Jan 28, 2012
My Non-Traditional Shidduch
Shidduchim SOS: "Nothing was working out for me, I couldn't even get a date. I was down in spirit and so I decided I was going to take a break and just see where life takes me."
By Yocheved for COLlive
Like many other girls my age, I was on a journey to find my true Bashert. And, also like many other girls, I have gone through the trials and hardships of shidduch dating and all the disappointment it can lead to.
I have gone on good dates, bad dates, so-so dates, and incredible dates. I have heard stories of girls dating for years to find their true bashert and I have friends who have dated only one guy, he being their bashert.
Shidduch dating is not easy, especially is you are a Baal Teshuva (BT). In our case there may or may not be someone else helping you with shidduchim and in many cases you are researching on your own and looking into names. Support is lacking from family, who doesn't understand why you want to get married so young and why the dating process is so short, and after you are engaged why the rush to the chuppah.
I was recently sitting at a Shabbos table and the conversation turned to shidduch dating. I was the only BT at the table and the only "experienced dater." Comments went back and forth on what girls are looking for or should be looking for, what goes on a profile.
"Wait! There is such thing as a shidduch profile?," one girl asked.
I, being the experienced dater at the table had to explain the process of having a profile and giving it to shadchanim and having references.
"What about a picture?," another girl asked.
Well, I said, its not necessary, but its nice to have one handy just in case.
Someone else at the table said "who is he to make shidduchim, its not his job."
"Wrong!" I said, "It is everyone's responsibility to constantly be on the look out to make shidduchim."
I explained that most shadchanim are in the business out of the kindness of their hearts and although they take on the responsibility of arranging matches, its not their only job and its not only their job, everyone needs to be on the look out.
A few months ago I had enough with shidduchim.
Nothing was working out for me, I couldn't even get a date. I was down in spirit and so I decided I was going to take a break and just see where life takes me.
I had made it a practice to spend at least 30 minutes a day working on shidduchim related matters, whether that meant making phone calls to shachanim, reviewing new profiles, learning something extra, giving tzedakah, or saying tehillim for shidduchim groups. I toned it down to saying tehillim and learning and just taking it easy. A break would be nice and it would give me a chance relax from all the shidduchim related stress!
Hashgucha pratis would have it that soon after I went on my shidduch break, a Shlucha I work for has forwarded me a blurb she found on the Shluchim network.
It was very vague and only had a short description of the bochur (not even a name) and a contact. I was iffy about this suggestion, especially because it was casually forwarded this to me without knowing what I was looking for in a husband.
However, I decided that if she took the time to send this to me I should at least look into this. I emailed the shlucha where the bochur is on shlichus and found out a bit more about him. After going back and forth a number of times, I was asked who the girl was that I was suggesting. I guess she thought I was also a shlucha too, so when I informed it was me who was interested. She was quite shocked.
I am a take charge kind of person, in a good way. I want things to progress and I don't like to wait for other people to do it for me. My mashpia was informed throughout the whole process of what was going on and she and the shlucha talked, however I did the research and communicating.
After initially talking to the bochur through email and skype we decided it was time to meet in person. He flew up to me and we went on a few dates, and then he asked me to come to him and meet his family. Right before I was due to fly back, he proposed and asked me to marry him. I said Yes! We were both over the moon! He flew back to where I was a week later, so we could go to the Ohel to thank the Rebbe for his brachos!
We are happily engaged and are due to get married in the near future, IY"H.
Sometimes, you have to take the initiative and not just rely on the conventional shadchanim.
I initially turned this match down, but with the help of a couple key people in my life I realized that what I want and I was actually looking for are two very different things and I could not let this opportunity pass me by.
You don't need to wait for someone else to make a match for you, talk with your friends, see who they know and who their parents may know. Utilize your resources, stay on top of your shadchanim, do your homework.
Spend time everyday on shidduchim related matters, take on extra tehillim, give more tzedaka, be proactive! I'm not saying everyone should and can make their own shidduch (there should always be someone who can be a a go-between), but its worth a try to use your resources.
Most people make a list of the qualities and traits they are looking for in a husband, but most people end up marrying someone that does not really fit their "want" list. HaShem will send you the person you need and hopefully what you really want. I am so blessed to have found my other half.
Hatzlacha rabbah to all of those still looking, may you find your other half in the right time and may you have revealed good and clarity in these matters.