I am a bachur with social skills deficits who is having the following problem: Recently, I was set up with a girl who likewise has social skills deficits, but three major shadchanim from the same network, as well as my dating coach, all condemned me when I initiated a dissolution of a relationship over a life-threatening dealbreaker.

Despite my efforts to overlook her occasional off-color comments (which I sometimes make myself), while focusing exclusively on her maalos, I noticed an immutable red flag when she stated how she felt it was important that her husband partake in her family’s weekly connoisseurship of fine wines and schnapps by Shabbos and yom tov meals. I then disclosed that I take prescribed medications which make me mamash deathly allergic to drinking alcohol, and I’m only allowed to drink grape juice for a seudas mitzvah.

She told me she felt that was bizarre because everyone she knows makes Kiddush exclusively on alcohol. When I explained that my abstinence does not prevent me from reciprocating my frequent Shabbos meal hosts with semi-sweet red wines, she refused to acquiesce.

She then asked me if I could possibly stop taking my medications or have my doctor switch me to medications that have a stronger tolerance for alcohol. I told her that would be unlikely. I even offered her a printed copy of the HIPAA Bypass protocol to speak with my doctor, but she declined the offer and ordered me to “have faith in Hashem, not the poisonous anti-Torah medical establishment controlled by Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci.” What do Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci have to do with anything?

After that date, I called the shadchan to explain to her why the relationship wasn’t shayach and she became furious with me, demanding that I call the girl to apologize about the “alcohol joke” that offended her, and tell her I have a tolerance for mashkeh in order to continue the relationship.

My dating coach then angrily called me echoing the same concerns (the shadchan probably called to complain), explaining that I am a “hard sell” because of my social skills issues, and that marriage is a two-way street which requires making constant concessions to undesired results.

When I clarified to the dating coach that a trip to the Emergency Room in the middle of the Seder after I drink a sip of Manischewitz for the first kos is a one-way street, which is clearly too burdensome for the girl to handle, the phone line went dead.

In an effort to move on, I contacted two other shadchanim I’ve been in touch with to see if they had any shidduch ideas for me, but they replied to me that they overheard that I was “seriously busy” and that I was making a “grave mistake” for not continuing with this girl. Ironically, marrying someone who wants me to drink alcohol is a “grave mistake.”

Why can’t these shadchanim move on? Does having a social skills deficit truly make a couple more compatible than one’s capacity to handle their future spouse’s life-threatening health condition? If this girl feels tortured by my inability to drink alcohol, why won’t these shadchanim simply set her up with someone who enjoys drinking alcohol?

When did it become appropriate to lie on dates just to get someone to follow you to the chuppah?


Lies and deceit to get a shidduch is as old as time. When the truth finally comes out, in almost every case, the lie is almost always justified. In other words, the end is somehow portrayed to justify the means. For example, there are halachic authorities that permit singles to shave off a few years in order to get a shidduch. This situation is so out of hand that in the cases where someone is truthful about their age, it is perceived to be a lie. I’ve lost count on the number of times I’ve suggested an older man or woman for a shidduch and the other party automatically assumes they deducted about five or ten years. The world of sheker is so topsy turvy that a lie can be accepted as truth, and a truth accepted as a lie.

A huge problem develops when the deceived party discovers the truth and the relationship is for all intents and purposes, destroyed. It’s a horrible feeling for someone to find out that they’ve been taken for a ride. Rejecting someone who takes prescription medication for a health issue is a major factor in shidduch dating to the extent that it has created a phenomenon where there are singles of all ages who refuse to disclose it even after they are married. There are plenty of cases where the married person who deceived his or her spouse in assuming that they were not on medication, privately consumed the drug when their spouse did not see. In most of these cases when the truth came to light, the marriage tragically ended.

And then there are situations where a person may feel deceived by something that might be considered frivolous, yet is serious enough to them to warrant ending a relationship: the use of hair dye to disguise grey or red hair, clothes to appear thinner, shoes to appear taller, contacts instead of glasses, are just some of the examples. There is no limit to the stories I hear from daters who have been rejected because of something they did not think was important enough to disclose. Sometimes the nondisclosure is unintentional due to (bad) advice or because it didn’t feel important enough.

I am happy to hear that you disclosed your use of prescription medications on your dates, and that you ended the relationship with the young lady because she insisted that you drink alcohol even though it can have life-threatening consequences to your health. That was a very mature and intelligent decision. Pay no mind to whom you consider “three major shadchanim,” or your dating coach that condemned you for your determination in doing what is right for you. My advice is to sever ties with those four individuals and move forward.

My concern is your claim that other “major” shadchanim are echoing the other two. Since you keep using the word “major” as it relates to shadchanim, please bear in mind that there is no such thing. There are active shadchanim and those who perform shadchanus part-time. There is no such thing as a monopoly on singles, and any shadchan, whether active or not, is aware of most of the candidates looking for a shidduch. What could be going on is that the young lady you dated may have shared with people that she was in a relationship with you yet did not update them on the status at present. I’m not sure why the two other shadchanim you reached out to thought it was not a serious enough issue for you to walk away, other than perhaps it was their lack of knowledge about the dangerous effects of mixing drugs and alcohol.

You asked if two people having social skills deficits makes a couple more compatible than handling the other’s life-threatening health condition, the answer is not necessarily. I also do not agree that just because one person has social skills deficits, they must only be matched with someone who is diagnosed with the same issue. In fact, years ago before these findings became known, it was not uncommon to see marriages between people where one of the partners seemed socially different than the other. In the present, because everything now has a name and label attached to it, there are shadchanim who feel inclined to match people based on their diagnosis, while sometimes ignoring other characteristics.

Similarly, I’m not sure why your dating coach felt the need to “explain” that you are a “hard sell” because of your social skills issues. There is no such thing as making concessions in your marriage where your life and safety are concerned. There is no “two-way street” on safety regarding this aspect. Any person who would insist that you place your life in danger to please them is definitely not marriage material.

It sounds like you have wasted too much time on this matter. You dated a lady who was insensitive to your needs. You cleverly walked away from the situation. You are getting push-back for your decision by unfairly having your social skills thrown in your face, and you are trying to make sense of it all by deciphering the opinions and bullying tactics of those who challenged your choice. There is an old saying: “find another playground to play in.” Find a new shadchan and dating coach in a completely different location. Ignore the naysayers and continue to be honest about your diagnosis and disclosure of prescription medications. Bow to no one, and do not accept any condemnation for doing what is right. You ask why these shadchanim cannot move on. The only one who needs to move on is you. n


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. Baila also produces and hosts The Definitive Rap podcast for 5townscentral.com, vinnews.com, Israel News Talk Radio, and WNEW FM 102.7 FM HD3, listenline & talklinenetwork.com. She can be reached at Bsebrow@aol.com.


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