I would like to make people aware of a certain issue which is unfortunately alive and well in our community.
I am not a professional psychologist nor do I claim to be one, however, being a Yungerman, and living here in the shchuna, “Kan Tziva Hashem Es Habracha,” and also having a son who is of marriagable age who has lots of friends, my wife and I B”H have the zechus of hosting a lot of bochurim over at our house whether it be on Shabbos or during the week.
That is how I hear sometimes about bochurim and their dating experiences, obviously with out them specifying any details (names and so on).
Recently I have picked up that there is a terrible illness which is plaguing our single bochurim and girls.
I feel that this issue needs to be addressed and I will do my best to clarify and spell out very clearly what exactly the issue is and how to deal with it.
I will start off with a stereotype which is out there, which is, that bochurim are looking for “models” as their future wives as opposed to soulmates. What I mean by that is, that waist size and looks are the main thing in what they are looking for in a marriage.
The problem is that more and more I have witnessed that this stereotype is unfortunately true.
Every bochur/girl who is on the shidduch scene and is looking to get married, ought to ask themselves a real question: What is it that I am looking for? Am I looking to marry a model or a soulmate?
Our bochurim need to understand that people change, and if you do plan on getting married Iy”h and having children, which most people do, you have to understand that your wife is not going to remain a size 2 or whatever size she was on the first date. If she happens to look like a model now, that’s great, but know that she is going to gain weight and she will not look that way a few years down the line after having a few children.
A person needs to be able to look deeper and focus on the actual person and you need to know what you are looking for in a husband/wife, what you are REALLY looking for in a soulmate, something more Pnimiyus. The fact of the matter is, that you are going to have to live with the person you are going to marry wih G-d’s help for the rest of your life, and if you like the way she looks today, but has an obnoxious personality or is a self-centered, self serving, egotistical person, then that’s what you’re going to have to live with for the rest of your life.
And in that case, looks will not matter because you are going to be so miserable. Esspecially a few years down the line, she won’t even look “drop dead gorgeous.” What are you going to do then?
So one needs to know that when you’re dating to have a clear perspective and focus on what exactly you are looking for in a person, ie; personality, shlichus/working, what type of family you want to have etc.
Those are the real issues which one needs to focus on and if it’s the right person then you will unquestionably be attracted to her looks. That’s not to say that looks aren’t important, there is no question that one needs to be attracted to their future spouse before getting engaged, however, looks are not everything.
One of the advantages that a person has over an animal is, that a person has Seichel, a brain to be able to think. So when it comes to shidduchim and dating, a person needs to use their brain to be able to make a rational decision so as not to make any big mistakes that you will regret later on in life.
Having said that: Bochurim and girls: It is vital that during the dating process one is in constant contact with his/her Mashpia.
If you don’t have one then you need to find one fast.
You don’t want to get blinded by looks, trust me you will not be happy at the end. All these external things like looks or money or gezhe/ffb/bt will not make any difference in your life in 20-30 years. You’re not living with the looks in 30 years, and money is not everything either, especially in today’s day and age – today you may have it and tomorrow you may not. And you’re not married to the family either.
So after having told you about some of the issues that are plaguing today’s bochurim, I think it’s the parents that need to get it straight as well.
They should not convey messages to their children in any way, shape, or form, that size and looks are the most important things in life, even in an indirect way ie; telling the shadchan “we are looking for someone no bigger than a size 2.”
I think that the parents are, many times, at the root of the problem.
Because if that’s the message you are sending to your children then we are all doomed.
That is not what the Rebbe taught us, and the shidduch crisis will never be resolved Chas Veshalom.