Indecisive Dating & it’s Aftermath

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    The conundrum: Many frum young men & women remain indecisive about getting engaged or not, even after going out numerous times. The decision whom to marry is the biggest one we make, with no real second chances.
    Well meaning relatives, rebbeim, friends, & even therapists often exert pressure to go ahead with a shidduch despite the hesitations. Truthfully, some people may have never gotten married with out that last push & this may be a good thing for them. Others, quickly regret their decision & unable to break the engagement due to stigma, find themselves with a big problem down the road.
    I have personally heard people tell me how grateful they are to be pushed into marriage & others say they regret it many years later.
    We need to figure out a way to better prepare young people for this major decision so that they can make their own decision, & not heartbreak later on.
    It’s much easier to deal with challenges in marriage when a person feels it was their own decision to commit to it.
    I highly recommend every parent with children in shidduchim as well as singles to view the video by Rabbi Akivah Tatz titled “Rabbi Akiva Tatz – Choosing a Marriage Partner”
    available on Hidabroot.
    Haimy, the broadminded insider.


    I have personally heard people tell me how grateful they are to be pushed into marriage & others say they regret it many years later.

    In many communities the father finds the shidduch. Obviously a ton of research is done beforehand. The couple then have one meeting with each other and say yes or no. And, believe it or not it works. These communities have better marriage retention rates than communities that have the couple meet more often. In fact, you will find that the more a couple meets before marriage (on a community comparative basis), the higher the divorce rate. (You’ll also find that the younger couples marry in a community, the better their marriage retention rates are.)

    Getting back to the implicit question in your OP, how would you propose that the young singles are prepared to make a decision as to whether to go ahead and agree to get married to a particular marriage candidate?

    Returning to the preceding point, it seems evident to many communities that when the parent has a great amount of input into the decision, overall the marriage retention rates are better.


    They way to get confidence in making decisions it to make successful smaller ones and build up to bigger ones. So this should start at a very young age 2 or 3. Unfortunately our school system is not set up for this.

    Also there are lots of people with lots of different hashkafos. So a girl from BY x can vary greatly. By chassidish where you both follow the same rebbe things are a but easier on that front. Also it could be more is known about the families.

    In an ideal world less dating is better. However given the current state of affairs some people need more time. Others may need a push. This is not something to be taken lightly and each case is different.


    Joseph, you keep citing the Chassidish communities as an an proof thst arranged marraiges and young ages with minimal dating produces long lasting , successful marriages. However, you always fail to mention one crucia element, the environment and culture that thybridsey are raised in. Girls are taught from day one that they’ll get married before the 20 to someone their father selects and divorce is never an option. Can you imagine a BY giirl agreeing to no say and no divorce? Different cultures


    Someone once told me that amongst the yeshivish oilom the general rule is that this is the attitude to getting engaged:
    in England: Why not get engaged whats wrong with them?
    in America: why get engaged? Whats their maalo?


    That’s not very profound


    Pressuring singles to get engaged is a dangerous endeavor which is one reason for the increase in frum divorces according to R’Akiva Tatz. Deciding the most important decision of your life in a state of anxiety & stress leads to problems.


    ” In fact, you will find that the more a couple meets before marriage (on a community comparative basis), the higher the divorce rate. (You’ll also find that the younger couples marry in a community, the better their marriage retention rates are.)”

    You have absolutely no proof that the reason why they have better marriage retention rates is because they marry young/have arranged marriages. It is merely a correlation (assuming that the “facts” you stated are even true to begin with)
    You need to take sociological factors, like the ones lesschumras mentioned, and others in to account in order to explain the alleged discrepancy in marriage retention.


    People who are forced into a marriage are often forced to stay in it.


    The higher retention rate is no indication of a successful marriage, it mainly shows how difficult it is to get divorced in a community. Arranged marriages do work but if someone doesn’t feel comfortable, they should not be pressured to go over the line. If up to 10% of chareidi marriages fall apart, then there’s another 20% in trouble. Remaining married for the children’s sake (though admirable), is not a reason to celebrate our low divorce rate.


    My personal opinion is that the social pressure to stay married rather than to divorce and the idea of “staying married for the children’s sake” is a good thing that has much merit. Because often divorce damages the children (shuffling them between two homes every week or two, not living with both parents, one parent not living with the children, the cost of maintaining two households, boys not having a father to take them to shul on Shabbos and Yom Tov, and other issues including just each parent themselves living a solitary single/unmarried life) is more often, though not always, more damaging than the problems associated with having a non-ideal marriage. Many couples considering divorce haven’t fully thought through the difficulties for the children and themselves of divorced life. If there was no social differences between being married and being divorced we would see,I think, a tripling of the number of divorces. Mah harayah? The secular world got rid of the social cost of divorce and their divorce rate skyrocketed.


    Haimy – you are quick to dismiss one possible explanation for a higher retention rate for another without evidence to support your claim. It’s possible that there are more drum couples unhappily married or perhaps not. If someone was going to research this they would have to look at . The percentage of divorces over time and how many of those were for valid reasons. And the percentage of married couples over time and the quality of their marriages. These are hard things to measure. But I think most people believe that there is a crisis in marriage in general and things are worse than they used to be leading to more divorces and more unhappy marriages.

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