Out Of The Mailbag – To YW Editor (A Shadchan’s Plea)


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yw logo11.jpgMuch 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.


Lakewood NJ


  1. Bravo. The boys are just one part of the equation and yes, there are issues but the girls, as the writer pointed out, are contributing to the problem. I think in general people need to be more realistic and understand what’s necessary to have happy marriage. (I’m, B’H, happily married for several years to a real aishes chayil. I daven every day that Hashem should open up the eyes of all the older singles I know so that, they too can experience what a wonderful marriage is.)

  2. As the parenr of several girls, one of whom is married and the second of whom is “in the parashah,” I can tell you that in my own experience — and in my experience of having successfully redd 1 shidduch and having unsuccessfully redd others — I must say that my experience has been very different from BYL’s.

    As far as training for girls, my daughters actually got very good, down-to-earth, on-the-mark, not-frummy hadrachah in their super-frummy seminary (at least that’s the place’s reputation, the girls that go through the place seem very normal to me).

  3. I thank this person for sending this letter. It is certianly an issue that needs more delving into. I can sau as someone who has been involved in shidduchim for a little while that girls do not have the same guidance in the shidduch process as guys do. Guys talk to their rebbeim, girls sometimes dont talk to anyone. I once had a shidduch which was about to collpase, the girl had the same attitude as what is described in the article above and I asked her to not rush to any decisions rather take her time and talk to someone she trusted. She spoke to a teacher who was a profesisonal and someone she was close with, who told her not to rush to decisions and take her time with the shidduch as there were many reasons to stay with it. To make a long story short, they are now married and with a child B”H. I dont want to make generalizations and say this story holds true all the time, but having someone to talk to is so important and integral in the process that I dont understand why its not stressed more. May Hashem give us all the strength to continue to do whats right and may the tefilot of alal those mothers and fathers for their children to get married, be answered.

  4. Reb B.Y.L. – First of all – a great big Yasher Koiach for sticking it out in a field where the frustration has driven most shadchanim out of the line. The work you do is certainly “avodas hakodesh”, and you should definitely be commended for your holy work.
    But I have a question: Are you implying that Harha”g R. Chaim Stein said that this is a g’zeira min hashomayim, but you feel differently?

    It is beyond any measure of comprehension that after the unbelievable growth of Yeshivos & Bais Yaakovs post war, in a time when hkb”h has blessed us with the exponential growth of the most choshuve Yeshiva bochurim & top-notch B.Y. girls, there should still be THOUSANDS of girls (plus a terribly disproportionate # of bochurim) who just can’t find their basherte. Parents don’t sleep at night, and their lives are totally wrecked because of this. In a time when there are a lot of difficuties (tragedies, illnesses, Hashem Yerachem) this is, in a way, worse than many other “shverkeiten”, becuase of the incessant guilt that eats away at all parties involved.

  5. B.Y.L. – right on!!
    unfortunately you are 10000% correct!!
    I have been BURNT OUT by having ‘older’ girls so ‘no’ after the first date!
    Sometimes I would BEG a girl to go out “just 1 more time”.. if she accepted, most girls attitudes were so negative the guy had no chance (they would do me a ‘favor’ and go out again – but with a CLOSED MIND knowing that’s is a ‘no’)!!
    I fully understand why the ‘older’ guys are burning out, and this is probably the #1 reason!!

    ATTENTION mothers of older girls: sit down and have a talk with your daughter, and TRY to explain to them what their REALISTIC expectations should be! These girls are sadly so unrealistic it’s scary!! Half their ‘excuses’ why ‘its not for me’ are so INSANE (they have the craziest hasogus, and most impractical and twisted ‘views’ on life)
    I know the Gemarah says ‘noshim dytan kallos’ – but not ‘noshin ein bo das v’sechel’
    May Hashem grant us all Chochma, Bina, V’das!!

  6. While there might be some truth to this letter I believe this will cause pain to some girls.This letter will not be taken for what is was supposedly intended for.More harm than good……….

  7. You didn’t write this to cause pain, or to criticize, chas v’shalom. Well, guess what? I imagine this will definitely cause much pain to a lot of people. You can’t possibly know the reason why there are so many single girls still awaiting their basherts. How many of us have dated the “wrong” way, or with the “wrong” atitude, but somehow, B’chasdei Hashem, it worked out at the end? And how many girls date while in constant contact with a rebbetzin or mentor, but are still single? I don’t know where you get your numbers or information from, but I know NUMEROUS single women who would never consider saying “no” after a date until discussing it with a mentor. Yes, ask anyone who mentors singles professionally- they will tell you that they are quite busy. (I know of one therapist who know deals with marriage-minded singles exclusively)
    In any case, it’s so easy to look for reasons, criticize, and rip people apart. That is why the Torah tells us to be Dan L’kaf Zchus- that you can’t really judge another person. You have no idea what the singles are going through, and how much they much they may be trying to “make” it work, even if you are a shadchen, and find it frustrating dealing with “older” singles. Yes, continue encouraging people to give it another try. But do it with compassion and understanding.

  8. I would like to add my 2cents. whether there is proper hadrocho for shidduchim, my experience has certainly been that when people get married and there are real issues to contend with,people do not seem to think of getting advice as a first course of action so how much more possible is it that this indeed is taking place when it comes to just dating. Regarding what Rav chaim said, while it may indeed be a gezeira,that does not mean that we should not try and examine our shortcomings to try and recognize where we mmay be unwittingly hurting ourselves

  9. funny thing just happened the other night, a friend of mine got engaged to a girl i had dated in the past its been happening a lot lately:)

  10. Maskim!!! At least sometimes. Other times it is only fair for the girl to decide its not for her if they share different goals. Then it can be disasterous to keep it up.

  11. Why do we insist on treating the shidduch process like a business deal?
    Choosing a life partner is a serious decision, and not to be entered into lightly- it takes people longer to shop for an outfit than to “shop” for a partner-
    it’s not a crisis to be 26 and single-
    it is however a crisis to feel desperate and old at that age!

  12. Great letter. I’m sure not everyone will agree, but, if you spend as much time as I do on shidduchim, you’ll agree.

    Those who disagree with this letter have to understand that there are many shadchanim getting burnt out & the writer is adressing one of the main reasons behind it.

    I hope that this letter will be wake-up call. But, I’m not so confident that it’ll make any difference.

  13. Do you really think helping bring boys and girls together in marriage is a matter of figuring out who’s fault it is?

    Is that how you suggest husbands and wives approach issues within marriage too?

    No wonder so many women would rather be single than married to a man educated to look for who to blame when something doesn’t work out.

    As soon as we stop looking for who’s to blame, it will be possible to start working on real solutions: one that involves listening nonjudgmentally to the needs of everyone involved.

    –A happily unmarried older bocher

  14. As a mother of both a boy and a girl in shidduchim, I agree with BYL’s sentiments. I do feel that boys are very open minded when they go out with a girl, and try to get to know her. Many times the girl will decide after the first date that it just isnt for her without any specific reason, and if she does have a reason it is sometimes the most trivial thing that the boy said in their conversation during the date. If the boy has already been checked out, and perhaps he doesn’t have much experience dating, can the girl really know for sure that the boy is not for her? Girls certainly have alot of premeditated ideas of what the boys should be like and if he doesnt fall into this exact picture then it just isn’t for them.

  15. in the yeshivish oilem there aren’t many boys begging for girls. its the exact opposite! someone throws a name at you and you gotta hunt info about him and get someone to redt it. and the boys mothers have huge lists! im talking about yeshivish learning boys. sorry it aint the case!

  16. just for the record, im a single girl- 21- and ive gone out bunches of times- every time but ONCE- have i been turned down by the guy- for reasons you say the girls say. shes not for me, i cant see it, i dont see it going anywhere, etc. its all a bunch of baloney in my opinion. its a little frustrating to hear that im the one causing this problem, when i know its not the case, and i know that my friends have the same issue as me.
    i dont think that this is the real issue. there must be something else going on.

  17. Thumbs up to BYL!! I could not agree more.I am an “older bochur” who has lost interest in going out with older girls for the reason you mentioned.I personally do not say no to a girl after just one date(unless it was horrible….you know what I mean). I do this for many reasons but the number one reason is that I feel it is irresponsible to judge someone after just meeting them once.I know you can get some sort of picture but ussually it is only applicable to looks and other superficial things.I feel that you can never know what kind of day she had so I will give her the benefit of the doubt and give it a second chance(many times to the disapproval of my parents)because I just dont trust myself.Also I would like to add that I did look into the girl and obviously liked what I heard so why should I make a decision based on a first impression.I think that’s absurd.Finally I would like to say that when I date I am much more relaxed since I started this policy because I know I will give it another try and if she says no I know she is not for me and I end up being much happier than if I would have said no. p.s. I would like to suggest to BYL that the next time the girl gives a no he should ask her for the name of one of her friends who she thinks is suitable for the boy since she has him all figured out. thanx 4 listening.

  18. as the father of 2 married daughters I tend to agree with the shadchan that girls in general are very poorly trained regarding the shidduch parsha in high school and in seminary.Many schools tow the party line of marrying long time learners,supporting your husband’s learning and the concept of marrying a working boy or a boy who has a plan is totally out of the question.
    Once out of seminary girls have very few people to turn to regarding questions that come up during a shidduch so they are forced to listen to the advice of their parents. Many of these parents are so disillusioned by the whole shidduch scene and it is only natural that they pass along their negative feelings to their daughters.
    Let us examine why many parents today are so negative.
    1)Most girls who don’t come from money can sit weeks without a date and the so called top shadchans will not even return phone calls to these pleading parents.
    2)Boys and their parents are making unreasonable demands on the girls parents regarding support.Today the average boy is looking for 7 years support and the better than average is looking for more years and $3,000 a month in support.
    3)boys can take months to get back with a yes or a no to a shidduch but once the boy gives a yes the girl is on the clock and must give an answer almost immediately.
    4)Even in the best yeshivas girls names are discussed and analyzed and the main issues are money and looks.If a girl has neither her chances of getting a date are that much smaller.
    4)Girls are working very hard to get their degrees and holding down jobs at the same time to be able to support a kollel lifestyle.

    Girls are not blind and they are not deaf and many hear and see how hard their parents have to work just to get them dates and to marry them off and then pay the ridiculous support. Of course many go into the shidduch parsha with a negative attitude.
    The shadchan makes it sound as if its only the girls that are poorly trained. Exactly who is teaching the boys?Can anyone tell me of a shiur in a yeshiva given to the bochurim on the topic of shidduchim and what to look for in a shidduch.This is obviously not happenning based on the main questions I get from the boys; can the parents support,is the girl bigger than a size 2 ,is she very pretty and what kind of therapist is she going to be.
    Whoever is making up these rules about how many years and how much support is not living in the real world and has never worked for a living.
    I would suggest that bochurim be required before they start going out to listen to a number of tapes from Rav Pam zt”l on Parshas Chaya Sarah where over the years he taught his bochurim and yungerlite what the tachlis of a shidduch and marriage is all about.
    As long as both the girls and boys are not taught what is really important in a shidduch we will continue to have this shidduch crisis.should be

  19. everybody should please remember that the person you date is usually never exactly what you thought he/she would turn out to be after you are married .So everybody stop being so picky have a little more bitachon and get married.GUARANTEED THE WHOLE WORLD WOULD BE BETTER OFF ESPECIALLY YOU

  20. to #21
    if i didn’t know better i’d think it was me writing your note. i also have one of each gender in the process-and a process it is.
    some of these readers need to take a second look at the article–all the author was saying was AFTER THE FIRST DATE the girls say no–and yes, it DOES happen–if bells don’t clang, and rainbows don’t appear in the heavens the girls say no–and then the shadchanim want to know why my son won’t touch an older girl–because he is not the silver-tongued salesman who has every witty comment at the tip of the tongue, how about trying it again–you might be surprised. not everyone opens up so easily.
    in general parents have gotten so uninvolved that they don’t know who their kids are dating or what they are deciding–it should be made a rule that there is a minimum of 2 dates before there can be a negative answer. you might get to see a lot more shidduchim!
    and let’s not forget the baloney the boys can come up with–the girl has to travel into bp or flatbush–he cannot be bothered with going out to monsey or lakewood etc.–it is too far!! where are their manners? and what makes these ‘Knockers” think we would touch them after their wonderful display of rudeness
    and most important what is the authors phone number? i would love to get in touch with him/her please

  21. i think there exists some significant differences in todays shidduch process as compared to that of 30 or 40 years ago.
    the girls of today are by far more educated,in modern arts and in many cases even as far as learning is concerned outshine many of the boys from the host of the major yeshivas out there.they may not know how to learn a blatto gemorah, however, they are versed in tanach and halacha.take the gemorah away from the boys and they have nothing.
    i think there is a serious curriculum problem in the boys yeshivas.they dont teach them enuf about the modern world or even about the frum world.a black hat does not make a person. the boys yeshivas have become more conservative with less learning. the girls yeshivas are frum ,however they are getting an education.
    the rosh hayeshivas are image conscious and the girls schools have their teachers teaching.
    its no wonder to me that the girls are turned off from todays boys to a large degree as a result of the methods of chinuch in the institutions they come from.there is more to write ,however, i dont wish to step on toes.

  22. goodpop and others.

    I have been somewhat involved in advising others about shidduchim over the past few years. I have 3 rules that I make sure everyone knows…

    1) dont go out until you are sure that “on paper” things work out.

    2) a shadchan is a shliach of HKB”H. it is Him who is sending you the shissuch and there is a reason for it. It may be because you are supposed to marry this person or because you are not, but are meant to learn something from the experience and grow from it. HKB”H does not put you into a situation like this for no reason… unless you are not dating Al Pi Torah and you have decided to just go “shopping” without taking HKB”H with you…

    3) no one should consider hearing about a shidduch until they have had some decent hadrcha. I greatly admire R’ Osher Zelig Rubenstien (Rosh Yeshiva of Toras Simcha in Yerushalayim) who has a 4-tape set for bochrim and a 3-tape set for girls. I own coppies of the tapes and insist on people listening to them before they decide whether they are interested in going out for the first time. I know full well that the things he says in the tapes are not for everyone and some may find him over the top, but from my own personal experience I can say with 100% certainty that I had no idea what I was doing before I listened to the shiurim, and had a much clearer understanding once I had. (and I listened to them over and over durring the 3 years that I was in the parsha).

  23. Heartbroken and hurt, a friend of mine recently came over to me and told me that a girl broke up with him because she quote- “wasn’t feeling it.”

    In what already was considered to be in the advanced stages of the dating process, the girl said that despite the fact that everything else was perfect, nonetheless the lack of feeling is what drove her to call it off. The girl added that she “really felt” that calling it off was the “right thing to do.”

    In a sincere attempt not to judge anyone, I would just like to know if what this girl did was actually the “right” thing (even though it “felt right”).

    In my mind it is both quite common and quite normal that a person with strong emotional balance and stability, would have trouble becoming deeply attached to someone after only 9 or 10 dates. Not everyone is cut out to be able to say the proverbial “I do” after simply a few memorable outings. I don’t in any way mean to criticize or condemn those who do, but I do however think that before breaking up due to the lack of feeling a person should ask himself if they are the type to have developed such deep feelings in such a limited time frame.

    Faced with the peer pressure of getting engaged after nine dates this girl might have believed that if there was not enough feeling then he must have been the wrong guy. I would argue that in truth maybe he was actually the right guy but she was just the type of person who needs more dates to develop those feelings.

    If everything else is perfect there is absolutely no reason to break up due to the lack of feelings (or for that matter not clicking). Maybe I am wrong but I think that it is better to break the mold and just go out a few more times than to break the other persons heart for a non-concrete reason.



  25. The first 7,000 or so times that I have heard about this subject compelled me. Since then I have become numb because it has been a lot of talk and not much action. It is very unfortunate for those that must dal with this, but this overkill has made this sunject so trite that I am losing interest.

  26. Bravo!!!!!!!!!!! goodpop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Could not agree more . Although it is true there are some girls who “do not feel it ” and do not give a second date for what seems to be obscure reasons. this is not the case for the majority of girls . girls are always scared of being called “picky” and often when they do not give concrete answers as a way not to be insulting to the guys . Boys are willing to give concrete answers beacuse they are simply not as sensitive as wonman .

  27. To the author of this letter: I am involved in shidduchim. While there are definetly issues that some girls have, I have noticed from my experience that it is generally the boys side that has to get their issues sorted out.Yes the girls side can ask crazy questions, however from my experience in reding shidduchim it is the boys side that usually comes up with the biggest narishkiet. Examples: When the mother takes out the garbage does she wear a tichel or a sheitel, does the bubby in B.P. get her groceries delivered to her house/apt. or does she push one of those wheely things down 13th ave.-if you ask me what in heavens name does the mother taking out garbage in a sheitel or a tichel have to do with having a good marrige, or the bubby not getting her groceries delivered as it is “lowly” for an older woman to go shopping- as one person told me it is not mechubadik-,is the girl A SIZE ZERO OR TWO- !!!!!- Does the girls size in clothing tell us if she will be a good wife and mother???!!! Does it tell us what level her middos or how her yirei shomayim is?I haven’t been asked to often HOW ARE THE GIRL’S MIDDOS- some people ask me that question, but only for about two seconds they focuse more on the family’s “yichus” if they have any- ( if the girl dosen’t then they drop her off their list like a hot potato as they have such “long lists”), or how and for how long is the girl willing to support. Girls cannot always afford to be so picky as its the boys side who calls the shots as they have “The long lists” (there are those girls who are picky). When are we going to wake up and start asking normal questions from the boy’s side, and from the girls side. When are we going to get our priorities straight( I am not talking about everyone).From my experience I have not found girls to be picky and say they will not go on a second date. I know personally a lot of girls who have a rule that they always agree to a second date(unless the person is clearley a meshugana) just to give the boys a fair chance. I would like to bring up another point which I hope that other fellow posters/bloggers will discuss and that is that there are many very fine, lovely girls WHO HAVE NOT HAD even ONE DATE yet they have been back from seminary for three years now-and no its not because they are picky !!!! I know for a fact that there is nothing wrong with them. They are just not rich enough, or yichusdik enough- the boys have crazy lists- so if its between them or another fine rich/ yichusdika girl the boy will choose the richer/ more yichusdika girl. These girls just sit on boys lists, their parents are frantic they are frantic, nobody sleeps properly at night, girls go to bed crying whishing that some normal boy- no not a Rosh Yeshiva, or a gvir’s son-will say yes to them . My heart goes out to them, I have tried to get these girls to go out with boys but for some rreason the boys are always busy, or the girls are not good enough for their royal highnesses(not everybody is like this however with my experience there are many). It is not always these boys fault, it is usually their mothers. I know from an experience that a boy wanted a certain type of a girl and his mother wanted some narishkiet and he din’t care about it! Please rabosi I beg of you klal yisroel suffers so much with lo aleinu people sick, with terrible tradgities rachmana litzlon-maybe if we show Hashem that we care about people maybe Hashem will take away some of our tzaros. I am not a Rav or a posek so i am not saying for sure but maybe Hashem is causing not the nicest things to happen to klal yisroel to teach us what it means to feel for another , to learn to feel a fellow yid’s pain. Look around you at the many single girls or boys and try to think of someone for them. I heard from someone once that if you just think about a shidduch for someone you get sechar for just thinking about a person. When Hashem sees us in achdus he wants to help us, when we are helping others. Hashem repays a person middah kneged middah. Please prioritize what are the most important things in finding a shidduch :MIDDOS, A MENTCH, SOMEONE WHO HAS YAREI SHOMAYIM…For a girl: is she a TZAHNUAH!!To all those mothers out there just keep in mind that you are not marring the girl, your son is!To any girls out there who are picky, try and give your date a fair chance! Anybody can be a shaddchan- I know of a story where two little girls suggested a shidduch and you know what? The shidduch worked out! You never know if you are the right shaliach. If you or your husband/ cousin/ relative, or some one that you know is learning in a certain yeshiva/kolel/or someone who is working tell them , or you shouild look out for a neighbor ,relatives, especially people who don’t have a lot of people looking out for them in shidduchim ( are a small family, aren’t from the U.S. of A…). And on that note I will just like to end with a bracha, that may all those who need to find their bashert do so bikarov, may klal Yisroel only know of bisuros tovos, brachos, yeshuos and nechamos- AMEN!

  28. A big problem with shidduchim is that married sibling tend to feel less achrayos for their unmarried sibling. once they’re married they forget how is feels to be single….Let’s commit to do a little more and more simchas should come out of this. PLEASE DONT FORGET TO HELP SOMEONE GET BUILD A FAMIKLY

  29. Mr Goodpop

    You raised some important issues, but on some points I believe you are incorrect.
    In the Yeshiva I come from, there are numerous shiurim to guide bochurim in the shidduch process, and more significantly, the Roshei Yeshiva, Ramim and Magiei shiur who have experience spend much time discussing with boys privately their personal issues, guiding them step by step, and affording them the time they simply don’t have to give them as much as they require. Many many people reading this will be able to testify that they spent sometimes hours obtaining guidance after every single date.
    And about money and looks: yes, there are some warped minds out there. Forgive me for saying that its mainly an American sickness. If all you hear from a boy is money even before he’s met the girl, then you’ve got the wrong boy. There are many normal boys out there who are mature enough to know what really matters in life. It seems that unfortunately the boys who you have so far come across fit into one category. Look somewhere else. There are plenty Yeshivos which imbue in their talmidin a proper sense of direction in this area.

  30. Great letter. I’m sure not everyone will agree, but, if you spend as much time as I do on shidduchim, you’ll agree.
    I hope some sort of program to help mentoring girls can come out from this letter.
    telkup- im waiting for your post!

  31. I have some older Bachurim clients who are among the most polite, attractive interesting people
    yes each one of them (almost like each one of us) has a bit of Michigus which can be overlooked. Almost every single one of them is very discouraged by the toughness of the older girls they are introduced to. The boys appear to be less idealistic as they get older, merely a by-product of working and taking responsibility for themselves after several years. Both of tehse aspects should be taken with a grain of salt.

  32. Hi Great letter ! good point ! and in most cases very true indeed.

    However , I would just make one correction. The writer claims that it is easy to get a girl to agree to meet once and her rejections come after the first date when things don’t go exactly as expected. I would add that when dealing with girls in the age group of 29 and older, even getting the first yes is difficult ! As a 35 year old male who is successful in business and open to giving most girls a chance , I can confirm quite easily that its the girls who need to be convinced much harder then teh guys to agree to a first date as well. I cannot tell you how many rejections I have gotten and how long they do extensive research and background checks just to allow us guys the honor of picking them up from their homes and treat them out to a free dinner for the evening. So not only do they reject 80% of the time at least after the date, they most often are the ones who wont agree to the first date at all.

    And this too is the boys response to the complaint that ” the older guys all want younger girls” . You know why we do? because the older girls are more difficult and see the need to punish the guy they are dating for their bitterness of they current status. Ironic how she will choose to take out their frustrations on the very guy who may be able to rescue her from her current sorry state , and assure that the guy be sufficiently turned off to the point that he will have no interest to continue with her or older girls in general.

    I am confirming all this being both a shadchan and a -single- successful put together business person who wants nothing more then to be a good husband and to provide for a good deserving and nice girl.

    Sorry folks , I know this hurts, but I gotta say it.

  33. I left a comment to the effect of this letter a few weeks ago (its harder to get a first date with a boy, and harder to get a second with a girl).its nice to be validated.

  34. If it doesn’t click whom are you doing a favor by going ahead w/ it?
    100%True story: (I heard it from the girl) I know of a chassidishe boy & girl who went out on a “b’sho”. The girl had absolutely no feelings for the boy. to be more explicit she was turned off by his looks. She expressed her uneasiness to some “well meaning advisors” (family) & they all told her “you’re crazy, are you getting married to a nose or to a person?” etc.
    So now, wanting to be nice & knowing that it’s petty to even think about looks, she agreed to meet him another time. the second time was NO BETTER. (& it wasn’t just a 20 min. meeting)
    After the meeting she was a wreck. she wanted to say no but her ‘advisors’ told her she was mamush pushing away her “bashert” & this is no joke – who knows if she’ll ever get engaged?! they also tried convincing her that he’s soo handsome even though she found him DOWNRIGHT UGLY. (even if they were right, he has to find chein in HER eyes.)
    I have to add that we’re talking about a tochandige good quality girl who never even placed “looks” on her list.
    they also kept repeating that it will be no better if she meets another one, because love anyway only comes after marriage…
    now guess what…. she got engaged to that boy after all. she was obviously miserable beyond words.
    Shortly after the l’chaim, the chosson mentioned to his Kalla that he really didn’t want her!! (she @least had the tact to pretend to be excited when he called because if this is the situation might as well be a sport.) And if that wasn’t enough he said that he regrets his decision so badly that occasionally he contemplates breaking the engagement…(btw he claimed that the reason he didn’t want her was because he didn’t like some of her “great- uncles”, she was a top girl, middos smart witty & pretty)
    I’ll finish my story here.
    Needless to say, after a while they were both “on the market” again.
    I think this story speaks for itself, but in case anyone didn’t get it – IF IT DOESNT PULL YOU DO NOT GO AHEAD WITH IT!! –

  35. #43 first, read my story
    2- I’m not against the chassidishe style of doing shidduchim but I definitely believe in MORE THAN 1 MEETING for heaven’s sake!!!!!!

  36. It is hardly surprisinng that girls go by their gut rather than the more calculated approach boys take (1) Women by nature have binah yeseira they are skilled at assesing things that way even if they can’t label exactly what it is. (2) They are usually asked after the boy said yes so they have limited time to do research and they get fewer names then boys so they are easier to get to agree to a first date. Isn’t it then obvious that they will subsequently eliminate more boys during that date!

    Remember girls (and boys too) & especially the parents, that your mishagasim and your quick to say “its not for me” is adding more fuel to this raging fire (crisis)
    The Shadchanim (who are overworked, underappreciated, and underpaid) are getting BURNT OUT more and more, faster and faster because of YOU and YOUR ATTITUDES!! I’m involved in this, so I can talk from real live experience!
    Even if in all honesty a sidduch redt is ‘not the one’ – your constant insane ‘reasons why’ are so utterly ridiculous that it just ‘turns us off’ from trying to help those who is not being reasonably willing to be helped!

    GUYS & GIRLS: “love at first sight” and “feeling that this is it” and “Mr. (or Ms.) perfect – the one of my dreams” and all these other NON TORAH OUTLOOKS, are FAKE!!!! THEY DON’T EXIST!!! IT’S A FAIRYTALE!!!

    Almost NEVER is ANY shidduch 100% perfect!!! That’s the avodah of marriage! (and as my grandfather and grandmother amus’h (married over 60 years) tell me – SHALOM BAYIS (a peaceful marriage) is a lifetime ‘avodah’!! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ‘PERFECT MATCH’ WITHOUT ANY EFFORT FROM BOTH SIDES!!!

    REMEMBER that men and woman are physically /biologically/ mentally etc DIFFERENT and the challenge of a good marriage is CONSTANT COMPROMISE & GIVE AND TAKE.

    Raboisai, the AMERICAN FANTASY is eating into our culture – people are trained to THINK it ‘must be perfect. or else its not the one’ – PURE LIES!! HOLLYWOOD portrays everything to be PERFECT, yet look at the ‘stars’ in their REAL life… they’re financially billionaires.. they have EVERYTHING begashmius. The ultimate “DREAM LIFE” yet they are so DEPRESSED, taking drugs, alcohol abuse, and SUICIDE!! Bottom line these so called ‘HAVE IT ALLS’ are so miserable and UNHAPPY with life!!
    STOP LOOKING AT THEM AND ENVYING THEM – they are the PROOF for us that just because it LOOKS great – its NOT! Their divorce rate is unreal – and infidelity is astronomical. (Gashmius i.e. money and looks is all one big smokescreen!!)

    So in closing, I ask from all happily married couples to please EXPLAIN to your unmarried friends, to the best of your ability – what REAL LIFE is, and in REAL LIFE not everything is PERFECT!! It takes lots of effort for both spouses to make it great – but bottom line, it’s very rewarding!!

  38. What Shadchanim? The bulk of the Shadchanim that were around 5 years ago, “don’t do it anymore”, and the ones that do, are so busy you can’t get to them.

    What is being done about the above? Not much.

    And to oyvey- you hit the nail on the head! Girls are so desperate to give a boy a chance when they get the rare yes, that they are often disappointed.

  39. Thank you frumblogger for saving me the effort of writing what was in my head. You expressed yourself perfectly and everyone should take note of what your wrote.

    It is very scary to live in a world with goyish ideas seeping in all over the place without a hint that they may be wrong. Well, they are wrong and this is another sneeky example of its influence.

    Marriage is to GROW! You cannot grow if there is no opposition coming to you. Your spouse is the greatest tool to your perfection since you are always with you spouse and have to make things work. No, life is not easy, that’s not the way Hashem created the world since we need to earn z’car for olam habah. Hard work is very rewarding. It is worth the effort. A happy marriage does not come from no work and to have a happy fulfilled marriage is the best thing in the world that you can have.

    I spoke to someone who was engaged. I expressed to her how lucky she was that she was getting married. she sounded sceptical since she was hearing that marriage was not that great. Oy vey! If that what young people are hearing from married people no wonder they are concerned to get married! I spoke to her at length that marriage is a very good thing. she was reassured when we finished speaking.

    I think girls need more hadracha about dating and marriage. It seems to be a taboo in school since “there is no time” “we need to finish for the test” “too much haschafa, waste of time” “we’ll talk about it later” “you are too young/not at the right stage”. We cannot expect girls to know everything themselves. They need to be taught this along with everything else in yiddishkeit.

    May Hashem help Klal Yisroel through this hard situation.

  40. i hope people don’t find this to be apikursus. the fact is there is the same amount of boys as girls, basically. the problem is simple, that most/all of the girls coming out of seminary want the great bochur who is top in learning and going to learn full time at her father’s expense.
    they utterly refuse and will not marry a bochur who is not learning full time and ready to learn in kollel, many of them no matter what age they are. of course, this means a great strain on the parents giving money they don’t have. so they find themselves on lists of the few good bochurim. for some odd reason, anybochur not filling this requierment is pariah. what’s is wrong with building a yiddishe home with a partner who says up front that he is frum and koveah ittim l’torah and working. anyway for most that is the situation that will happen to them is a few years.food for thought.

  41. Friends, there needs to be an objective truth, not just opinions. And the only way we can ascertain that is through Torah. A Torah learner once explained to me a fundamental truth – in order to figure out if gals are to blame for the problem you need to figure something else out. The RAMBAM says “all is in the hands of Heaven, except for matters of Yiras Shamayim – i.e. mitzvos and avayros”. Therefore, according to the Dayos of those who say a woman has no obligation to marry, the choice is not in “her hands” but in his who clearly has the obligation fo Pru U’rvu. That is why we see the men doing the Hishtadlus in the Torah. “Vayikach” ben Levi – he convinced her. After Pilegesh B’Givah, the fathers of the other Shvatim did not let their daughters marry boys from Shevet Binyamin. The Gedolim’s solution to that problem: have single events and let the gals meet the boys and have marriages. Woa – if the girls wouldn’t want to marry the boys, how would that help? Obviously, the Gedolim thought that the boys by being actively Shtadlaning at the Tu B’Av event would get married (despite what the girls might want or not want). If you have a problem with girls saying no to you right away, maybe you should brush up on your technique of what it is to do “vayikach” to speak in a way and act in a way to win a girl’s heart.

  42. As a single girl myself, I have to agree with the letter. I have always been the one to give the no besides for one boy. However, every time I gave a no, it was a thought-out decision and after carefully thinking if there is any way I can make it work. The boys have all been great about giving things a chance. And I have a great brother who has been on the receiving end of too many rejections- just as the letter writer wrote. I think the point is, Boys and girls, think back if you ever rejected a boy for a reason that might have seemed good at that point but maybe now, if you think about it, you’ll realize that you can live with it. You don’t have to fall in love with the datee on the first, second or even 5th date. Give people a chance. And there is nothing wrong with going back to a shidduch. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time.

  43. As an older single guy let me say this:

    when I was alot younger I always thought it was my fault. I was sort of brainwashed by certain Rebbetzins (my fault) into thinking that basically “guys are jerks”….so whatever didn’t go well….must be my fault.

    then over the past few years I have noticed….many women really do not have it together. I am average height….and I have been turned down becuase of this numerous times…..even when they said it was not an issue. etc etc. Shadchanim have called me to apologize or say how embarassed they are…..

    one told me quite simply “it was easier just a few years ago. but the girls have picked up goyish values and they all want a tall & handsome guy. and that is why I have all these 35 year olds who are not married.”

    still looking……

  44. i think that the chassidishe way of doing things is still the best, however the girl and boy should meet more than once-2 or maximum 3 times-however not for too long.after an hour or so of talking, both the girl and boy feel tired and out of things to discuss,resulting in an uncomfortable situation.and it should be the parents that discuss financial and other issues-not the children!!!
    when i got engaged,both sets of parents discussed any issues and only when that was settled did we meet our prospective in-laws separately.then we had 1 b’show that lasted 2 hours, and the next morning we had another half hour b’show,and that was it!!we made l’chaim…
    i just wish all shidduchim would go this way so easily!!

  45. #59 1- if you’re age is the one of your signature then you’re not old at all! 🙂
    my personal opinion if the girl herself is tall, I can understand that she prefers that her husband is her hight, but if she’s short, she can look funny w/ a tall guy! (they call it an “Esrog – Lulav couple” )

  46. #59- good for you that it went so easily but I’d say be a bit more generous. 4 or 5. ( & if you’re still unsure – maybe more)
    but 1 is definitely a joke!

  47. b’show is a “chassidishe date”
    the meeting of a boy/man & a girl/woman for shidduchim purposes.
    exact process?
    they meet indoors, usually in the house of a relative or friend / neighbor, & have a schmooze w/ the goal of marriage in mind. most meet only once / twice or 3x, & each talk can last between 5 minutes (no exaggeration) to 3 hrs.
    clear enough?

  48. A great letter. Certainly not true in every case, so stop taking offense people, but surely true all too frequently.

    Is it the girls’ fault? Not entirely.

    Our girls are bombarded with hundred of “RULES” about choosing a chosson.

    Never marry a boy who xxxxxx!
    Never marry a boy who zzzzzz!
    Never marry a boy who rrrrrr!


    The problem is, though all those “warnings” are taught to the girls to “protect” them, there are few boys who do not possess at least one of those “Never Marry” midos, or circumstances.

    Then comes the Learning vs Parnasa problem.

    Many parents want the girls to be well supported after kollel, so you want a boy who has a “future.”

    We also want the girls to choose a boy who has never interrupted his learning.

    So, how, pray tell, does this boy who has never stopped learning, have a clear prospect for a “future” parnasa?

    There are many other “Stiros” in the system.

    Here are things I have heard girls be told to avoid:
    Loud voices
    too shy voices

    Overbearing personalities
    passive personalities

    Dressed to fancy
    Dressed to sloppy

    Frum and well behaved on dates
    and should be a “gentleman”
    (unfortunately, this means some behaviors that for tznius problems causes the man to “appear” less of a gentleman)

    I know of one couple whom I thought would have been perfect for each other. He knew how to learn, was very frum, and actually already earned a living while learning 5 hours a day. Perfect catch? No?
    She had turned down two in the past for not being Frum enough.

    Unfortunately, he also knew the halachos, studying in depth what was muter and what was ossur on a “Date” and due to the stumbling blocks involved with eating or being alone at a date, tried to meet in hotel lobbies, and not go out to eat. He wanted them to sit, talk and get to know each other.
    She had been on 2 previous shidduch dates with others, the ones who were not frum enough, and was taken out to eat both times. She immediately classified this bochur as Perfect in every other way, but too “Cheap”!!! not understanding that he was the frum boy she wanted.

    When the word got back that he was turned down for being cheap, all who knew him were shocked!… as all knew him as not cheap at all. But the girl did not give him a chance to get to know him as a generous person. She did not tell HIM what she thought, or what her concern was.

    Also, some parents in their attempt to “protect” the girls from potential poverty or abuse, are much too quick to listen to the girls’ report from the date, and then tell them this one is not good.
    Trouble is to some parents, no boy will be good enough for their girls.

    Now, there are some boys just as guilty of all the above as the girls, but most boys do not have that long list of “Never marry” that is a deal breaker.

    I believe there needs to be some sort of “seeking a chosson” program after seminary, with guidance and counseling by someone from the Seminary, just as the boys have it from Yeshiva from their rabbonim.

    One problem obviously, is that in the Yeshivish world, many girls go out to work, and lose contact with their Seminary.

    It is a complicated problem, and no one has all the answers, especially me!

    It is a very important issue, and we all need to talk to the young men and women we know who are in the shidduch age, and tell them to throw those lists away!

  49. I don’t know who this shadchan is dealing with but as a mother of a daughter in the shidduch parsha I can tell you just the opposite is true!! My daughter has gotten answers such as”it’s not a shidduch”, “there’s no chemistry”, “it wasn’t a geshmake date” “she was too quiet” etc., after just 1 or 2 dates!! She, on the other hand, was much more willing to be patient & keep trying. I find that all these girls who are getting some type of advanced education out there in order to support a long term learner are much more mature than the boys. They know what the real world is all about & it’s not about geshmake dates!!!!

  50. #68: sorry, no translation!! it’s limited to the yiddish speaking oilem!
    btw to those who say that the boys are the ‘bigshots’, in the chassidishe velt, a girl considerered “average” has it much easier than an “average” boy. That’s just the fact.

  51. Who says it always has to be somebody’s fault? It’s about individuals. First of all, get it clear. not every older single is picky. some of them are sitting & waiting for a shadchan to call. And if shadchanim do call often, many times it’s the parents! And parents don’t discriminate between their sons & daughters. So sometimes the boys are called picky & some times the girls.
    General statements don’t count. Each situation is different.


  53. “the meeting of a boy/man & a girl/woman for shidduchim purposes.
    exact process?
    they meet indoors, usually in the house of a relative or friend / neighbor, & have a schmooze w/ the goal of marriage in mind. most meet only once / twice or 3x, & each talk can last between 5 minutes (no exaggeration) to 3 hrs.”
    I am not chasidish and I dated my spouse similar to this with four dates in a matter of a week in someone’s house. It was great, no distractions or fancy food, just plain old talk. So we only needed a short time. Dating is getting to know you after all.

    People have to stop looking at everyone else and improve themselves! If each person would work on being realistic, mature, and sensitive, we would have hope. But it is much easier to look at the other person to blame. That’s why there are also divorces. No one takes responsibility to be mature and selfless.

  54. Ya know what gets my goat? When guys who are – pardon me – ugly (or even average-looking) insist that they will only agree to date/marry Miss America. And guys whose secular education never made it past long division and the periodic table of elements (if that!) who will only agree to date/marry girls with letters after their name (the mighty DEGREE). And girls who are heavy and get insulted when a larger-sized boy is suggested for them.


  55. #72 How true what you write is.

    The “Friends” … Oy … how well meaning friends destroy shidduchim….

    I came close. I am married not since Ellul of two years ago, (2 1/4 years ago, Sept. 2005)

    I live in Florida, and my Kallah lived in Flatbush. All was going perfectly, we already had the vort and all. Then this one “Friend” told her, “Break it off! You will hate Florida! How could you marry someone who is not in Brooklyn! You never lived outside of Brooklyn in your life, you will hate it.”

    Well, this shook up my prospective kallah, and really frightened her. Thank G-d, she had enough middos to not break a vort, and went through it, though with fear or moving.

    We are lucky that the friend did not come along until after the vort, or we may both still be single.

    When you look at the friend, in this case, more closely, you see a woman who did not want to lose a single friend, and was motivated by her own subconscious needs, instead of giving true advice.

  56. willi- i agree with you-not everyone can decide in 1 or 2 times.i was lucky that things went smoothly.now i am b’h very happily married with a baby on the way……..
    however the point of a b’show is not to notice and analyze the positive and negative of the other, but rather to see how well they interact, by just sitting and talking about anything under the sun.and believe me, you can get a basic idea of a person by just simply conversing with him/her.the way a person conducts a conversation can show his/her middos,way of thinking,character and most of all, give a basic idea if this is someone you would spend the rest of your life with.some people find it hard.so no problem-go ahead and have 4 or 5 b’shows.the point is not to make it quick and short,but to make sure this is the right decision.and looks is not everything. hashem gives and takes.to reject someone because “she is not good looking” or “he is fat” is really nearsightedness.i hope singles will lower their demands and open up their eyes to the real world out there.maybe then they will realize that they cannot be picky with everything!!
    get my point??

  57. Oy! you people can argue till your fingertips fall off but the main point is you should all stop trying to lay blame somewhere and instead you should be trying to set up the single people you know! Don’t you know the famous saying do not judge another until you have walked a mile in their shoes!!!!!! For every story someone has of a shidduch where the girl was “at fault” I can tell a story where the boy was “at fault” or vice versa. and anyways did it ever occur to you that most of the time when a shidduch does not end in a happy marriage it is because it was NOT MEANT TO BE!!!!! May all the eligible single girls and boys be zoche to find their true zivug in the right time!

  58. Being a single gal in the shidduch “game” , it is true that from myslef and most my friends we are the ones that usually nix the guys. However, a lot of us do have a “give it a 2nd shot” attitude and we encourage e/ other to go out again & see what happens. I have only nixed a guy after the 1st date -if it was a middos issue or just way off in terms of personality or frumkeit. So I think that us girls while we may usually be the ones to say no after 1-3 dates , I think that our reasons are justifiable. Yes we are taught in seminary about warning signs to look for in boys and we are taught that being a mentch and having sterling middos are the most important things to us So if any of u single boyz out there are wondering how to “win our hearts” listen up!- it is by displaying your middos, such as emes, generosity, warmth, being a good listener and communicator, considerate, sensitive , and then obviously the hashkafos and personalities have to match or click. by the wya many of us do having dating mentors or teachers that we specifically call ( its not always easy to reach the mentors bec their helping so many girls)
    another point I want to make is that some of my friends and I have gone out with a few “older boys” even though we’re under 23 , and have on more than 1 occasion come close in a relationsjhio w/ them -when the BOY felt that he just wasnt ready to get married . So we are hesitant to go out w/ older boys because many of them seem to have commitment fears.
    Anyway to summarize both guys and girls have their faults -we were created differently men are more logical & women are more emotional and we do often trust our instincts and gut feelings but hey thats why shidduchim is such a great miracle who wud ever think a guy & girl can actually live together ??! 🙂

  59. Firstly, I would like to commend and thank BYL for all the hard work and for posting this wonderfully written letter.
    Personally, my experience is quite the opposite. Mostly I see guys who dont give the girl a second chance because they have a ‘list’ of perfect girls waiting to go out with them. They become blinded by the lists of girls who seem perfect on paper that they are not willing to deal with any issues at hand. They do not feel that any effort is needed in building a relationship. They do not feel they should be ‘forced to give in on anything’.
    I think they need to realize that noone is asking them to ‘give in’. What we are asking is that they realize that there are advantages and disadvantages to every person. Unfortunetly, these facts are not always apparent on ‘paper’. What we ask is that once you say yes to a girl, please, forget about your list for a moment and focus on the qualities of the girl you are actually dating. Because you are seeing the full picture with her. Forget about the the list of girls who at this point are all theoretical. Remember you are seeing only a single dimension of a girl before you go out with her.

  60. three streams here
    women tend to burn out on the market after x number of dates (just like they burn out in the job market) much easier than the men. What is the community going to do about that?

    second, and related is the need for a course of training for people going out on the market
    what they should really ask, whats important, whats fairy tale
    they should talk this over in trusted environment (evidentally not at home for many girls) so they have a better chance at success

    third, what is wrong with a boy successfully frum in the job market? I personally never even went to Bet Midrash because of my family financial situation and have spent more time learning over the past 25 years than most of my community! I B E H have had fewer problems with my kids than he average family in my community

  61. I think that the point the person is making is somewhat valid I have heard stories from some of my friends who have given up on shidduchim for these reason, some of them have been my friends (girls) and some of them from the boys they have been seeing. I think that anytime a shaddchim hears a crazy question that the guy (or guy’s parents or even the girl) they should basically say that they will not do the shidduch I am not sure why these guys have list with all their crazy questions. If I find out that a guy has a list I will say thank you and good buy I think that shaddchim have to be on top of the situation when they get these question and not to give these guys any girl and for any parents of girls out there you should do the same if even if it is hard. Trust me I may not be considered old (because I am not over 25) but I know how hard it is to get a shidduch if everyone would tell the guys (or whoever it is) that they are not going out if they have to answer silly questions I think things would change. But i guess that is only my opinion.

  62. As with all statistics, one must be careful not to jump to conclusions regarding the reason for the “statistics”. In this case, even if it true that 80% of the time the girl is the one who initiated the breakup when the breakup occurred at an advanced stage, this does not necessarily prove that girls are more picky. It actually may be a proof that girls are less picky. Perhaps the reason for these “statistics” is that girls are more likely to push themselves and to try to give things a shot even if they aren’t so into it, whereas boys will not continue to date someone and allow things to get to an “advanced” stage unless they were really interested from the beginning. Therefore, in most cases where the shidduch reached an advanced stage, it was only because the girl was “pushing herself” the whole time, whereas the boy was really interested from day one. In my personal dating experience, I have found that most of the guys I’ve dated only agreed to a third date if they had pretty much already decided they wanted to marry me. On the other hand, I have often agreed to continue going out with someone I wasn’t particularly interested in because I felt that I should give it a try.