Is there really a singles crisis or is it a lack of understanding of what the singles need?
Years ago, in the 1950’s, people were getting married—mostly to replenish what had been lost in the Shoa. Afterwards, they were still living in the times where women stayed home and men worked. In that era, if the girl was able to keep house and take care of the family, she was considered a good catch.
About twenty years ago, women started to become involved in the work force. And then excelled! Today, many women are professionals, and naturally, they want their husbands to be on equal ground! However, many of the men still live in the Stone Age, where they believe that they can get whomever they want. Really!! There are guys out there that are 50 years old and still want to have a family. Although that is noble, can you believe that he not only wants a family but wants—and is trying and waiting for—a 30-year-old woman that was never married! Likewise, there are guys that don’t take care of themselves, they don’t even dress decently, yet want and expect that pretty girl!
From where am I getting my information? I am a professional dating coach and have spoken with thousands of singles! Adding insult to injury, there are shadchanim, and parents that are totally out of touch with these children, whether they are 18 or 45! And what are we doing about it?
I will tell you what I have done, and the brick walls that I have come up against. I have created a group, almost completely self-funded as my form of a chessed project. I am not making money through my events, nor am I “in it” to make money. After all, the more money we charge, the less likely people are to attend. Although I am backed by many rabbanim, my organization is not funded by anyone. Just think, I called a rav to speak at an event, and he said for sure, but needs to get paid, and it wasn’t just a few dollars. And so on the story goes, with speakers, rabbis, shadchanim and the like. Yet I must admit, there are some that champion the cause; sadly they are few and far between. Ironically, some non-religious entertainers offered to come as a token to the cause, as they can empathize with the situation and only ask that their traveling expenses be covered. So I ask: What is the community doing about “our shidduch crisis”? I and a group of volunteers who have been in the scene for quite some time, run these events because we know what the singles want and need. We are not like other groups! We work hand in hand with the participants so they can meet one another at the event. We tell all the participants, if they’re meeting nice people that are not shayach for them, perhaps they may know someone else. If the community really wanted to help the singles crisis, they could! Have your child come to our event! Have a public figure contribute by attending one of our events or at least publicly endorsing our group. Or get an askan to cover some of the expenses. Have a well-known speaker join us! Really, why do we, the volunteers, have to do it all? Why do us volunteers have to keep giving of our time and accomplish just a fraction, when the community at large can help just a little and so many more people would be able to attend? Imagine if everyone just gave a few dollars, how much more we can do with it. Do you have any idea how many singles are tight for cash and can’t attend these events because of it? Just imagine if this group didn’t exist, how many possible shidduchim would not be made! What would these people do without events like ours?
Less than a year ago I founded FindYourZivug.com. I have made 5 events and currently I am working on Shabbos Nachamu. All of the events are upscale, yet low cost in order to entice the “Frumer” people to come and find their zivug! The modern people have their way of meeting and the Yeshivish/Chasidish people have their way, but the Frum person in the middle—they have no place to meet! Let’s face it, most people are skeptical of such things, so at least, if it is upscale, people will appreciate coming out for the evening even if they don’t meet anyone. As a certified dating coach, I give interactive workshops as well as continued help/advice to those that are dating. You would be surprised how a few key words from the right person changes someone’s dating habits and expectations. All of our events are structured, yet laid back, in order to give the participants time to meet each other and then spend some quality time with one another.
Based on what singles requested, my group is divided into TWO age groups. One is for ages 18-35 and the other is for ages 30-45. This has proven to be quite effective and we have several couples dating from our events. Hashkaficly, we are for the Frum and “With It” crowd. Being that there have been so many boxes to consider, what I have done is the following: The minimum requirement is women that “WANT” to cover their hair when they are married and men that “WANT” their wives to cover their hair when they are married. Why that, you may ask? It is simple. Covering the hair, k’halacha, is not a simple thing, and when someone wants to (or a spouse wants his wife to) that puts this person to the right of modern Orthodoxy. But more importantly, with “requirements” such as the guy wearing a hat or not, having or not having a TV in the home, going to shul 3 times a day or not, etc when the shidduch comes about, as a professional I can tell you, these things will iron themselves out. But for someone who originally had not intended to cover their hair and is all of a sudden asked to do so—that is tough!
I hope this article encourages you to help us help the singles! Sponsors get many benefits. Even if we do not get sponsors, you can do your part to let those singles out there know, our events are far from the typical ones they may have heard of. Many times, singles are concerned that if they go to an event, they will appear desperate or get a stigma of “what is wrong with them that they can’t find a shidduch without an event”. But know, that coming to one of our events would be equal to a year’s worth of computer/shadchan dating. Let’s face it, how many shidduchim are redd to a girl/guy in one year? And as she/he gets older how many shidduchim are redd? And from those, how many does she/he consider? At our events, (time allowing, depending on how many participants there are), a girl/guy will meet each guy/girl for a minimum of 15 minutes. At an evening event it would be as many as 50 guys and girls, where at a weekend it would be as many as over 100 of each. Does a girl/guy dealing strictly with shadchanim get to meet 50 guys/girls in one year? So tell me, where do you think the crisis comes from? I say, from all those who are not helping to get these children together at such events! From the parents to the rabbanim, you should all help in your own way, be it by supporting the organization or encouraging singles to come—this can get them married!
Currently, we will be running Shabbos Nachamu at the Stamford Hilton Hotel in Connecticut. More than 200 singles have already signed up and space is limited! www.FindYourZivug.com
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.