If you could change the Shidduch System

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  • #1056251
    golfer
    Participant

    Popa,

    I recently read on another thread that DY & oomis agreeing on the subject of shidduchim is a clear sign that Moshiach is about to arrive.

    My question to you is-

    If I, golfer, now totally agree with PBA on a similar subject, should I run throw in a load of laundry, start packing, grab a trench coat, and take out my Tehillim?

    #1056252
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Golfer, you should wait until you agree with me on a psychology or therapy related thread.

    #1056253
    golfer
    Participant

    B’seder, PBA.

    I will, however, hold on to the Tehillim and continue waiting B’Chol Yom…

    #1056254

    Why is it impractical, especially as I explained it to ChizukGedarim?

    I don’t understand your explanation. Speaking to one’s own parents doesn’t do enough if they can’t give enough.

    Waiting until after the engagement is just asking for broken engagements.

    #1056255
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I don’t understand your explanation. Speaking to one’s own parents doesn’t do enough if they can’t give enough.

    I don’t understand your response. If one is in need of money to get married, why are they relying on the other side to give it? Call me old-fashioned, but I hope you would agree that one should not pass up on an appropriate shidduch just because the other (male or female) side’s parents are not giving money to the couple?

    If I was to be snarky, I would say that the couple (especially one that wants to remain in learning) should have Bitachon that Hashem will provide for them, and not go for a shidduch based on the shver’s bank account size (or have Bitachon in Shver). But I’m not going to be snarky, so I won’t say it.

    πŸ™‚

    #1056256
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Waiting until after the engagement is just asking for broken engagements.

    Would you mind please explaining why? Do you believe that two people who come from different strata of wealth are unable to marry or get along on a long-term basis? Is it parents who will veto?

    #1056257
    owl
    Member

    “I know some people felt that girls should pay on dates because of….? So that they can show that the girl has money? So the girl can demonstrate her feminist side?”

    I don’t know that girls should pay for dates, but they should give something. Make a picnic. Think of an idea for a date. When a person gives, they get invested in who they are giving to. It causes you to like people when you give to them. Taking produces malcontent and pickiness or just awkwardness. Also, the guys get simply exhausted from doing all the work, driving, hoping the girl likes his ideas. They get so tired from it they don’t have strength to get to know the girls.

    In all my dating, there were just a few occasions where my dates did anything for me. One bought me a Danish. One actually invited me after the date for some food before my trip. One had some tickets to an event in the park. (Note, two of them were baalei teshuvah). I am forever grateful for these small gestures. They helped the shiduchim tremendously and helped me to feel like a human being.

    #1056258
    owl
    Member

    “I DO agree with virtually everything you had to say about shadchanim.”

    I have done lots of shadchanus myself. It’s brutal work, especially in this insane era. I go up and down with every match I make.

    But I do return calls promptly and try to help the shiduch along.

    #1056259
    owl
    Member

    “The shidduch system is not really a system, it is a set of socialised norms that have evolved over time.”

    Very insightful point. We do have chaos on our hands.

    I think for the most part the norms are not helpful. We are too uptight. People are paranoid. We all need to relax and stop assuming every shiduch idea is a potential axe murderer. We are talking about frum Jews here.

    #1056260
    oomis
    Participant

    Uptight is the right word. I certainly don’t advocate going to poolhalls, but neither do I like the traditional lounge date. What kind of place is that for frum kids? Do you have any idea how much pritzus goes on in hotels, starting at the bar?

    #1056261
    ironpenguin
    Member

    owl +1

    You make a good point, its an important one. Guys need to have feedback on what they’re doing and a girl’s contribution to furthering their relationship is a strong point of connection. It’s totally fine to suggest date ideas or offer to bring food along. It shows that this relationship is important to you and that you want it to continue. Do it gently so that the boy doesn’t think that you’re doubting his dating abilities.

    Again, its a non-traditional thing to do. Most girls I know would not do this because they are afraid of leaving the mold of the girl, who does not actively contribute to dating.

    #1056262
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Uptight is the right word. I certainly don’t advocate going to poolhalls, but neither do I like the traditional lounge date. What kind of place is that for frum kids? Do you have any idea how much pritzus goes on in hotels, starting at the bar?

    Ok, so please elaborate on how and where you think they should be meeting that would replace the shadchan.

    Also, you’ve made this point before about hotel lounges. I don’t think you are very familiar with hotel lounges though, since your description is fortunately not at all accurate. I am very familiar, I have, shall we say, been in quite a number of them, on quite a number of occasions.

    #1056263

    Waiting until after the engagement is just asking for broken engagements.

    Would you mind please explaining why?

    If they figure out that there simply won’t be enough money to live on, don’t you think it will, at the very least, put a tremendous strain and pressure on the situation?

    #1056264
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    If they figure out that there simply won’t be enough money to live on,

    As I said earlier:

    each child can certainly discuss the issue with their own parents, to make sure that they are able to move forward with getting married.

    So that should not be a concern at all.

    #1056265
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    If they figure out that there simply won’t be enough money to live on, don’t you think it will, at the very least, put a tremendous strain and pressure on the situation?

    Money should be settled absolutely before the couple meets for the first time.

    It should be definitively decided whether the wife will work, or the husband will work, or which parents will support and how much.

    #1056266
    owl
    Member

    I’ll give you a good place for a shiduch, but I’m sure people will criticize it: people’s homes. I’m not talking about the people dating but some family home. I believe chasidim do this. The setting is more relaxed and the kids bopping around gets people in the right frame of mind. Restaurants are completely goyish creations and they put us in the wrong frame of mind. Same with hotels.

    You get no more privacy in a packed restaurant than somebody’s living room.

    #1056267

    Gavra,

    So you retract your second idea, and go back to your first idea, to which I already responded, Speaking to one’s own parents doesn’t do enough if they can’t give enough.

    Popa,

    Money should be settled absolutely before the couple meets for the first time.

    It should be definitively decided whether the wife will work, or the husband will work, or which parents will support and how much.

    100% correct.

    #1056268
    blubluh
    Participant

    Personally, I think things would go a lot more smoothly were we notified early on who our bashert is. That would not only save time, but would avoid all the worrying, hurt feelings, disappointments and probably a lot of divorces.

    All in favor, say “Aye!”

    πŸ™‚

    #1056269
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gavra,

    So you retract your second idea, and go back to your first idea, to which I already responded, Speaking to one’s own parents doesn’t do enough if they can’t give enough.

    I didn’t think of it as two ideas, but rather a change that the couple should discuss finances during the engagement to see what apartment they should rent, etc.

    Are you (and Popa) saying that someone who can’t support themselves (and their parents are also unwilling/unable) should only marry someone who can support them? Even if the girl has all maalos, and would be a good match, she should be rejected due to the size (or rather lack thereof) of daddy’s bank account??

    #1056270
    owl
    Member

    “Personally, I think things would go a lot more smoothly were we notified early on who our bashert is. That would not only save time, but would avoid all the worrying, hurt feelings, disappointments and probably a lot of divorces.”

    No olam haba for smooth.

    #1056271

    Can’t speak for popa (despite the fact that I sometimes do so).

    I wouldn’t word it that way (you pin it on the paucity of “daddy’s bank account”, but you could just as easily have blamed it on his not having a job), but no, I don’t think it’s responsible to get married without some type of reasonably realistic means of support. You do?

    Discussing which apartment to rent is fine, I don’t understand why it’s even part of the discussion.

    #1056272
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I wouldn’t word it that way (you pin it on the paucity of “daddy’s bank account”, but you could just as easily have blamed it on his not having a job), but no, I don’t think it’s responsible to get married without some type of reasonably realistic means of support. You do?

    By “reasonably realistic means of support”, do you mean obtaining the means to pay for one’s needs, or obtaining from others the means to pay for one’s needs? While I certainly agree with the former (which can be realized via some combination of a job (even unskilled), chassunah funds, student loans, etc. together with being Mistapek B’Muat), there is no reason why the latter (including the Shver’s bank account) should be in the mix as a necessity or a requirement to get married.

    #1056273
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Discussing which apartment to rent is fine, I don’t understand why it’s even part of the discussion.

    Because one may only be able to afford an $500 basement, or might be able to buy a multi-million dollar home to start off. Finances of the couple would therefore be relevant to the question.

    #1056274

    do you mean obtaining the means to pay for one’s needs, or obtaining from others the means to pay for one’s needs?

    I don’t care how they get he money (honestly, of course). I strongly disagree with your apparent assumption that any newly married couole, even without either having a job or reasonable expectation of one, can get by financially without parental help.

    The cost of the apartment is part of the total figure of their cost of living, and if there’s no reasonable mehalach in how they can fund it, how can they get married?

    #1056275
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I strongly disagree with your apparent assumption that any newly married couole, even without either having a job or reasonable expectation of one, can get by financially without parental help.

    Why would a (non-disabled) couple not have a reasonable expectation that one or both of them would be able to obtain jobs, especially if they believe they are old (and responsible) enough to have their own family???

    #1056276

    I think you’re either overestimating an untrained person’s earning potential, underestimating the cost of living, not taking into account that he may want to spend his time learning and be unable to earn much, not taking into account that either or both of them may be in school and unable to earn much, or some combination of the above.

    #1056277
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I think you’re either overestimating an untrained person’s earning potential, underestimating the cost of living, not taking into account that he may want to spend his time learning and be unable to earn much, not taking into account that either or both of them may be in school and unable to earn much, or some combination of the above.

    Each of these points should be dealt with individually:

    overestimating an untrained person’s earning potential

    20K (plus ETC and tax breaks) each if totally unskilled. That being said, wouldn’t it behoove someone who wants to get married to prepare by expanding their earning potential?

    underestimating the cost of living

    $500-$1000 for a basement, and they can eat pasta (when there is love in the heart, there is warmth in the home).

    not taking into account that he may want to spend his time learning and be unable to earn much

    So if learning means marrying for money, count Chazal out of that religion. As Chazal said “ika koormi b’agma”. So the guy will have to live without Allen Edmonds shoes and Hugo Boss suits.

    Furthermore, if they agree for the male to learn, let them be Moser Nefesh for learning. Live in the basement with 7 children (as I know people who do) and live off of hand-me-downs, the government, and other people’s tuition payments. Or they can just have Bitachon in Hashem that they will learn as long as they can and if they do their part, Hashem will do His.

    not taking into account that either or both of them may be in school and unable to earn much

    They can take out additional school loans if needed, or get a side job. They can work their way through school, as was popular before student loans.

    End story, none of these require the shver to bankroll the couple or to give up on one’s Bashert just because the shver is not supporting.

    #1056278

    I won’t bother discussing point by point, because I’ll say the same for all of them: you remain outside the realm of reality. (I agree with not getting Hugo Boss, never heard of Allen Edmunds).

    #1056279
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Are you (and Popa) saying that someone who can’t support themselves (and their parents are also unwilling/unable) should only marry someone who can support them? Even if the girl has all maalos, and would be a good match, she should be rejected due to the size (or rather lack thereof) of daddy’s bank account??

    I am saying that.

    #1056280
    interjection
    Participant

    I won’t bother discussing point by point, because I’ll say the same for all of them: you remain outside the realm of reality.

    When you raise your kids to (a) have certain ideals and (b) to not be able to think for themselves, you can’t complain when your kids get burned by others who have those same ideals.

    #1056281
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I won’t bother discussing point by point, because I’ll say the same for all of them: you remain outside the realm of reality. (I agree with not getting Hugo Boss, never heard of Allen Edmunds).

    Why is it “outside the realm of reality”? It is physically and mentally possible (as I know of those who do exactly what I am suggesting). Do boys expect to live in luxury being supported by their shvers just because they have a Y chromosome?

    Popa, thank you for being honest.

    3 most important qualities to look for in a shidduch

    P.S. Looks can only buy money if you are willing to sell the looks, which although frowned on in Judaism, is one of the world’s oldest and most common professions.

    #1056282
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I hardly think I’m saying something novel.

    It’s pretty irresponsible to get married having no idea how you’ll pay your rent and buy groceries.

    #1056283
    golfer
    Participant

    So nice to be young and believe that you can live on love, happiness, idealistic dreams, beautiful sunsets and a little oxygen.

    Dangerous to let people that young out into the world before their brains are mature enough to absorb some logic and practical thinking.

    #1056284

    I’m not talking luxury, gavra, I’m talking rent, clothing, and groceries. And you can’t expect to pay for them without some type of education/skill or known income.

    Interjection: I don’t know what you mean.

    #1056285
    oomis
    Participant

    You said it Golfer.

    #1056286
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Golfer: So admit they are not ready, but we marry them off anyway.

    DY: Harbei Asu. You just have to be willing to do with less.

    #1056287
    oomis
    Participant

    Ok, so please elaborate on how and where you think they should be meeting that would replace the shadchan.

    Also, you’ve made this point before about hotel lounges. I don’t think you are very familiar with hotel lounges though, since your description is fortunately not at all accurate. I am very familiar, I have, shall we say, been in quite a number of them, on quite a number of occasions. “

    I believe in there being LOTS and lots of singles events that are low or no cost (how that low fee will be accomplished, I don’t know, but first things first). Interesting lecturers (NOT SHIURIM per se), who are willing to give of their time l’shem mitzvah, to discuss interactively with the group, and engender an environment where the young men and women TALK to each other in groups and then individually, would be ideal. There are SOME such groups that meet, but clearly not enough. And there is too much stigma on the notion that it is not tzanua. If it is tzanua for them to talk to each other ON a date, it should surely be tzanua for them to talk in order to want to date.

    As to the hotel lounges, well… you’re right, I have absolutely no firsthand knowledge of them. My children did not date that way. But from everything I have heard from my friends’ children, male and female, it is not the best climate in which to be (Even the Marriott). IS there no secular music playing(I thought that was a no-no for the more right-wing among us), no smoking, no non-Jewish people on dates there who are drinking alcoholic beverages and possibly acting even just a little bit in ways that could make frum people feel uncomfortable? Perhaps not, and I am totally, flat-out mistaken. But that is not what I have been told.

    I have friends whose kids are Yeshivish and they themselves are not (Shana Bet was a strong influence). THEY feel uncomfortable with their sons and daughters going to hotel lounges. Personally, and weather permitting, I think a date in the park is nice. It’s a public place, they can bring a picnic lunch (he OR she), and certainly get to talk. And if things get a little shy or awkward, there are always the swings…or the duck pond. OK OK, so it’s cold weather now, and most dates are in the evening. I simply cannot believe there is NOWHERE to go other than a hotel lounge. In my day, it was the airport!!!!!

    #1056288

    Gavra, first of all, without a job or parental support, less isn’t the issue, the issue is paying basic bills. Harbeh asu? Maybe, Hashem can certainly do anything, but ein somchin al haneis. Second, the objective here is to create more shidduchim, and in the real world, your approach will scare people off from getting married.

    #1056289
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Oomis: I’m not aware that there is any dearth of singles events. There are tons of them. And they aren’t all expensive, although some are somewhat obnoxiously expensive.

    But more to the point–what is the big maala of singles events over shadchanim? Because you met them once before you asked them out? I’ve been to a singles event. All the guys want to go out with the pretty girl.

    To answer your questions re hotel lounges.

    1. IS there no secular music playing(I thought that was a no-no for the more right-wing among us). Some have music. I don’t recall it being worse than starbucks. Often it is classical.

    2. no smoking. It is illegal to smoke in hotel lounges anywhere I’ve gone on a date (never been to Abu Dhabi). And many yeshivish guys smoke themselves.

    3. no non-Jewish people on dates there who are drinking alcoholic beverages and possibly acting even just a little bit in ways that could make frum people feel uncomfortable? I literally cannot recall ever seeing that in a hotel lounge on a date. I have seen that in other places in the world, sometimes on dates, but I cannot recall it ever on a date.

    The airport: Also has music, also doesn’t have smoking, also has couples doing what couples do, and has drinking in fact (in larger quantities than hotel lounges)–and is a very nonclassy place to take a date.

    Do your sons a favor and tell them to go to the Waldorf Astoria and sit on the couches near the flower bouquet, instead of going to the airport and sitting on a bench in arrivals. If you’re not sure, why don’t you go to the Waldorf one night, sit on the couches, and see for yourself. The flowers are very pretty–I think they get new ones every day.

    #1056290
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Gavra, first of all, without a job or parental support, less isn’t the issue, the issue is paying basic bills. Harbeh asu? Maybe, Hashem can certainly do anything, but ein somchin al haneis.

    Also, it simply doesn’t lead to happy marriages.

    #1056291

    I’ve been to a singles event. All the guys want to go out with the pretty girl.

    This reminds me of one of the big issues I have with pictures. Sure, appearance can be important. But it shouldn’t be the ikkar.

    The shidduch system has a huge advantage over socializing because the superficial aspect is downplayed, and isn’t a major factor in the decision to date (although may be more so in continuing, which is okay). Introducing pictures into the process shifts the focus from the ikkarim to the tafel by making looks a prerequisite to a date.

    This problem always existed in the socializing model.

    #1056292
    TRUEBT
    Participant

    I have always felt that if the Shadchan could set them both up to be hired by an agency as babysitters, it could solve a lot of problems. First of all, background checks would be required and would be done be a disinterested third party. More importantly, they are imitating a typical night at home with the kids. If the boy can see that this women would make a great mother, maybe he would be willing to overlook the fact that she isn’t the most attractive woman available. Tznius would be guaranteed by video cameras, microphones, etc.

    And even if babysitting wouldn’t work, the basic idea is to make them co-workers first and gradually develop a relationship. It avoids the high-stress, high-stakes date. Because it isn’t a date at all. They don’t have to talk about anything other than the job at hand if they don’t want to. Even if you know in the first five minutes, that this person isn’t for you, it doesn’t matter. You’re being paid to do a job and this person is your co-worker.

    The two of them could be set up this way without even telling either of them who their co-worker is going to be. No personal questions about the other person until you agree to be their co-worker a second time.

    #1056293
    oomis
    Participant

    As I said somewhere, the shidduch issue is a hot button one. I suppose we will all have opinions until moshiach comes, but as long as we make shidduchim for all our kids, I don’t have a problem with any legitimate means to that end.

    #1056294
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Really? I don’t find it to be a “hot button” issue. Nobody here is getting upset, or name calling, etc, and I’ve never seen a shidduch conversation validate Godwin’s law.

    #1056295
    oomis
    Participant

    When I say hot button, I mean that everyone has something to say, it is an issue that people have strong feelings upon which they express themselves. Doesn’t have to be a rancorous discussion. Only a lively one.

    #1056296
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Fair enough

    #1056297
    #1056298
    Logician
    Participant

    Call me old-fashioned, but I hope you would agree that one should not pass up on an appropriate shidduch just because the other (male or female) side’s parents are not giving money to the couple?

    How old ? go back a bit more, and it was always this way.

    I heard a lecture from a MO Rabbi on a related subject, in the middle of which he discussed the rationale for the (supervised) socializing between the genders in his community. Recognizing the other perspective, he related how someone (I forget who) asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe about this point – the difficulty of dating by those who’ve had no previous contact. The Rebbe answered: And perhaps that extra difficulty and awkwardness is precisely what demonstrates the beauty of our system ?!

    In other words – yes oomis, it will be less natural at first. And so ? Both parties know about this, should be prepared to expect it, should not be thrown off by it, and will get past that too. it is not a critique on the system, but a reflection of wonderful values.

    #1056299
    Joseph
    Participant

    Those who’ve had no social contact with the opposite gender prior to marriage successfully get married at rates at least as much as those who’ve had a lifetime of pre-marital social contact with the opposite gender.

    #1056300
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gavra, first of all, without a job or parental support, less isn’t the issue, the issue is paying basic bills. Harbeh asu? Maybe, Hashem can certainly do anything, but ein somchin al haneis. Second, the objective here is to create more shidduchim, and in the real world, your approach will scare people off from getting married.

    I happen to agree with you, and it brings out an important point. We are not preparing our children to be married when they get married. Therefore, how can we expect them to “not have parental involvement”, or not go for “the best boy in Lakewood”, or even want to live on their own instead of living off others (ex. Rashi in Noach) when they have no idea what it takes to be married??

    Logician: How old ? go back a bit more, and it was always this way.

    Old enough that when I write this, I hear my bones creak πŸ™‚ That being said, further back in Europe, the daughter of the tailor had no Hava Amina that she would marry someone in learning, or even someone who would be able to do more than put a roof over their heads (if that). If you want to blame the shidduch crisis on “Uppity” girls who want to marry over their station, I would not be the one to disagree.

    Those who’ve had no social contact with the opposite gender prior to marriage successfully get married at rates at least as much as those who’ve had a lifetime of pre-marital social contact with the opposite gender.

    Agreed, but what works for Chassidim and Yerushalmis would not work for the Yeshivish Olam, for many different reasons.

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