter.
We use a Shadchan for 1 main reason during dating.
-To mediate and update the current positions of the 2 sides in regards to their readiness for marriage.
-Often sharing the positive remarks or concerns of the 2 parties as well.
This is possibly the most important part of our shidduch system.
No matter our age, stage or feelings of closeness to the party we are dating, here is why it’s important to NEVER DROP THE SHADCHAN.
The goal of dating is for both parties to get clarity whether the person they are dating is the right match for them.
We do this in the very focused system of “Shidduch dating.”
We are not trying to make friends or become close to the people we date. (This happens the moment we recognize that the person is the right one. We propose, get engaged, and the closeness begins to build).
Keeping a Shadchan helps keep the proper Tznius distance in order to prevent playing boyfriend and girlfriend, which can cloud our proper judgement.
The person can then properly and effectively get to know the deeper part of the other party, which can only be accomplished during an actual face to face date.
2) Where is the other party holding?
This question is SO important for effective dating.
Getting the proper feedback from the other side on where the person is holding or their concerns is something that is absolutely only possible with a Shadchan.
No matter how “open” 2 people feel they are, no one is going to truly share their concerns to the other party on a date.
And if they do, that would only bring unnecessary strain and anxiety to the couple dating.
Many times when there is no Shadchan, the parties will often bottle up concerns they have or thoughts about the other person. This often leads to a long dragged out dating process as they deal with sharing their concerns with the other party over a longer period of time.
This happened with all 3 of the people that came to me this month. They dropped the shadchan, then hit a rocky road of communication, and finally in an attempt to try and see why things are not progressing, they felt the need to bring the Shadchan back on towards the end of the process.
3) “We thought it was going great so we dropped the Shadchan, now I realize shes/hes not for me. I wish I had the Shadchan to send the message on where I’m holding before I let them know.”
This is sadly all too common.
4) In Hollywood they may make it seem that when soulmates meet each other, they are always on the same page on when the other party is ready to get engaged.
In the real world it doesn’t often happen that way.
Majority of couples that get engaged, 1 person is usually ready before the other.
And in order to
A) not pop the question before the other party is ready and get a very uncomfortable “WHAT? I’M NOT READY FOR THIS?”
B) Possibly ruin a shidduch by applying too much pressure through unnecessary direct discussions on “When will you be ready?”
Don’t drop the Shadchan.
It is my opinion that even if a couple is in their 40’s and both dating for a second marriage, they should also use a Shadchan for these reasons until they are engaged.
A shadchan is not something that is only for the immature. It is the most effective, tznius way to date. In particular, it protects both parties from unneeded stress (which is not such a bad thing in a time like this. 😉
To have a Mashpia or a Mentor is possibly the biggest blessing in a time like this.
The journey that leads to the decision to get married to a specific individual is far too great and far too burdensome for one person to go on alone.
The ability to share, discuss, get insight, clarity, direction, and to not walk this path alone is of immeasurable value.
Imagine investing all your life’s savings into one place and not having a respected, experienced person that fully understands the overall spectrum of what you’re trying to accomplish.
Without a Mentor or Mashpia, the decisions and thoughts can simply become too much to bare!
(I will note from my experience, friends alone may not have the ability to weigh in properly on matters like this).
It is hard enough to hear that a Shidduch didn’t work out.
It is painful when both parties felt high regards for each other, have only good to say about the other party, but after months of dating, the pressure and anxiety just became TOO MUCH.
Please do yourself a favor if you are still in Shidduchim.
Shidduchim is hard enough already, make it a little easier
1) Stick with the Shadchan
2) Find a mashpia or mentor you can talk to through the process.
I once heard that an idea can only become old fashioned if it survives long enough to become old.
These old fashion ideas have helped thousands to the Chupa.
May we all be blessed with easy Shidduchim for all in need!
If you have any questions feel free to email [email protected]