MAILBAG: A Single’s Perspective – An Open Response To Article By Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz

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scrAs I sit here trying to gather my thoughts on the recent shidduch article you printed, I can’t seem to alleviate a resounding thought from my head “once a girl reaches the age of 25, her chances of getting married are less than 15%”. As a 28 year old single girl in the yeshiva world, I shudder at the thought of this possible reality. While my initial reaction to this alarming statistic was fear and sadness, upon having some time to think and reflect, those feelings changed to a strong sense of frustration. While I can sincerely appreciate the fact that there are people out there trying to help and make a change, I think we have it all wrong. I am not saying I have the answers and I am not going to sit here and write an alternative solution, but I want to try and share some thoughts and insights from the perspective of an “older single” in shidduchim.

I have no older siblings, so when I entered the shidduch parsha at the age of 19, I felt both excited and hopeful. My two best friends married the first boy they went out with and I thought I would surely follow suit. I always wanted to get married young – it seemed like the “next step” after spending a year in seminary. My first date was a disaster and after coming home crying, it was my first “reality check” that this may not be as easy or painless as I anticipated. It‘s been almost 9 years since that first date and boy have I learned a lot – both about myself and about being part of a society that “expects” girls to be married no later than age 22. Maybe you would consider me one of your “hopeless, helpless and wounded” girls in the parsha, but truth be told, I don’t see it that way. B”H I am smart, well-educated, have a good job, a great group of friends and a supportive family. I am attractive, healthy and feel that I have a lot to offer in a relationship. So, why is it, that if this is how I view myself, when it comes to the society as a whole the first thing they see is “SINGLE.” I think this is where the problem lies.

When I think about what the biggest source of pain has been throughout this process, it is not “waiting for the phone to ring” or watching others move on. It is not the dating process, the singles events, meeting shadchanim, rejection, constantly needing to be “on”, sending out a picture to try and “convince” guys to go out with me or always having to look my best. It is not watching younger siblings or students married with babies. The greatest source of pain that I have felt is everybody else’s reaction to my “situation”. I have thought that perhaps I am just being ultra sensitive and had actually planned on waiting to write an article on the topic until I was married so I can be a little more objective. But after reading this article I felt compelled to write something and get the message out there. GIRLS DON’T WANT TO BE PITIED; Nobody wants to be pitied.

I remember going to work (in a secular office) on my 25th birthday and crying at a team meeting. My supervisor came in the next day and said, “I hope I am not being disrespectful towards your culture, but when I came home I felt so angry. I felt angry that a society can make a person feel THAT bad about turning 25.” I thought about what she said, and I think she was right. Why is it that in the secular world, I am viewed as a young adult with my whole life ahead of me and the fact that I am single doesn’t even cross their minds? The secular world doesn’t pity me or think any less of me because I haven’t found the right guy and they think the age of 25 is YOUNG. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the frum, orthodox world. Unfortunately, in the frum world, with each passing birthday girls are left feeling more afraid, sad, rejected and undesirable. I don’t think this feeling comes from an inner sense of insecurity or lack of self-esteem. I think it comes from the way our society has “labeled” what it means to be an “older single”.

I strongly believe that the reason I am single has absolutely nothing to do with statistics, age gaps, lack of guys or anything else along those lines. And as long as we focus on that being the problem, we aren’t going to come up with a solution. As a good friend of mine likes to put it “this is not a shidduch crisis, it is an emunah crisis”. Everyone has to deal with different nisyonos in life. Being single is one of those nisyonos. Hashem doesn’t work based on numbers or statistics. If Hashem wants, he can send me my zivug today. But clearly, that is not where Hashem wants me to be right now. For reasons I don’t understand, I am meant to go through this painful process. If I truly believed that “less than 15% statistic” I would have a very hard time waking up in the morning and facing the world. Why would I daven so hard for something that seems so “unlikely” to happen? I don’t think Hashem is looking for us to find the reasons behind the challenges he sends us on both a personal level and on a klal level. I think Hashem wants us to take the experiences we go through and become better people. Hashem wants us to grow from these challenges and use them to help and support other people. For any single person reading this article – please don’t listen to the statistics. We are not numbers, we are human beings. Bishvili nivra haolam.

In my opinion, this is the biggest problem. Reading an article like this doesn’t give me chizuk. Reading an article like this reaffirms all my fears – that age means too much in our society, that getting older means getting “less desired”. It is not this way in the secular world and it should not be this way in our world either. People need to stop stigmatizing girls based on age. Instead of pitying us, be supportive. Instead of thinking “oy, she’s still not married” think “wow, such a great girl, I am going to think if I know anyone for her”. Instead of labeling us based on age, label us based on our character. Instead of giving us looks of despair, give us looks of encouragement and support. I think taking away the strong stigma is a first step in alleviating some of the pain singles have to go through. If age wasn’t such a big deal, such a spoken about “issue”, guys would not be as hung up on it either. As a therapist, working with children who have anxiety, I teach them that the more they focus on their worries, the more their worries grow. The more we sit and focus on age, the more of a “problem” it becomes in the eyes of boys’ mothers and the boys themselves. We should help our society see past a number on a paper. Highlight some of the positives that “older singles” have to offer. While I would have loved to get married when I was younger, I feel that the growth I have experienced in these last 9 years has been enormous. Because of this, my relationship with my husband will be that much stronger imyH. Girls who are a little older when they get married are mature, have had life experience, don’t take it for granted when they find the right person, have some money saved up, have depth and insight, have had time to travel with friends and have a strong sensitivity to others who are going through a similar ordeal.

Instead of trying to find a solution to Hashem’s master plan, help promote singles and not make them feel bad for something that is not in their control. Write articles that give support and chizuk, not that highlight and focus on the negative things about hitting the “dreaded age” of 25. We have to work on changing our perspectives. Learn to value us, not pity us. Make us feel accepted instead of rejected. We want to be treated as PEOPLE, not as statistics.

We shouldn’t have to dread going to social functions because we don’t want to deal with the “nebuch” looks and comments we are inevitably going to receive from others. We shouldn’t have to feel we have anything less to offer because Hashem didn’t send our zivug at age 20. We shouldn’t have to feel that with each passing birthday we become less desirable and our chances of getting married significantly decrease. We shouldn’t have to feel “inferior” because of our age.

There is one last point I would like to make, and I think it is an important one. One of the positives that has come out of reading this article is that it has strengthened my emunah and connection to Hashem. Let me explain. If I were to absorb and internalize all of the comments both in the article and in response to the article, it would lead me straight down a road of despair and depression. If I were to walk around feeling like a statistic, thinking “is this a life worth living” it would be extremely difficult for me to remain hopeful, positive and self-assured. It would be difficult for me to feel “worthy” of a great guy if these damaging thoughts pervaded my psyche. Instead, I read the article and looked over some of the responses and all I could think was “where is G-d in this equation?” If we had full bitachon, we wouldn’t be questioning “why”. We wouldn’t be blaming singles or casting them in a negative light. We wouldn’t be coming up with statistics or asking if this is a life worth living. We would be davening for each other, working on ourselves to be better and strengthening our connection with Hashem. By using this nisayon as an opportunity to grow and change for the better, while putting in our hishtadlus, hopefully Hashem will answer our tefillos and send the yeshuos we are all looking for.

It is my fervent hope, that with siyata dishmaya all the singles out there find their zivug and don’t have to go through any more pain. In the meantime, stay strong, don’t give up and keep your head held high because you ARE worthy and imyH some lucky guy will get to see that very very soon.

Please feel free to contact me at shidduchim101@gmail.com

Name withheld upon request.




52 COMMENTS

  1. How come in the more liberal/modern /traditonal syrian community, 26 year old males marrying 19 years old girls is the norm ,still has there been any crisis?

    Paradoxically, in the more yeshivish grouping of the abovementioned sector,where the avg. marriage is generally, say, a 24 year boy to a 22 year old girl, there largely has been a a cisis?

    To be explicit

    Among the “frummer” syrians,where there is a narrowing of age,there is a greater shidduch crisis

    Would someone attempt to explain that with the numbers?

  2. FOR ALL THOSE WHO ASK ,where then are all those older boys
    THey are world over!

    (Reportedly,in the West Bank :There are 10,000 plus more eligible males than females!

    Lots of them are american born ,went to our schools ,did poorly or mediocre somewhere along,)
    so chose to “head out west”
    As males have always done/do (e.g.Alaska)
    but females rarely do (it goes back to their primal natures)

  3. iirc For a variety of causes and trends (e.g lower % of teenage boys throwing off their garb than in the recent past,greater % of girls) ,the “crisis”
    is actually lessening and for better or worse balancing out for the soon to be coming of age girls

  4. All in all ,it’s primarily the fault of a rigid dating system,which may serve a sliver of the pop. well,and presumably is proper for those in their lower 20’s, but does as more harm as good for the anyone older

  5. Absolutely. Age is just a number. Regardless if someone is single at 41 years old, 34 years old, 27 years old, it is all the same. The older the more life experienced, good job, educated, the more to offer the husband, the more money, the more time to have traveled, the better to have gotten to know oneself. I wonder if it is better to wait till one is in their upper 30s before getting married for all the above reasons.

    We should emulate the secular world and discard our old-fashioned Jewish ideas of getting married young. 30 is the new young.

    Now the seculars are totallycool if someone chooses not to marry altogether. Maybe we shouldn’t take it that far.

  6. In an article entitled “Post Article Remarks From Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz Regarding ‘Shidduch Crisis,'” Rabbi Rechnitz retracts the point he made about quoting that statistic and subsequently saying that girls’ chances of marriage decreases after age 25. He says that the only reason that he wrote that statement was to wake people up as to how serious the shidduch crisis actually is in the strongest possible terms, so that people would be so shocked, that it would motivate them to take action. He then says that in retrospect, he offended several girls by making this statement, that he shouldn’t have written a statement that was that painful and he then asked mechila from any girl who was offended. He then retracts the above statement about girls that are over 25, and replaces it with the following statement: “With that I’d like to rephrase my words from the original article. “With the help of Askanim and the Roshei Yeshiva, all girls over the age of twenty five will IY’H find their Bashert in the near future”.” Reb Shlomo Yehuda should be applauded both for doing so much to help the shidduch situation, and for asking for mechila, and rephrasing his original comment. The author of this article should also be applauded for drawing further attention to the plight of singles, and from bringing the singles situation to a personal level, so that all everyone can (and should) empathize with her, and listen to how she says singles should be treated, and how we should do our utmost to help them get married. IY”H both she and all the other singles should find their bashert very soon, as Reb Shlomo Yehuda benchted them. The full post-article remarks by Reb Shlomo Yehuda to his original can be found here:
    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/editorial/253846/post-article-remarks-from-reb-shlomo-yehuda-rechnitz-regarding-shidduch-crisis.html

  7. This is an eloquent, phenomenally written piece which makes a number of excellent points. Yasher Koach for having the guts to write it, taking the time to do so, and making sure it was written in a powerful, yet coherent fashion.
    Though I’m sure you have numerous other cheshbonos I’m not aware of, I would strongly encourage you to pursue having this published in other, more formal and more established publications. It certainly is worthy of that, and contains messages rarely heard yet crucially important to be broadcast.
    If I may, I’d encourage you to publish it non-anonymously as well. As I said before, I don’t know your cheshbonos so what I say only has limited relevance. But while I’m sure doing so is a daunting prospect and I well imagine the hesitation in opening up your personal self to the public, it seems you are uniquely suited to contribute a perspective which is sorely lacking as well as badly needed energies to those affected by this “crisis.” Discussion of these matters or other means of improving the situation can be accomplished on an infinitely more productive and meaningful level if you are not anonymous.
    Once again, thank you for sharing your personal, deeply relevant and heartfelt thoughts with us. It is my prayer that everyone, whether they eventually agree or disagree, think long and hard about your writing.

  8. AMAZING – THANK YOU!!

    Unfortunately, Mr. Reichnitz is trying to undo a system which he himself helped create! It’s almost simultaneously sad and comical to watch him discuss it.

    I also think the article ignored other issues that need to be addressed:

    1) Assuming these girls are getting dates between ages 19-25, are they looking for the right qualities and middos in a boy? Are they being realistic and practical?

    2) What kind of “system” or world do we live in where boys (and learning boys!) at age 24 won’t even date a 22 year old girl? Who is responsible for this meshugane mentality? Or is this just part of a “system” we should accept?

    Shame that Mr. Reichnitz isn’t able to buy anyone common sense!

  9. Yes, it is nice that someone has the courage to comment such a beautiful insight, but I think there is a much more fundamental concept regarding marriage which we are missing. What is it all about and what is it for. If we answer those two questions it will be much more easier for us to approach it, do the right decision, and act accordingly at any age.

    Blessings to all.

  10. Thank you very much for this insightful article.

    Finally someone is voicing how most of us are feeling. You are right on the mark. Single life shouldn’t be a burdensome time, it should be a time to enjoy that stage in life.
    We shouldn’t be pushed into marriage. Marriage and relationship should happen in a natural free flowing way, without the desperation and panic.
    Unfortunately this mindset takes times and effort to establish, especially when you have most people up against you.

    Guess what folks as soon as the stress of marriage is over, there is the stress of having kids at that calculated time (sigh of relief). Let the vicious cycle begin again.

  11. I would like to suggest that the original article was written looking at the problem from a top-down perspective, trying to help solve a global issue. It was never intended on a personal level, as this author seems to have mistakenly inferred.

  12. Wow. Very very well written. Finnaly someone who attributes everything to Hashem , not statistics.

    Although i do feel that the main goal of S.Y. Rechnitz’s article was to alertthe tzibur about the alarming numbers, obviously he also understands that Hashem runs the world. Even if the statistics prove otherwise.

  13. To;shidduchim101@gmail,as you wrote “we dont know Hashem’s reasons why so many people are still single”. How ever if I had to guess why YOU are still single, is for YOU to write THIS article and give Emuna to all the single people.Now that you have done that, may Hashem send YOU and ALL the single people their bashert now AMEN.

  14. “As a good friend of mine likes to put it “this is not a shidduch crisis, it is an emunah crisis”. Everyone has to deal with different nisyonos in life.”

    “all I could think was “where is G-d in this equation?” If we had full bitachon, we wouldn’t be questioning “why”.”

    Bingo! Exactly! Written very well.
    A baas kol goes out before every nishomo comes on to this world and says ben ploni libaas ploni. To think that this absurd idea of the “age-gap” being thee Shidduch Problem IS %100 KEFIRAH!!! With all due respect, Mr. Rechnitz is not Daas Torah and can not tell suffering Yidden this garbage, that once you turn 25, its all over. It is so absurd and false! HKB”H doesn’t run the world based on some concocted “numbers”! Unfortunately, many of these people who believe this garbage, are the same people who run to the almighty “SEGULOS”! Uman, Meron, Arizal’s mikvah, this Rebbe, that Mekubal, this kever, etc… If a person doesn’t believe in Ein Od Milvado, nothing will help!

  15. the best article I have ever seen about the shiddich situation. your emunah and bitachon are inspiring and a lesson to all of klal yisroel, married, single, men, and women.
    or as they say – you really tell it like it is.
    may the rebono shel olam be memalay kol mishalos libach le’tova

    thank you

  16. Great article. …..but to make one point to u why there is there is a crisis out there is parents and the boy and girl are not on the same page,and don’t look what their kids needs and could get,they are on a palm tree that once they get up there its hard and to come down and face reality , it has nothing to do with emunah. Every body believes in god and his or her bashert…..but by not being realistic u can bypass ur true bashert……

  17. A much more upsetting the statistic is the number or percentage of girls who married Mr. “Wrong”. We are now dealing with a number of divorced women who outnumber “singles”. Add to that the many who are in unhappy marriages, but stay within the marriage.
    Many of the singles are single simply because they were smart enough to avoid the trap and pressure of getting into a bad marriage.

  18. I am a shadchan. I believe that all shadchanim should try as much as possible to redt shidduchim close in age to the boy’s age. In my experience, I don’t have a problem convincing a boy to go out with a girl a year or two younger, or a year or year and a half older. They are not necessarily looking to marry someone four or five years younger than they are. (I would say, though, generally speaking, the more yeshivish the boy, the more a problem it might be. And many times it is the mother who has the problem, not the boy. I would say to those mothers to remember that the same narrow-minded thinking affects their own daughters’ prospects as well.)
    In my opinion, it is really only in the yeshivish circles that a girl is considered “old” if she is not married by 22. In the generally frum population, I believe this is not the case. It is very common for girls not to get married until their mid, or often times, later twenties. And of course there are plenty of girls who get married in their thirties.
    I do not know why these issues seem to be more of a problem in yeshivish circles. It could be that in those circles the boys are getting married younger because most of them are learning fulltime so there is no reason for them to wait till they are older to get married, whereas in other circles a boy might not get married until he has finished, or almost finished, his education so he can support his family once he is married. Thus the yeshivish girls need to be younger in order to match up with the younger yeshivish boys who are already dating.
    I think the young lady who wrote this article is a very special person and I hope that Hashem will send her someone equally as special to be her husband very soon!
    On another note, can someone please post where I can find contact info and details of the shadchanas Mr. Rechnitz is offering to a shadchan who makes a shidduch according to the criteria discussed in the Mishpacha Magazine. Thanks.

  19. Dear shadchan gold,

    I’m not sure why you should have to do any convincing. If he says no, tell him ok your loss and move on to someone else. Since everyone claims the problem is not enough boys stop pandering to them. They will catch on soon enough. The problem the way I see it is that the boys are so pandered to and allowed these extensive “lists”, that we are ssimply fostering the system that alloows them to behave in a way that is detrimental to girls and just fuels this vicious cycle. Just tell them this is a yes or no. 48 hours and I move on. No need for a drisha vichakira that would make a beis din trying a capital case proud..

  20. to:not getting involved:#15…….first of all the meiri in sotah 2a says that zivug sheni(second marriage)isnt literal but means after the age of 20 that girl that the bas kol announced expires…….also the rambam says that the gemara is not lehalacha….so please do research before you write your garbage

  21. Thank you for Mr. Rechnitz for really caring and trying to help, as your shabbos guest you seem to be a really nice guy, and you really want to help.

    #1 There are alot more GREAT Bais Yakov Girls than Sincere yeshiva Boys.

    #2 Guys want $$$$$$, and alot of it to sit in kolel. As having redt shidduchim in the 100s, 98% of the time the boys side asks for the support plan from parents and numbers of her income, and then falls off the map with the response of, “Sounds good i’ll look into it.”

    GREED GREED GREED, say all you want that middos are important, and to most they are, and most girls are married, and most boys are married.

    The unfortunate undeniable truth is that to many people stating middos is important, they can not care less about middos and they want alot of $$$$ from the girl.

    THE TRUTH HURTS!! SORRY!

  22. I just want to tell the author that I am a frum mother who found her husband at the young age of (GASP) 29. After dating over 120 guys, I went out with my husband and was Baruch Hashem unofficially engaged after about a minute and a half. (We stretched it out to about five weeks to make it official.) After years of both of us sobbing to Hashem, Hashem just helped us click quickly and beautifully.Obviously, its not exactly that fast for everyone.One thing I would suggest is to try to date guys who don’t check EVERY box- you might be pleasantly surprised!! Keep growing Singles!!! Knock em dead!!
    I’m not blaming Mr. Rechnitz- he cares….but did anybody proofread his article??? Isn’t that standard practice for all publications?

  23. To Mr Not So Geshmakman:

    How are you feeling now? Clearly you weren’t feeling well or geshmak when you published your feelings in this forum.
    You begin by stating that Mr. Rechnitz helped create this system. Care to elaborate? Can you substantiate one word of that statement?
    And let’s say he did create it. Isn’t trying to help fix it worth something? What have you done to help correct the situation?
    So you begin your issues that have to be addressed by slyly suggesting that it is the girls at fault because they aren’t looking for the right qualities and middos in a boy. Really? Might you be that boy that the girls aren’t interested in due to your lack of qualities and middos? If I am correct in that question then I think the girls are being very being realistic and practical.
    You finish your two cents with another swipe at the author writing about his lack of common sense.
    For starters I don’t think he became what he is today without an ample amount of common sense. Do you? And second do you know him? Have you ever spoken to him and noticed a lack of common sense?
    What I see from your comment is a frustrated man with a loose “pen” attacking one of the good guys in the world today. So let me turn the shame comment around and ask you what bright constructive ideas you have? Knocking his attempt at helping the problem does nothing for the crisis at hand.

  24. As a regular good frum BY girl who had been in Shidduchim for about 5 years now I feel a lot of it has to do with the demands the mothers or parents of the boys have as opposed to the what the boys themselves want. I truly feel that if boys would even be given a chance to look over my resume or to look into me as a person they would hear excellent information and would be interested in meeting me in person and at least give me a chance. The problem is that many mothers believe that since a good boy has the upper hand anyway in the system and they claim they have lists of top quality girls- they feel that why should they have to “settle” on a girl like me who’s a bit older…whose parents simply cannot afford to offer full support..not a “perfect” choshuva family..etc. even though I was considered a “top” girl too or at least I considered myself one 5 years ago-I don’t know what to think about myself anymore. Its hard to remain positive all the time when all my friends have moved on in life. i cant even relate to my closest friends anymore-our lives have nothing in common- this may in fact be the hardest part for me to deal with right now-I was always a social butterfly with a big social life and it meant a lot to me- now all my friends have moved out – (as I don’t live in Lakewood) want to add that I went to top schools top seminary had a lot of friends my whole life, my résumé at least seems as good as everyone else’s. I chose a good career so that i can support my husband’s learning for as long as possible. that was my dream but now i don’t know what to think. is that still realistic? So why is it that I hardly ever have dates and that months go by without a Shadchen even calling my house with a yes from a boy. Most boys I go out with like me when they meet me and appreciate my personality what I have to say and the qualities that i have to offer in a marriage. The problem is getting the mothers of the boys to even consider me in the first place. I know this is the case because of the many people who try redting me Shidduchim usually to no avail-the family is simply not interested either because of money…or for some other similar reason of why my family Is not tzsugapas enough for them. It’s hard not to grow frustrated with the system and not to cast blame on different people that may be perhaps responsible for this nesayon. But the truth is that i wouldn’t trade my life and my community for anything else in the world. every society has flaws and this is something that we have to work together as a klal and for that alone I’m glad that Mr. Rechnitz brought out this problem and fostered this whole discussion in the first place. I congratulate and admire his tireless efforts to attempt to rectify the current situation. The one thing I have to say is that I am kind of stuck in the middle of all this because I’m not old enough for people to earn money for making my shidduch but I do not want to have to wait until I reach that point for people to be motivated to make my shidduch. I too was discouraged at first by the astonishing and astounding statistics for single girls once they reach the age of 24. But its definitely well worth publicizing if it means a chance that things might change for the better even if it means confronting and living every day with this harsh reality. Basically, according to the statistics and לפי דרך הטבע, I have less than 2 years to go before I have a 15% chance of ever getting married. That’s not very encouraging when you think about it. Does my future career mean anything to me if it means never having a chance to have and raise the family I’ve always dreamed of having which is the only reason why I chose it to begin with? Does it mean throwing out everything that I ever learned in seminary and high school and all that I build myself up to be because it may now all be basically irrelevant? And secondly, even if over 22 is only considered “older” in the more yeshivish circles- if this is the path I chose for myself and the way I want to live my life does it mean choosing something else if it means I will have a higher chance of getting married? I never dreamed that I would have to even contemplate such factors in order to help build my future. Also, it’s not comfortable to realize that younger girls are embarrassed to meet me and talk to me because I’m considered “old” in their eyes. I have kept my opinions on the matter to myself for some time now and i have never shared anything publicly before but after reading the article first in the Mishpacha and reading all the comments I was very tempted to write in as other single girls did but I didn’t have the courage to speak out as I didn’t feel it would accomplish much in the long run. However, I decided to share them just in case anything good can come out if it and even if it means preventing other people from having to go through what I’m experiencing if i cant help me and other girls already “stuck” in this predicament. I’ve experienced other nisyonos in my life and upon entering Shidduchim I convinced myself that I would at least be spared in this category- that I wouldn’t have be challenged in the parsha of Shidduchim as well because of what I had been through in the past. But Hashem in His infinite kindness and wisdom as always has other plans from what we intend for ourselves. Let’s. hope that Hashem has rachmanus on all the singles and all the other fellow Yidden that are suffering whatever the reason and that He bring the forth the Geula shleima bekarov ויאמר לצרותינו די
    ומחה ה׳ דמעה מעל כל פנים..
    והמבין יבין!

  25. I know betachon is the key but I think we can do more. How many times each of us said no to a shiduch because its not “what I’m looking for”?
    Talk to people or read stories in cases where someone was faced with small chances and then they changed themself around and merited a positive answer from Hashem.
    Sheinu mokam, shainu Mazal.

    Try something different, take the first step and jump into a sea of something new and even if you wait till water reaches your lips… then Hashem will certainly split the sea for you.

  26. A truly amazing and inspiring article, writen with heart and spot on. I commend you for taking the time out to write this and may be it zechus for your CONTINUED success and happynis.

  27. To start out I admit that I have no personal knowledge in the shidduchim world. With that said here’s some undeniable truths.

    1. Women have a biological clock that ends child baring around 40 years old. This undeniably affects their prospective age for getting married being that most men don’t want to marry a barren woman, not to mention that he has a Chiyuv to have kids. The older she is the less chances to raise a large family (which is what most people want nowadays). This may seem unfair, but it is the reality and it complies with Halacha.

    2. Let’s assume that the quote of 15% is factual. If so, there are two realities here. 1) There is then a serious crisis on our hands; 2) Each girl over 25 has to feel that she is part of that 15%. That is true Emunah! Denying facts is not Emunah, it is purely denying facts! Let compare this with being barren. All our matriarchs were barren (at least at one point). Non-the-less, that did not stop them from maintaining their Emunah that it is all in Hashem’s hands. Emunah is not “the denial of statistics”, but rather that “statistics do not rule over you”, Hashem does. If he so desires your specific case will beat the odds. I know someone who had an advanced case of cancer and there was a mere 5% chance of survival. He ended up being one of those 5%. Don’t take Mr. Rechnitz’s statistic personally as if he is telling you that you’re a lost case. He merely was trying to open peoples eyes to a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

    3. There is nothing praiseworthy with the secular view of dating. The reality is that they all (nearly all) have premarital sex on a regular bases. This is in contrast with our life style of Kedoshim Tehiyu. Furthermore, things such as single parenting is acceptable in there society. I remember meeting quite a number of gentile women that have had children out of wedlock. I even met one woman who still hoped her boyfriend would marry her after having had 3 kids
    together. Pathetic! No, there is nothing to praise about the goyyish life style.

    4. Although there is some merit with being more mature, the fact is that at one point people (both men and women) start to become more set in their ways. This makes marriage much more challenging being that a major part of marriage is bending one’s hanhagas to accommodate for his/her spouse.

    5. Contrary to logic, the fact is that the longer one dates the more restrictive their criteria in a potential spouse usually becomes. Thus adding to the difficulty in finding them a spouse.

    6. I don’t know why this is, but the older a man gets the less desirable they seem to be in getting married. I know men in their 40s who aren’t too concerned about getting married. It seems to become a, “yah, yah, eventually”.

    All in all it is better to get married earlier than latter. Non-the-less, their are plenty of guy out their in their late 20s, 30s and 40s that are still available. The question is will a girl of 25 year old be willing to go out with someone that doesn’t meet her present expectations, such as a guy who’s maybe in his mid 30s as apposed to being a year or two older than her. And what about being willing to go out with Baaleh Teshuva or YU guy instead of your standard Black Hat FFB?

    If we expect Yeshivish guys to change their attitudes, we need to be consistent with ours as well.

    All in all, I’m glad to see that this young lady has a strong self image of herself (which is a VERY important quality not to be overlooked)!

    May you and all the other girls out their suffering the dating process be zocher to your bashertz very soon!

  28. THANK YOU for such a wonderful well written article!!
    And for voicing the thoughts of many single girls out there!
    What really caught my eye is the fact that you stated the greatest source of pain is everybody else’s reaction to our sitaution!
    What single girls really want is people to view us as the wonderful, smart, talented, beautiful girls that we are. Not being pitied because we’re still single!
    Thank you! -another single girl

  29. to #22. “Convincing” was the wrong word. I meant to say I don’t have any issues with boys not wanting to date girls who are a year or two younger, or a year or year and a half older.

  30. Restrictions and societal pressures may have there place, but have gone too far and the inevitable unintended consequences are now obvious in the shidduch scene. The fact that boys and girls can no longer speak or even look in their direction prevents the natural process of friends making recommendations virtually non existent. This leaves the burden of finding mates entirely on the shaddchunim. That will never work. You can’t take 99% of people out of the process and expect no consequence. Everyone wants to be more and more machmeer, but don’t realize the damage being caused.
    Society should not determine the appropriate age to start dating or the number of years a guy should learn in kollel. This inevitably leads to people dating at the wrong age, marrying the wrong person, missing the dating window, feeling the pressure to marry a learner, staying in yeshiva longer than appropriate (causing many guys to go off the derech), having no financial plan, being forced to only date wealthy girls that will commit to support etc.
    The system is totally broken and small tweaks will not resolve the problem. A total rethink of the restrictions is required. 613 is the appropriate amount of commandments, more is not always better.

  31. I am disappointed and even shocked that after realizing he should correct what he originally wrote, Reb Shlomo’s new remarks state, “With the help of Askanaim and Roshei Yeshiva, 25 year old girls…..”
    How about him considering changing it again, to: “With the help of Hashem Yisborach…”

  32. Thank you for your important and well-written words. I think that we all owe a great debt of gratitude to all those who are trying to help – in whichever way they can.

    Perhaps I can offer a few words that may give someone chizuk. Many years ago a top fertility specialist said that with every known medical intervention we had only a 15% chance of having a child. At that point we realized that we needed to look at our situation with emuna, bitachon, and appropriate hishtadlus – and avoid self-pity. Shortly after we had the first of our wonderful five children. I don’t know anything about the accuracy of shidduch statistics, but I do know that we should all turn to “Avinu Av HaRachaman”.

  33. I’m not at all clear on what makes someone qualified to address this issue as if they have a solution? Having a lot of money? Being respected in the community? Clearly the single who wrote her eloquent response is absolutely correct, and as I’ve been saying all along, there is no Shidduch “crisis” any more than there is an infertility “crisis,” or a poverty “crisis,” or an illness “crisis” (lo aliens). They are all Nisyonos, lo aleinu, and everyone in Golus undergoes Nisyonos, r”l. Emunah must be the mainstay in every “crisis,” because believing in and putting one’s hope in all kinds of “solutions,” Segulos, Mekubalim, etc., only detract from the one main thing that is the ONLY solution: Emunah in Hashem and His ability to send the Yeshua k’heref ayin. Yes, Hishtadlus is an obligation that Hashem wants from us, so there’s a natural vehicle He can send the Yeshua through. But in reality the Hishtadlus doesn’t accomplish it; it’s not in our power at all, nor in the power of those other “miracle cures.” Just Daven and iy”H when the time is right that Hadhem decides, He will take care of it. Hatzlacha Raba to the writer (she sounds like a gem and her Bashert will be one lucky man), may her Yeshua come soon, and may everyone get the Yeshuos they need b’karov.

  34. To not getting involved:
    You’re absolutely correct and I agree wholeheartedly with you,

    To zuli1430:

    I’m appalled by your having written “it has nothing to do with Emunah.” Nothing you said after that merits reading, let alone considering.

  35. It took until #25 to hit the nail on the head. The problem is the “money gap”. By and large, the rich girls are not having difficulty getting dates. It may be true that some are having a hard time getting engaged but the opportunities to meet prospective shidduchim are there. The middle-class girls and those less financially endowed are waiting and waiting at the phone for months and months (years) without anything! When a name comes up, question #1 is always, “How much support?” The popular shadchanim do this as well and it’s not their fault. They are asking their clients’ questions. The “age gap” is an avoidance tactic. The fact that sound mathematical data may back it up merely serves to divert attention from the real issue: the money gap!

  36. Dear apushatayid,

    If there are not enought boys, it is inevitable whether you like it or not that the girls side will pander to them. As the girls don’t want to be the ones left over without anyone to marry. If the statistics are true there’s no way around that sad fact.

    The cards are all in the hands of the guys. If the girl says no it may be a very long time before she’ll have another potential date.

  37. “Just davening” isn’t enough! We need to daven like our life depends on it. I heard of story recently a guy came to one of the famous big Rabbis and asked for a brocha but was told that brocha cant help him. He did advice him to go to a dessert and scream his lungs out in prayer for 2 hours. Within a year he got what he asked for!

  38. BY-girl #31 – As a regular good frum BY girl who had been in Shidduchim for about 5 years now I feel a lot of it has to do with the demands the mothers or parents of the boys have….

    You are so right!!! And FTR I am the mother of a boy who is dating. It is ridiculous that moms (more than fathers BTW) decide what is right for their little yingelech. My son has some very clear specifics for a girl: very outgoing, strong loving family, tzanua, frum, educated. That’s it. I just want him to be as happy as all his siblings & if he is happy, I am too. I am not going to force a square peg into a round hole, or to make unreasonable demands. Some of my friends demand yichus, money, looks & dress size. That’s so wrong.

    In our community, people appreciate parnassah more – this demand to ONLY accept a full-time learner is all hype and is making the problem worse. My son has parnassah B”H and shadchanim & sometimes even parents are calling me constantly. So far he hasn’t found his bashert because the last girl he went out with behaved abominably & he was so zebrochen because he thought she was “the one”. He isn’t ready to date again yet; that is another issue, rude & unpleasant behavior. If the writer was of our derech I would be so tempted, even though he is 24. She is so right! Much hatzlacha to you, you are an amazing catch for your lucky bashert. Please let us all know good news!

  39. The line in the article that “if a girl is singe at age 25 years her chances of getting married are less than 15%” is completely fabricated and not anywhere near the true reality.

    It was written without any supporting data or research. I would hope that some kind of retraction would be forthcoming.

    While the Shidduch situation is surely very serious, and the number of potentially unmatched girls is far far to high to accept, that statement is blatantly false to anyone who actually is aware and has real data of the facts on the ground.

    It is shocking how such a publication could publish such a immensely painful statement as fact when it is completely not true.

  40. The line in the article that “if a girl is single at age 25 years her chances of getting married are less than 15%” is completely fabricated and not anywhere near the true reality. It was written without any supporting data or research. I would hope that some kind of retraction would be forthcoming.”

    Where have you been the follow up to that statement, by the author himself has been widely publicized/

  41. The author/nor the publication has never – to the best of my knowledge – acknowledged that it was a complete fabrication.

    It is important that the truth be known.

  42. Is there a way that we can get in touch with you if someone has a schidduch idea for you? I’m not a schaddchun, but I have a potential someone in mind.