By Baila Sebrow

 

Question:

I’m very pretty — not drop-dead gorgeous, but I really am pretty and not just saying so. Everyone agrees. However, I’m about five feet tall. People say that I look taller than I am. The point is that when people redd me for shidduchim they don’t present me as smart, very pretty, nice, funny. They say, “I have girl for you, and she is very sweet but she’s a shorty.” They do that before they even show my picture. By the way, I have a gorgeous picture of myself.

Normally, I wouldn’t complain about it because I get lots of dates from singles events. I’m always the girl who gets asked out first. There was never an event where a guy didn’t ask for my number. I’m not originally from New York, so I don’t have an attitude, and guys love that about me. I moved here so that I could have more opportunities to go to singles events. But now with social distancing, there are no singles events. I know about the computer events, but I want a real live kind of thing, like we used to have. If we can’t have that now, I want to be redd to a guy in the right manner, presenting my attributes, and then I wouldn’t mind to continue dating via computer. (My friends FaceTime with their boyfriends all the time, even before social distancing.) But nobody redds me to guys the right way, and I have no hope that they will ever do it the right way.

I realize that singles events are not going to happen for who knows how long. Meanwhile, I can’t get a date. Is there any hope for me?

Response

Of course, there’s hope for you, and please do not think otherwise! What do you feel is the undermining factor when people are redding you to guys? Is it that they are not describing you in a way that puts you in the best light?

For starters, there’s nothing wrong with being short. Here is what I find unnerving. Why would they use the slang term “shorty?” In certain circumstances it might sound like a cute term of endearment, privately. However, where it relates to redding a shidduch, saying that someone is a “shorty” can come across as derogatory to a man who is asking about one’s looks. As a shadchan, I will share with you that not only do guys like short girls, but there are many tall men who specifically prefer a petite woman. While it is true that there are some men who only want to date tall women, that is no different than the man who insists on dating women with a specific hair color. People have their preferences and, like everyone else (male or female) in shidduchim, they are entitled to whatever preference makes them feel attracted to the one they are dating. The problem you are having is not that you are short. Your problem, from what you are saying, is the way you are being presented.

That begs the following question. Who is redding you shidduchim? If it’s a shadchan, then she/he should know better than to present you to a guy by saying, “I have a girl for you and she is a sweet shorty; wanna date her?” If you are telling me that any shadchan suggested you that way, then I strongly advise you to lose her or his number and never deal with that person again. I have a hunch that you are not referring to professional shadchanim. Although they should, oftentimes there are shadchanim who don’t even take the time to describe the looks or personality of someone when redding a shidduch before emailing or WhatsApping the résumé and picture of the young lady. Even when they do have a conversation with the man, they will make sure to follow up with a full profile, especially since you say that you have a gorgeous picture of yourself.

It sounds to me that you are being redd by friends or acquaintances who probably just dabble in shidduchim and have absolutely no clue what they are doing. It’s like a plumber with no expertise outside his field doing serious electrical wiring, and the person hiring him is surprised when the work turns out poorly.

Although people want to help others find a shidduch, not everyone is capable of redding shidduchim, and when such people do, the results are sometimes unfavorable, as in your case. The catch-22 is: what happens if people who are inept at shidduchim know a guy they think might be a good idea for you? You are best off getting the word out that you prefer a professional shadchan be the one to redd all shidduchim for you. Find a shadchan you trust, and appoint that person as your advocate.

Tell all your acquaintances and friends that you appreciate the efforts they are making on your behalf, but, going forward, any shidduch idea they have for you must go through that shadchan. In order not to offend anyone you care about, you can say that this shadchan offered to represent you but whoever thinks of the shidduch will still get the credit.

Realistically, you will have to expect that some people will not want to get involved with any other party. Don’t worry about it, because from the way things are looking, they can ultimately do you more harm than good. And speaking about harm vs. good, are the people who have thus far assisted you with shidduchim single women? If so, I am not a fan of that, particularly since all the results from their so-called shadchanus turned out to be negative. There’s another question that keeps nagging at me. How do you know for sure why guys are saying no to you now? I have never had a case where a girl couldn’t get a date at all because she’s short or not gorgeous. There is likely more to this than you may realize. So let’s go through your dating history.

You moved to New York, where you felt you would have optimum choices to meet men your age who are also compatible with you. You must be a sociable and pleasant person because you say that you always had success at singles events — to the extent that there was never an event at which a guy didn’t ask for your number, and you were the first to have that privilege. That’s a huge statement coming from a young lady and is a credit to your personality and character. Additionally, it also indicates that you are likely not overly fussy and that you are realistic and down-to-earth when it comes to accepting dates, which is a big plus when seeking a shidduch. Those who are successful at singles events are specifically the men and women with the most charismatic personalities. It’s not just physical appearance, but the way one presents as a person that determines the success of getting a date through a singles event.

For now, in-person singles events are placed on hold indefinitely, but that should not preclude you from meeting through online events or dating sites. The advantage is that the men who participate in those venues still want to meet somebody, even though it’s through virtual means. That brings me back to the guys who are declining you now.

Although not usually the case, there are singles who prefer to wait until this social distancing is lifted rather than begin a new relationship without knowing when an in-person date could happen. It is possible that might also be a component to your situation. These guys who said no to you may be saying no to every shidduch suggestion coming their way. Based on how you are relating your story, these people who are trying to set you up have not shared with you why the guys are all saying no. It is still not professional of them to portray you the way they do, and it certainly leaves much to be desired, but you may not be seeing the full picture.

There is an old proverb that holds true in many situations: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Finding dates on your own has been your go-to method and has proven successful. For some singles, that is the only method that works. Don’t try to change that. Work with the electronic resources that are available to you now and take advantage of the myriad options. With your positive attitude and magnetic personality, I am confident that your efforts to meet somebody will continue to be effective even in these unprecedented times.

Baila Sebrow is president of Neshoma Advocates, communications and recruitment liaison for Sovri-Beth Israel, executive director of Teach Our Children, and a shadchanis and shidduch consultant. She can be reached at Bsebrow@aol.com. Questions and comments for the Dating Forum can be submitted to 5townsforum@gmail.com.

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