By Michele Herenstein

 

In the world of shidduchim, I think that singles are looking out for themselves. They don’t tend to think of their friends and who they can set them up with. Recently, I heard a story of a woman who went on a date. She was interested in the guy but although he liked her, he didn’t think they’d make a “good match.” (I despise that expression.) The woman was invulnerable. She stopped thinking of herself and realized that she had a friend to set this gentleman up with. When she described her friend to the gentleman, he agreed to go on the date, as did the friend. They went on at least one date, with the guy asking the girl on a second date. That’s the way it should be.

There are so many dating sites, some of which are to the right, some to the left. It’s easy to put yourselves on dating sites and do nothing until a match comes your way. Hashem loves all His people and I believe He’d want us thinking of others. If we know someone (A) who likes B, then we should go to B, and in an easy comfortable no-pressure manner, tell B all about A in the nicest most generous way, while keeping things honest. There are different ways to tell someone about another. It could be harsh or generous. I prefer generous to a fault.

Setting up others is hard work. Thinking that A and B are a good match because they both come from New Jersey is pathetic. A lot more thought must go into a match. I met with a friend recently and we discussed the notion of being unable to set two people up due to emotions and characteristics, such as loyalty, sincerity, generosity, and empathy. Those are qualities that matter so much, but there’s no way to catch them on paper or in a profile. This can be done if you’re describing someone to a matchmaker or a friend. Then you can describe someone along with his/her best qualities.

I posted the following paragraph on Facebook: “Right this minute, it’s every single’s job to think of a guy/girl for their single friends. Take a minute to stop thinking about yourself and think about others. Everyone knows at least one single friend, whether it be a woman or man. When accepting a match, you should really try to put together a match yourself or with the help of a matchmaker. If anyone texts me wanting help or wanting to ask about a guy, I will help, iy’H, to the best that I can. Don’t think solely about yourself; think about other singles every day. Singles obviously need help and singles CAN help others! PLEASE make this your everyday mitzvah … I will do my best as well. Any questions about myself or others please contact me. Thank you for reading!”

“I am writing today about the SUN initiative, which is about single men and women meeting together on a monthly basis with the intention of trying to set each other up and each other’s friends. The goal is to empower singles to capitalize on their own network to help their single friends and those they have dated,” says David Katzoff, in his article, “SUN, the Shidduch Crisis and Some Ways You Can Help.”

So we see that other singles are trying to help in making an effort to set up others. One problem is that there are many more female singles than males. Also, men are too focused on age.

Often someone says to another: Do you know so and so? It’s meant to try to set up two people, albeit in a roundabout way. The problem with the question above is that someone answers either yes or no, and if the answer is yes, the person is then asked, would you like to be set up with them? Often the answer from men in particular is no, with an excuse tagged on, the most common being, I know her! I loathe this answer. What does knowing someone or even being friendly with them have to do with changing one’s mindset to see them in the light of dating?

Most women I’d guess would accept and go on a date. It seems most men would say no with an excuse. This is just a generalization. But it’s what I know from dating on the Upper West Side.

I’ve been sent the same guy on a dating site several times over the span of a decade. People change over time. Sometimes, I am willing to give a guy a second chance if I like his profile and hear good things about him. I’ve had two serious relationships from the second tries I’ve given the guys. So you never know.

Matchmakers get together and discuss their single matches. The same should be true of singles. Singles should have a get together and the price of admission is knowing a single of the opposite sex.

As singles, we often complain that we can’t meet anyone. Which is true! But we also have a responsibility to ourselves and to Hashem to work hard and keep our minds open to people we may not have been open to before.

David Katzoff continues with why there is a shidduch crisis, “There are many reasons why I believe shidduch issues are so prevalent in the frum world, but I mainly want to focus on a few of them. I believe one of the bigger reasons is due to supply and demand. For a variety of reasons, there appear to be many more eligible frum single women than eligible frum single men. The reasons may include: more single men leave the derech as they get older, there are more female baalos teshuvah, and there are more men who don’t prioritize getting married or simply don’t have interest in getting married at all. The age gap problem, in which single men typically only date younger women, contributes to the problem. The issue becomes more pronounced as singles get older, because single men appear to move to the ‘left’ faster than single women, creating an even greater imbalance of single men and women of the same hashkafah.”

I believe it is called a “crisis” because more and more singles in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are still single, and most profess to wanting to get married. We know it’s a huge problem, but we have yet to find a solution. The least we can do is try to help each other meet singles and set each other up. If we work hard at this crisis, I believe Hashem will meet us at least halfway and more singles will meet and get married.

Yes, it’s our work, but Hashem helps those who try hard to do mitzvot. I hope all the singles who want to get married, do so in this year of 2020! I can’t wait to hear about all the smachot coming our way.

Michele Herenstein can be reached at msh61670@gmail.com.

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