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

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