We all know the suffering young people must endure when they discover that more and more of their friends are getting married, while they remain single.
There has been growing support to deal with this temporary challenge (shidduch workshops, articles, shiurim, dating websites, monetary incentives, etc.), but nothing seems to be changing. The issue seems only to be getting worse and worse as time passes.
Parents are asking themselves, are they doing all they can. Young singles feel devastated. Their feelings of insecurity torment both heart and mind, the fear of the living alone can be overwhelming.
Now, when it comes to issues of shidduchim, it is important to remember that first and foremost to have trust in Hashem, knowing He is fully in the picture from even before you were born. We must place our trust that He will help us throughout the process of dating and marriage.
In this time of crisis, we should look to the stories of Jewish history and glean insight into the actions taken by our grandparents overcoming the challenge of their day.
Perhaps there is precedent for the “Shidduch Crisis.” I would imagine that the Tzadikim of previous generations would have had to advise Am Yisroel on such issues. Perhaps our teachers and mentors can enlighten us with some insight into these stories.
But until such an insight is found, we should consider a possible solution to the Shidduch Crisis using some very interesting information found by a Jewish scientist in this area.
Recently, someone shared with me a very interesting perspective on the Shidduch Crisis, that Jewish scientists found that girls are marrying boys who are at least a few years older, this leaves a fraction of girls with no older boys to marry.
I was thinking how true this issue was for myself, and my family members, and I realized that all the girls in my extended family had married or was looking to marry a boy who was around 3 years older than they are.
If this is true for everyone, that most girls want to marry someone older than them, and there just are fewer older boys for younger girls, the problem will only get worse and worse.
The root of the problem is that we are looking up when we should be looking sideways. Girls should try, at least not rule out, dating and potentially marrying boys their own age or just a year older. I don’t think if this solve the problem completely (as people can get ‘stuck’ in singlehood for all kinds of reasons), but if it can help even some girls find their bashert, I think it will be worth it!
We will never be 100% sure that the steps we take will have the desired effect, but by doing nothing, the problem will certainly get worse. We must do our part and pray that Hashem will bless our endeavors and do the rest.