What No One Wants to Talk About

Beyond Teshuva is now just about a a year and a half old. I think we,as a community, have done some great things. We’ve pretty much taken at least some small steps in the direction of our tag line “learning growing, giving”. Our posts have pretty much run the gamut from noserings to sartorial splendor, economic pressures to “Big Fat Secular weddings”. However, there’s one area that I consistently see us failing to address and that is the issue of singles, dating and marriage. Sure, we’ve often detoured into the area and touched upon it on the periphery of related topics. But, no one seems willing to step up and address it head-on. That “no one” includes me.

Maybe together we can bring the issue to the foreground. I will throw out some questions for discussion and hopefully we can start a meaningful dialogue in the comments. Please get involved by giving your input.

Here goes:

Is there really a singles “crisis”?

If so, how did we get here and how do we address it?

Is the problem more difficult for BTs?

How is dating for BTs different than dating for FFBs, if at all?

In general, should BTs date FFBs?

What are some dating mistakes to avoid?

What is the best advice you would give someone who is dating?

How can singles expand their contacts beyond their own local geographic area?

How can the average married person get more involved in shidduchim?

How does the dating process differ between Eretz Yisrael and Chutz La’Aretz?

*** After writing this post, I saw an advertisement for “The Shadchan Magazine” which is a new magazine that states “Here’s what we’re doing about the shidduch crisis” and says “You don’t have to be a shadchan to make a sgidduch. The website is here. Has anyone seen the magazine? Any thoughts?

44 comments on “What No One Wants to Talk About

  1. David,

    Thanks for the response. My comment actually referred to my uncertainty over my observance level before dating. While I am in law school, that is not the reason I haven’t started dating yet.
    I agree with your friend by the way. I have some FFB modern orthodox friends and I’m sometimes puzzled as to why they aren’t dating yet given their situation and lifestyle.

  2. Aaron,

    Shortly after posting this, I received a private e-mail from an old friend from college. He considers himself to be “liberal modern orthodox” and he feels, if I understood him correctly, that people need to be encouraged to date earlier and that there is often too much of an emphasis placed on graduate school and career track before dating. While it’s a very important individual decision but I think there’s what to say for both sides of the the timing equation.

  3. A surprisingly under-discussed topic (even among baalei teshuva) is the difficulty in knowing when one is ready to date for marriage. For a Baal Teshuva, there are many gray areas in their Torah observance (and certainly knowledge) as they grow and it’s hard to point at a specific point at which one is comfortable with frum dating.

  4. How about older, divorced women who are BT seeking to meet? I would like to meet a man bt the ages of 45-58yo who has/had a secular background, wants to grow together in observance. I live in the Lakewood/Highland Park area, so if anyone knows anyone…

  5. This is a very important topic. I can mention one possible concept which might be a reason for this situation. I feel we we have lost a certain idealism which until now was a cornerstone of Jewish marriages. our parents witnessed the Six-Day War. they gained a greater sense of idealism, which they brought to their relationships. If a girl met a guy who was slightly flawed, she did not mind it as long as he had a good Jewish set of values, or was ready to raise a family.

    Often, guys who learn all the time may be somewhat less concerned with being with the right crowd than most other guys. Yet girls who say they want that type of guy, often meet them and say they are not in the right circles, or not with the right crowd, and therefore say they have not found anyone suitable, no matter how much they date.

    So when they go on a date, they compare the guy to their mythical image of a perfect guy, which is based on married guys whom they know; not knowing that the process of being in a relationship or marriage is actually the best way to help those guys get to be more like the way they want.

    The problem is not singles. The problem is that we as a community need to relearn how to get past externalities, how to get past status indicators, and to regain a sense of common goals and idealism, which would enable us get past meaningless externalities and flaws, and to regain the kind of idealism or awareness which helps people to get and to build the right kind of marriage.

  6. That isn’t so true. My friend decided on date 1 that he wasn’t for her b/c the conversation didn’t “flow”. My goodness, first dates are really awkward at times. On the second date she thought he might be too good for her. On the third I think she just couldn’t get it out of her head that she was bored, yet she couldn’t say why he was boring. She didn’t give this guy a chance. The guy she was dating was a very normal, well thought out guy who just wanted to do what is right in life. Yes he is in learning, but if his wife would want him to work, he would. He isn’t looking for support, he is looking to get married. He saw potential . Many times one sees potential first. I think it is unfair to blame the guys for lashon hara b/c I think the girls should not be expecting dating to be a good time. Dating is serious . What is going to be if dating is a good time and then the marriage has a lot of things to iron out. Sometimes when the shidduch isn’t so smooth it prepares you for the realities of marriage. Some girls should get their mind down to earth.

  7. Unfortunaltely the shidduch crisis is rampant.Why the problem exists is not the issue. The issue is the mishandling of the issue. A good girl is valued less than a shop till drop girl. The boys can luck it out just for being a boy. Then they go out and discuss the dates with their friends. These boys are then demanding full support so they can continue speaking loshon hora. While the girls wait for a date , these boys are dating heavily and having a good time even when they are not interested in getting married. The Rosh Yeshivas should be more involved and not just consider the money factor.

  8. I think that the singles have to not necessarily be pushed to go on another date with a guy/girl, but to super analyze the situation. For all the single knows, they might be just nervous about the fact that there could be something there= fear of commitment. I think that singles must be pushed to analyze their feelings with whole lot of ppl b/c they might give them a new perspective on the shidduch that they didn’t think of. Getting married is an important thing. I think the reason why there is a shidduch crisis is because they think that when you are going out with the person you are going to marry that things will go smooth, you will click, have a great time, enjoy being with that person. It might happen, but don’t tell me that it is going to happen when you have only gone on three dates. Just like you shouldn’t get engaged after three dates, you can’t say no after only three dates. I think this is esecially true once the single has hit the upper twenties. I also think that all older singles should go see a therapist to see if something subconcious is blocking them from getting married. Marriage is about logic more than it is about emotions. In my opinion, real attraction only comes once you have been married. I have more to say, but the words aren’t coming to my mind at this moment.

  9. Ron, what makes you think I’m kidding.Have you ever studied luckology? The likelihood of success in attracting good luck is all about the four leaf clovers ànd pollyana approach combined with perdestination, determinism,free will, meditation ànd ÀBC carpet ànd home window drooling.

    Ora,so pregnancy is not like a nine month hangover complete with sluggishness.
    Àlso why get married àgain? I see so many unhappy marriages ànd unhappier divorces even at my àge.

  10. Oh, gosh, Ora, I really do think Jaded — yea, verily, even Jaded — was kidding about channeling good shidduch luck via the housewares department.

  11. Jaded–
    I don’t think I used the words “selfish” or “bad” when describing a dislike of pregnancy. I just said that it’s relatively simple compared to the rest of things. I don’t think it makes sense to say you have an “acute aversity” to something you’ve never tried (I assume you’ve never tried it b/c you’re comparing it to a hangover).

    Also, adoption and pregnancy can go beautifully together, it’s not an either/or thing.

    I couldn’t disagree more with your last paragraph + line. How is getting all mushy over dishware going to help someone more than actually working to fix their middot through helping others? I guess if the problem is a secret lack of desire to be married it might help, but I think the best solution for the lack of desire thing is to spend time with happy couples, not furniture (no matter how funky).

  12. Ora, I actually asked for it to be deleted cuz I figured I shouldnt ruin a thread with hyperactive notions. Yeah i’m actually censoring my own comments, pretty soon I’ll be comin up with comment gems like : wearing skirts all the time just feels soo right & you really are what you dress ;-) (not quite though).

    Personally, I loove mothering my nieces and nephews and friend’s kids….. but the pregnancy thing is just something I dont think I can ever handle. So thats why I brought in the bright idea of marrying a divorced with kids kind of guy. Cuz then you get an instant family and hopefully a cute hyperactive kid or two without having to be pregnant.Most important, you get to see what kind of daddy he really is before you marry him . And there are so many kids that need to be adopted ….I’m not so sure its a selfish or bad mother thing with the acute aversity to being pregnant. I’ve never forgotten the two times I had a really wretched all day hangover. I would never be able to function all pukey /sluggish, heavy and puking all the time for a year ! And theres no avoiding the side effects with simple cups of water.
    As for the marrying many men often thing, yeah I know its not an answer for the commitment disabled, but its a start.And marrying married men already married to many woman and the other way around , might help the numbers game, in a borderline facetious kind of way though………..

    Yeah, also everyone should be given the right to be considered.

    Also, positive think pink thinking attracts good energy. Like if someone really wants to get married, I think a good way to start the process is by walkin into ABC Carpet and Home on Broadway in NYC and just go through the floors, house decorating for marriage. Choosing a few of those awesome ethereal chandeliers/a funky bed/pretty colored glassware/a few funky dishes/some spiritual books and some rugs all with marriage minded ideologies and intentions…. eventually all that feel good marriage oriented energy will reach the intended husband by spiritual long distance osmosis and diffusion …..

    Also, prayer and charity giving, are bad energy fixers.

  13. Parents and schools should create proper expectations through teaching, counseling, etc. The parent generation also needs to consider its attitudes.

  14. Rabbi Simenowitz–
    The problem you describe is something that’s been driving me nuts. How do you respond to the singles you meet who have unrealistic expectations? While many of my friends are perfectly realistic and just haven’t met the right one yet, many others

    1) have conflicting expectations–for example, he has to be very intellectually into Torah and study frequently, but can’t be “too frum” and will still go to parties and not care if his wife is in tank tops (not that there are no guys like this, but the three I’ve met are already taken).

    2) Say they’ll only date someone they’re attracted to (sounds reasonable) but are only attracted to about 1% of the population.

    3) Say they want a nice religious guy, but somehow all the religious guys are “not quite right,” while the secular or even non-Jewish guys/gals are always appealing.

    4) Insist that the guy be sephardi/ ashkenazi/ an academic/ native Israeli/ etc, but are willing to be flexible on things like whether he wants 3 kids or 13 and whether he’s way more religious or completely secular.

    As you can tell, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. How do you convince people to give the right guys/girls a chance? Without them taking it as “lower your standards” and then lowering the wrong standards? Is there any way?

    to JT, in advance–the reason I think my friends shouldn’t date secular guys is that the friends in question have tried that, and it doesn’t work. We’re talking mostly traditional girls here (keep Shabbat and kosher, not so much on tzniut and related mitzvot), and the secular guys ditch them pretty quickly as “too religious.”

    Also to JT–I notice your original #1 post here is gone, but I’d like to say two things anyway if you/admin will allow.
    1–Bringing back polygamy could help the numbers game (bringing in polyandry, halachic problems aside, would only hurt, as statistically the problem is not enough guys), but what’s the point of a marriage without commitment? It’s like saying that if not enough people qualify for college we’ll just lower the standards–it’s a bandaid solution, and won’t work in the long run.

    2) With rare exceptions, the nine months of pregnancy (despite the morning sickness, exhaustion, being as big as a house, and other lovely side effects) are far from the most difficult months in a mother’s career. Anyone who can’t be bothered to deal with pregnancy (as opposed to can’t get pregnant) is going to have serious problems dealing with the rest of motherhood, IMO.

  15. and if ther Black Sabbath concert is on motzei shabbos what do they say in havdala? “ki Ozzie v’zimras Kah. . . Oh well. . . .

    There definitely is a shidduch crisis. I travel frequently and come in contact with a great cross section of singles. I’ve tried to address each “bakasha” for help in shidduchin on an individual basis but over time, I’ve noticed disturbing common themes emerge. 1) Unrealistic wish lists (he must be handsome, a talmid chacham, rich,all of the above, she must be beautiful, supermodel type, wealthy etc. Like the butcher replied to the lady who was poking, swinging, sniffing a chicken – “lady, could you pass such a test?” Individuals need to be able to dod a serious cheshbon hanefesh as well as an objective (perhaps with the help of a friend or mashpia) assessment of what they bring to the table and what they most likely need – it’s not always pretty but it’s quite critical. 2) a sense of entitlement “magia li” based on not just what you’re “bringing to the table” but based on the “me” virus which has crept from mainstream society into the Torah world. While perhaps the level of bittul (self-nullification) we strive for in Chassidus may be a bit much for most folks, their interests in the shidduch arena will be better served if they go in asking what they can do vs. what their zivug can do (sorry Jack) wishing all in the “parsha” much hatzlacha and siyata d’shmaya.

  16. What about Dads who ate White Castle and went to Black Sabbath concerts

    as long as it’s not on paper plates (might lead to mixed dancing)

  17. The first issue of the Shadchan magazin was just published. Part of the framework of the system is that each single has a shadchan, and before two singles will be in touch, their shadchanim will be in touch with each other. If you know anyone who went to the Torah UMesorah convention, they might have picked up an extra copy. Otherwise, I think you can sign up on line to have one mailed to you. They have a goal to reach every orthodox family in North America. If they are successful, I believe that they will have done a lot to help keep everyone mindful singles and potential shidduchim. That awareness could be the hishtadlus that is needed in order to bring about more Jewish marriages.

  18. To address just one of the questions: How is dating for BTs different than dating for FFBs, if at all?

    When I dated 23 years ago, since we were both in Yerushalayim and under the guidance of our rebbeim, and our parents understood that, our parents weren’t consulted with. It was more like updates on what each of us and our teachers were up to in the dating process.

    With our daughter (who recently got engaged) there was the basic assumption that she would be seeking our advice.

    As for after the engagement:

    BTs don’t necessarily expect the standard wedding list gifts. I was upset at the thought that my wife’s father would have to buy me a shas. I put a stop to anyone even remotely suggesting that. Never mind the choson watch thing.

    BT parents of FFB kids beware: There are many things that are expected of you. Even if you would have never wanted them for yourself, this might just be the world you raised your children in. Time to think outside your own experiences and cough up the cash! Oh yeah, don’t forget about the Tallis, Kittel, tallis & tefilln bag and cover… Am I leaving something out?

    I’m not saying that this is a good or bad thing. I’m just pointing out that we need to be aware that our experience is not our child’s.

  19. Much of Orthodox life in yeshiva circles is structured around things men and women “need” to do before marriage. If the man’s “needed” years in beis medrash prior to marriage were more than the woman’s “needed” years in seminary & job training prior to marriage, that difference would feed into the age difference problem.

  20. I agree with Ron’s point about readjusting our “age based concerns”, within reason. (Don’t tell anyone but my wife is older than I am, shhhhhh)

    Query: Even if we come up with great ideas, how the heck do we get them through to those that really need to know them?

  21. Ron’s point is especially important in communities where family size is large, since large family size makes each new generation larger than the last.

  22. I know there are a lot of single guys, and it’s painful what they’re going through, but I think the “crisis” is about the girls.

    I’m not saying anything new to just bring up the fact that as guys get older more, not fewer, potential girls enter the eligible pool (up to a point), whereas for girls the falloff is scary.

    There were a couple of articles, I think in Mishpacha, a few months ago trying to get people to reconsider the boy-must-be-older-than-the-girl formula. Notwithstanding all the “madness” and the admitted dysfunction in our social system, I can’t think of a single factor or change that would make a bigger difference than this.

  23. “What about Dads who ate White Castle and went to Black Sabbath concerts’

    No shades of gray?

  24. If there is a singles crisis, I think it came about because (from my observation) people are staring to come up with laundry lists of requirements in a potential spouse. I once did this too. It was only after I tossed the list that I started dating the woman who became my wife. (I had known her for a few years before that; yes, I’m an idiot and darn lucky she didn’t get married before!) Granted, there are a few requirements that may be showstoppers. E.g. Has to be a person of the opposite sex, has to be Jewish. But I see people start listing so many such minor details. Has to be over/under a certain height; has to have a certain level of education; has to meet a certain quality of beauty; has to have a family with certain qualities; not to fat, not too thin, etc. The more requirements thrown in, the more people they rule out. Also, I actually met someone who “matched” my laundry list. We didn’t get along very well! When I threw away my personal laundry list, a friend told me I was “settling.” I’m now very happily married with two wonderful kids. My friend is wondering why she’s still single.

  25. I’m a BT married to an FFB… but he’s an FFB who is the child of BTs, and I actually have more frum extended family (ie cousins) than he does! His background meant he already knew how to interact with non-frum relatives (his Grandmother, Aunts, etc.) and could therefore relate better to my non-frum parents, and my having frum cousins did the same for me towards interacting with his frum parents and siblings. (And probably helped prepare the road for my own journey to observance.)

    Not everyone is going to have that ideal set-up, of course, but for the BT, I think it is important to not just classify someone as “FFB” and automatically check yes or no based on that, but to take into account the larger picture. An FFB who has never really had to interact with a non-frum family member at all can’t possibly understand the balancing act required for that, and will have a harder time relating to a BT’s extended non-frum family. An FFB with non-frum family members somewhere on the tree, even off on an adjacent branch, will have a better understanding, and that’s important to know going into a relationship.

  26. My children are too young to decide that, but we hear all kinds of stories about shidduchim investigations such as “did his or her parents use paper plates on Shabbos?” That would disqualify him! What about Dads who ate White Castle and went to Black Sabbath concerts (sometimes on the same night) How would that go over? Yikes!

  27. I agree with Ora’s points as a set of good advice on the micro level.

    However, from a macro level POV, there is definitely a singles crisis. The first step is for our communities ( Charedi and committed MO) to realize that there is a crisis ,to jettison the attitude of denial and to question whether the extremes of shidduch dating and extended singlehood are appropriate.

    In addition, we need to have more venues where singles can meet in a non-pressurized venue ( such as a Shabbos table, as suggested by R M Willig) and decide when and whether a date might be in the offing. I think that until we realize the singles crisis is systemic in nature that it will be with us for a while. , I would also agree that how shidduchim meet in EY, whether in yeshivish or Chasidish circles, may be how the process of shidduchim has worked in that environment. The question remains what aspects of that tradition are appropriate in the American Charedi and comitted MO communities.

    Yet, one can argue that the emphasis on providing a young man with a “siddur maleh” despite no way of determining whether he will be a Talmid Chacham, rav, mchanech, or washout from yeshiva who becomes a future lawyer or doctor with the “best shidduch” available is a process whereby a young man proceeds by hit and miss, followed by determining whether even one young woman is “shayech” and then negotiating the way to the chupah if things work out after what I call the dating equivalent of “three strikes and you’re out”.

    I think that R Y Horowitz’s article on having a plan should be mandatory reading for would be shadchanim, parents and their children going thru the process. IMo, R Horowitz’s articles are a very important guide to anyone involved in the process. It is important to know what one’s goals and objectives are in the process , be aware that there are different kinds of young men learning and different young women with different expectations and then to have a united and agreed upon plan.

    I am sure that many of us have gone thru the process in one way or another. I return to my advocacy of the POV that good friends of a potential chasan and kallah may be able to ascertain a possible shidduch in a better way than either a shadchan or even a RY or Mashgiach who because of the number of young men learning and their lack of familiarity, may not know so much about the young man or woman. However, if a friend “rets” or is the shadchan, then, by all means, one can and should call a RY or Mashgiach or speak to anyone you know about the young man or woman for references and evaluations of their family’s midos.

    I also think that some of the questions that one is asked about shidduchin border on the inane. How can anyone answer this question-“What makes this young woman different than all others?”

    As far as extended singlehood, WADR to anyone from the UWS or elsewhere, IMO, extended singlehood may very well not be conducive to your spiritual health. I am in favor of urging young men and women to actively seek and find their mates earlier,preferably they are in a Beis Medrash, graduate school , etc. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that when one is heavily involved in a career, that one loses interest in dating and that one’s committment to Shmiras HaMitzvos becomes challenged. There is a lot of evidencce that the UWS is a nice place to meet “friends” but not a Shiduch.

    I mentioned denial at least a few times in this post-there is plenty of evidence of it on the UWS ranging from a shul which would not accept publicity for a NCYI conference about a “singles crisis” because it demeaned singles to an article in a LW MO publication alleging that the crisis was R”L manufactured by rabbis uncomfortable with educated women to other blogs where one can find discussions about pilegesh, and whether an unmarried woman should use the mikvah. When you see discussions of this nature, they are IMO symptomatic of a community in denial over the singles crisis in its midst.

    I also think that it is a mistake to assume that a “learner/earner” should not be viewed as prime choice for a shidduch. Such a young man has an opportunity to be Mkadesh Shem Shamayim.While it is wonderful that so many young men are learning Torah, noone should be forced to sit and learn in a kollel or put on pretenses of wanting to do so solely for the purposes of finding a Shidduch. Yet, there are numerous cases of this happening. OTOH, our young women can and should be taught that a “learner/earner” has as much of a role in our community as a full time learner.

    I would argue that both the Charedi and committed MO communities need to talk more about the importance of meeting the right spouse at an earlier age. As a corollary, I would add that we need to teach our young men and women that Tznius is the Torah and Halacha’s way of saying that we do not view the opposite gender as an objectification of our basest desires but rather a way of enabling them to develope a relationship that will lead to a Bayis Neeman BYisrael that transcends physicality and which is neither Hedonistic nor Victorian in its approach to the most intimate way that a husband and wife show that they are committed to the same goals. Perhaps, if we worked on some of these aspects of Tznius in addition to the other equally important halachos, one would hear less of questions such as whether a potential date’s dress size is Size 2 or less.

  28. AJ asked,
    “Also: has there been a blog about BTs making shidduchim for their children? Now, there is a topic I am pretty nervous about.”

    We’ve been in shidduch mode once before and are now, too. One thing to consider is “what type of community is my single child now living in, and what type of community does my child want to live in?” The answer makes a big difference in planning to move forward.

  29. Actually, the topic may come up as one admin has a daughter “nearing the parsha”. It’s somewhat an unfortunate connection, but I can’t help but think that Chaim Weissman is really on to a lot of valid points in his End the Madness website. This site covers areas we’ve discussed many times here – being too judgmental of others based on their neighborhood, their butcher, hat or no hat, their Rav, their Yeshiva (or lack thereof) etc. Until we get out of mode of thinking that people are pegs that can be conveniently fitted with a matching category, we may continue to, yes, see what has become a Shidduch crisis amongst all Orthodox singles.

    Fortunately, I’ve seen some great shidduchim (and read of some hear too :) ) of kids of BT’s. The problem(s) are universal, not just limited to BT’s kids.

  30. Something I have discovered when talking with BTs or more specifically “those on the path to observance” is that they are not sure how far or how fast they want to go and that makes it difficult to find a partner who will be congruous to where they are holding.

    Also: has there been a blog about BTs making shidduchim for their children? Now, there is a topic I am pretty nervous about.

  31. Rachel,

    I should have added to my post that your shidduch post was a prominent exception to my point.

    I agree that a lot of our posters and commentors are not in the shidduch parsha but a good portion are. Also, many of them have children who are dating or soon will be. I would hope that we aren’t so apathetic as to not care so much about an issue simply bc it doesn’t affect them “right here, right now”. I do think that sometimes people are so busy with their own challenges, problems, issues and everyday life that we can’t see beyond our own four walls.

    I agree 100% with your point that someone setting up a couple should know the couple. I used to laugh when my father, a”h would, in the most well-meaning way, suggest the most mismatched couples simply bc they were both frum.

  32. About “is there a crisis?”:

    There seems to be one, but it’s not really well defined.

    To address the problem best we need facts, and I don’t know which facts are available. For example, it would be very good to know (among people identified as Orthodox, or, better yet, Orthodox of particular types) the numbers of single men and single women of each age, now and in the recent past.

    We would also want to consider relevant sociological factors within various Orthodox groups, such as the “preferred” relative ages of bride and groom, the need of many future kollel wives to learn a profession or trade, and so on.

    There have been many initiatives already to help the situation. Some have worked better than others. Do we know which things have actually worked for BT’s and others and should be tried on a grander scale?

  33. My answers:

    1) No idea.

    2) I think fewer and fewer people, especially in secular and BT circles, have appropriate dating and marriage models. I was the first from among my pre-BT circles to get married, so I didn’t have the example of cousins, friends, etc, to follow, as those people weren’t dating in a religious way and probably won’t be married for another few years. Movies, books, and other forms of media often add to this problem with unrealistic, swept-off-the-feet models of dating.

    Also, in my experience, the older people are the harder it is to get married. 20-year-old singles tend to be much more flexible and ready to accept faults, and more easily excite about their dates, than 35-year-old singles. And they have far more options.

    3) I think it’s harder for BTs, because BTs are more likely to have the poor models described above.

    4) BTs should date for longer. In general they (we) just aren’t prepared to marry as quickly as FFBs, and trying to often leads to disaster.

    5) Depends on the community. A newly-minted BT from the American south probably shouldn’t date a Mea Shearim born and raised FFB hareidi guy. But the same BT could date a dati leumi guy with American parents with relative ease.

    6) Don’t rush into marriage. Do not choose a time to marry based on fears that you won’t be able to keep negiah. MISTAKE MISTAKE MISTAKE.

    7) Unless a guy/girl is clearly seriously wrong for you (completely different life goals, obviously disrespectful of your background, etc), give them a second chance. Everyone should get at least 3 dates unless there’s something horribly wrong with them.

    8) Internet.

    9) Set up your single friends with your spouse’s single friends. Or if you’re like me and feel you have no talent at that sort of thing, invite guys and gals to the same Shabbat and let them sort things out on their own.

  34. I’m surprised no one wants to talk about shidduchim. Considering that my shidduch post from over a year ago got over 80 comments and stayed as the most commented post for quite some time…

    It might be that the majority of contributors are married, and thus the focus of their lives is a lot different than the focus of single people’s lives. It’s why we’ve had so many posts about finance, education, raising children, etc.

    Personally, I’m a bit wary of the “anyone can make a shidduch” mentailty. Of course, anyone can suggest a date, and eventually some of those people who meet each other will get married, but I think it’s important that the prospective shadchan knows at least one of the 2 parties pretty well, if not both.

    I say this because people can be a lot different “on paper” than in person. Personality doesn’t always come across in things like frumster profiles. And personality is something very important, the most important quality of a person, at least in my opinion.

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