Aug 22, 2010
Who Is He Really Marrying
Shidduchim SOS: My father wants this bochur, my mother wants that family. And the shadchan thinks I'm the one who is picky.
My friend called me. I couldn’t miss the frustration in her voice. Her parents were pressuring her to drop the person she barely began dating. Why? Ummm, they weren’t crazy about him.
I’m giving someone a lift home. My passenger’s phone rings and he almost shouts, “I’m telling you, he comes from a good family. She’s marrying him—not you!"
These two incidents within a week and my suspicions based on personal experience are confirmed. Well-meaning parents are making shidduchim and marriage more difficult for their children.
You see, it all starts with parental expectations and social pressures. Mother wants a handsome son-in-law to proudly present to the Bubbies. Father wants an Ohelei Torah type of bachur because it’s the wavelength he’s comfortable with. Mother would be so embarrassed if the mechutanim family is on the “nebach” side. Father wants a well-established family, because why settle for less?
And then, the shadchan wonders why I’m picky.
No, you mean my parents.
All I asked for was a goodhearted, mentslich, mekushar boy, and I tossed in some adjectives for personality type.
With each suggestion, my parents found something “not so shayach for our daughter.” I tried explaining that I’m totally cool with it and wouldn’t mind meeting the boy after checking out the references.
My parents’ constant response: “No, not him. We’re not chas v’shalom desperate! Hashem will send your bashert who we’ll all be happy with.”
Wait, you can’t be serious. What happened to all the nice talk about wanting ME to be happily married? And what about that no one is perfect but Hashem? Oh, and remember how you explained that it’s the boy’s middos tovos that are priority?
Parents--- it is time to stop lamenting how “Uch ‘n Vey, there’s such a shidduch crisis.”
It’s time for parents to re-evalutate. Are you making it harder for your child’s bashert to reach him/her? Are you putting up meaningless barriers based on the things YOU want for your child?
Yes, we absolutely know you want the best for us. But is the best based on your perception and desires? Will the looks, family status, background, or whatever else you want in your son/daughter-in-law really count to making this the spouse YOUR CHILD will be happy living with till 120?
To all the shadchanim out there, please do us a favor and be persistent. Names are not disposable. If a parent tosses a suggestion into the garbage heap and you feel there’s real potential, please ask to see if the CHILD agrees with the decision. After all, aren’t we big enough to get married?
Oh, and maybe some community leaders out there could arrange some inspirational lectures for our parents and shadchanim. I have this big gut feeling that if parents and matchmakers are reminded about priorities and the right way to handle shidduchim, a lot more people would be heading under the Chuppah.
I know a few older singles whose pained parents regret “missed opportunities.” If only they were more flexible a few years back…
Dear Ma and Ta, I do not want that to be us.