Much has been written about the shidduch crisis that has so sadly befallen girls of all ages. We have seen the blame game take many different angles and a variety of theories to explain the crisis. Some blame it on picky boys, parents, age gap, lack of money and Shadchanim. Like any other problem in the world, the victims are quick to blame others and forget sometimes that they too may be the cause to some extent of the problem.
Being a successful shadchan for many years, I cannot deny that the above doesn’t place any factor in the backup, however I feel that the girls themselves definitely play a major role in the crisis. Let me explain.
While it is true that the boys can be picky and it is hard to get a “yes” from them, it is only that way because they have a much broader market to choose from. However, once they give the go ahead, they usually show full interest in trying to make it work and give it their absolute best to give the girl a fair chance. Though they may have doubts or issues, they won’t nix the shidduch unless they are absolutely sure it’s not for them.
On the other hand, the girls, who give a yes very easily to go out, as soon as things don’t go the way they dreamt it would go, they rush to declare “it’s not for me” or “I can’t see it” and “It’s just not clicking”. They let their emotions take over and they don’t make a logical and thought out decision. In addition, they make such a crucial decision often without discussing it with a professional or daas torah. (They should not rely solely on parents for the final decision because they can also get emotionally involved and make a mistake in advising their daughter to drop it unnecessarily.) Most of the boys going out, discuss any issues or concerns with an advisor or Rosh yeshiva they feel close to.
I think this stems from the fact that in Seminary, girls aren’t taught or guided how to deal with the dating process. Once they get home, they are not affiliated with any institution anymore so they don’t have anyone to guide them in the right direction, especially when they are out of school for a few years and that initial connection to the madrichos has died down.
After discussing it with people in the shidduch field, we came to the conclusion that when a shidduch breaks up at an advanced stage, 80% of the time, it was the girl who dropped it. Also, the older a girl gets, the more likely she is to drop it, versus older boys, the older they get, the less of a chance you have that they will drop it “late in the game“.
Although until now I’ve tried redting older girls to boys, at this point the boys are so turned off from all the rejection, that I have a hard time convincing them to try it. They all tell me, why risk getting rejected when it’s been proven over and over again that older girls don’t give them a chance.
We have all read how last year Rav Chaim Stein declared the crisis a gezeira min hashamayim. It’s important to note that Yirmiyahu Hanavi writes in Eicha (3,38) “mipi elyon lo tetzei haraos vihatov” – from Hashem doesn’t come bad or good. The meforshim explain that even though everything comes from Hashem, including bad, it doesn’t come because of Hashem but rather from our sins or our actions (such as someone taking his own life). In order to stop the gezeira, we should do teshuva and in our case, try to fix our mistakes.
I haven’t written this letter to criticize or cause pain to the girls chas vishalom, but rather to open up their eyes and help them, with the help of Hashem, find their bashert.
To all the single women out there, I beg of you to please take time and think over whom you may have rejected in the past for no concrete or valid reason and if they are still around, give it another try. Maybe if you go with the attitude that I WANT this to work out, you may see things in a different light and it might start “clicking“. And when you go out next with a new bochur, give it your best and don’t make any decisions without discussing it with an outsider that will help you see things in a level-headed way and having your long term interests in mind.
May all the single boys and girls out there find their basherte bikarov mamish.