This shidduch op-ed is not like the others on COLlive that address the emotional investment dating has and how to deal with the subsequent refusals. I wish I were able to write about such things.
The reason I can’t is that I’ve never been on a date.
I am 24-years-old, live in a community where dating mainly happens when the girl travels out of town. Dating will involve a monetary expense and time-consuming. The upheaval it demands can’t allow dating to be something so frequent.
But I am ready to travel. The problem is that there are no offers, no names, no ideas.
If you look at my resume, I am your typical girl who was studious in school and followed on to a seminary in Isreal. I then went straight to teaching and was hoping to continue sailing through the system to get married within the next following years.
That hasn’t happened. My name has been suggested to many, but time and time again, I have been turned down.
My perception is that parents of boys enter the shidduch market with a predetermined result – and it’s not just about getting their boy married. They already decided what type of girl and from what type of family and background their son needs.
Here’s one example: After inquiring about a boy, the shadchan stated, “They’re wealthy,” implying that since my family isn’t, the shidduch may not be compatible.
It often happens that after the girl has been given a suggestion and after having sent her profile, a quick response is followed from the boy’s side of “not shayach.” There was clearly no effort made on the boy’s side in pursuing the suggestion and calling the references.
Many times, the parents of boys are particular to see the girl’s profile before sending their son’s profile. Is it to gain some reassurance by a quick glance? Are parents looking to see if the girl has the qualities that are laudable in a potential wife? Are they checking into her Midos, her personality, and character traits?
Why not bypass the external factors of the unknown – an unfamiliar family name, what job the father has or difference in the background? Let’s not halt after a quick scan at the profile or after reading the first lines.
Allow yourselves to look further, to take another moment and call a reference before making an assumption and turning it down.
You own it to your child not to be so judgemental.