Jul 1, 2010
Please Don't Fool Yourself
Shidduchim SOS: I may not be a good writer at all, but as a single girl, I would like to shed light on the supposed "shidduch crisis." If my message will get through to at least one person - it's all worth it.
As a single girl, I would like to bring up a subject of which is wide spread in our community and world in general. I would like to shed light on the supposed “shidduch crisis.”
Firstly, I do not believe there is a real crisis. I’ve read so many articles in which people easily blame one party or another. Truthfully, they all have a point, but seem to be missing the main point. The real problem is not the shadchanim, not really the parents, and not really the system.
The problem is the amount of single people and the changing of generation without the changing of ‘the system.’ This is not a crisis. We can change the amount of single people over 23. Whats happening in the Gulf is a crisis, it's a disaster and nobody seems to be able to stop it. This ‘crisis’ is curable and solvable.
I will address a couple different ‘issues’ which I believe can be solved, and will give you my take on the matter.
“Too many girls and not enough boys.”
This technically does stand true if you were to take numbers and ages into consideration. Putting that aside, there is somebody out there for everyone. Not every boy thats 22 or 23 has to marry a girl thats younger than themselves, and the other way around.
People have to realize the dynamic of our generation and the difference from the previous generations. People have to stop focusing on the details and start looking for the right person for them, not the right person for their standards or desires. Standards, desires, rules of attraction can all change. But hopefully the person you are striving to be and the house you would like to build shouldn’t change and you should try to find the right person based on that. All the other details, how short, long, fat, skinny, what type of family etc. will fall into place after. First look for the right person, then look for the details. When you’re shopping, you first find the item you want and then look for the right color. Once the deciding factors are there, you have to meet the person first before you decide he/she is too short, long, fat, or skinny etc. If its the right person these things won’t matter. When all is said and done, what will keep a marriage together is not neccesarily the love and attraction. That comes and goes. It is what you share together, your family and house that you’ve built together, what you’ve put in, and of course the middle man, Hashem.
Our generation is very different to the previous generations. For instance, many years ago, the children were at their parents finger tips. Parents raised their children in a certain way, and thats how the children turned out. So by the age of eighteen, when the parents went out looking for a suitable match, they found the ‘right one’ within the year. The community was closer-knit and like I said, the children were at their parents finger tips, it worked, and people were happy. Today we are still using the same method but not taking into consideration the changes that have gone through the youth of this day and age.
A NEW WORLD
Our world became so much more open and complex. Children do what they want, see what they want, and act how they want. Everything is out there. Free choice has never been so easy and accessible.
By the age of eighteen children are already out of the house and pretty much doing their own thing. We hope and pray that they make the right choices, but other than that it is out of our hands. Some people get lucky and find the right person as soon as they are ready, and for many it doesn’t turn out that way. The older one gets, the more set in their ways and opinions they become. Once a person is 22 or older they start becoming a person on their own. As much as parents try to help and participate and shadchanim throw names out, there seems to be little luck.
I’ve discussed this ussue with many people, and they agreed. Many were very eager to say, so then we should have ‘mingling sessions.’ I for one, do not believe in that, simply because, the system we have set up now, is for a reason, and the Rebbe supported it and wanted it that way. I am not saying that the system of matchmakers and getting set-up is a whole bunch of garbage. I just think it has to be looked at from a different angle.
I do not think mingling is a solution. It’s not in compliance with our values and standards. It may work for some, but meeting somebody of the opposite gender face to face in a casual way doesn’t solve the problem.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S BEST?
The problem is that there’s too many middle people like parents and shadchanim, meanwhile, the person that needs the shidduch is the ‘single 23 year old.’
Keeping the idea of ‘the older you get the more of your own person you become’ in mind, shadchanim and parents just seem to get in the way. Why can’t they even get one normal person to even look into me? If I know and feel what will work for me best, shouldn’t I be the one looking? I do not think that the shadchanim are doing an adequate job, logically so, what more do you expect? There are so many people the Shadchanim are looking for and they don’t even know most of them. How can you demand and expect them to find you the right person. That could take decades.
Another point I’ve come across through the years is, so many people say, ‘I never thought I would marry a guy like my husband, I got everything I wanted and more, She wasn’t what I was looking for but she’s the right person for me, etc...’ What I’ve come to realize is that, we don’t really know what we want, or what will make us happy. Hashem is the only one that knows what is best for us. What we want has nothing to do with whom we are going to marry. If you are a G-d fearing person, it's pretty simple because that's what it boils down to. Hashem directs the steps of man. I am not implying to just sit and do nothing then and to just go out with anybody because ‘you never know.’
People also have very specific qualifications. Some say they will only be able to go out with a girl that is pretty and skinny. Many people shun that. I have no interest in putting up a fight about that. All I can say is that it is completely brainless, and narrow minded. If your looking for a barbie doll, go to Vegas. Be true to yourself and be a man. Of course you want a pretty girl. Keep in mind that pretty doesn’t neccesarily mean a size two.
At first glance, a thin girl with a nice amount of make-up looks pretty, and maybe so. However, there is so much more to a pretty person than their size or amount of make-up. That is something you can only see when you meet a person face to face and spend time with them. Someone that really knows true beauty won’t limit it to a size or color. Go meet the person and if their size bothers you, you may be vain, or it may be G-d’s way of saying, ‘she’s not for you.’
Don’t fool yourself and say that a person’s looks that you see at first glance or hear about through a third person is your deciding factor We all have things that bother us or irk us, but its impossible to make that judgement until you meet a person. If you are going to say that big beards bother you, or you can’t marry a fat girl. Ok. But don’t say your looking for a husband or wife, you are looking for a compnaian thats nice to look at. If you would like to get married for the right reasons, which are to build a jewish home, then stay truthful to yourself and then everything will fall into place. You want to get married to build a home, what kind of home do you want to build? What are your most important values? What type of wife or husband will you be?
Those are the things to take into consideration. All the physical aspects to a person that you’re saying will or won’t work for you, how do you know? You know what looks and what personality is best for you? Do you believe in yourself more than you believe in G-d? First look for the right person to build a home with. If you can’t stand the way they look, or how loud or quiet they are, then they are obviously not for you. But those are not things you can not rule out before you meet a person. There are so many different facades to a person, you can’t possible decide if a person is right for you based on the physical aspects of them that you’ve heard about. Go out with the person and if it really bothers you that much, than it is obviously not for you.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Beauty is not in the size of a person or in the opinion of your mothers friend who knows the person. Beauty is something that each person sees for themselves, and the only way to really decide is by going out and meeting them. I understand you may want a pretty girl, please wait to go out to decide that. Don’t diminish yourself to a machine that craves barbies. I wouldn’t want to go out with someone like that anyways. Besides, its funny to see how people’s body changes after they have a kid, and hopefully, if one has a healthy marriage that is based on more than just looks, the size of a person won’t make a difference.
If that is your main focus, I can’t see a marriage lasting like that. With G-d’s help, your wife will have kids and won’t look the same as she did when you first met her, but will she be a good mother? a good wife? a functional, healthy human being?
Those important aspects in a person have nothing to do with a person's looks.
WHAT REALLY MAKES YOU HAPPY
My main message is to the young adults out there that are still looking for the right person. Keep in mind to find out who the person is and what they want in life, and if you share the same or similar values, thats what really matters. A person can chose who they want to be, and their family doesn’t necessarily chose that for them. Stay open minded and true to your beliefs and values.
One of the reasons why people are picky about looks and physicality is because ultimately they want to be happy and they think that, that will make them happy.
What they are not realizing is that, what will make you happy is the person that you can build a happy life and home together with. It doesn’t hurt to go out with somebody, if you can’t find the beauty in them then move on. The best judge is yourself not your mother or Shadchan. I’m sorry but the mothers nowadays that are looking for a husband for themselves, are forgetting that the person they are looking into will never go for them.
I may not be a good writer at all, but I hope that my message has gotten through to at least one person, and its all worth it.