Jan 28, 2012
My Non-Traditional Shidduch
Illustration photo by Israel Bardugo

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.

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Opinions and Comments
A must read for everyone, B.T. or FFB, single or married! May Hashem Yisborach bless you and your chosson with a binyan adei od, and kol tuv b'gashmiyus ubruchniyus.
(1/28/2012 4:05:09 PM)
BT life
If you are a BT then i suggest especially to go threw the normal system. it will only work BETTER for them down the line when the marrige really starts!
(1/28/2012 6:40:32 PM)
what exactly is your point?
(1/28/2012 6:46:05 PM)
congrats to you!
(1/28/2012 6:48:32 PM)
Take the initiative!
I'm very impressed with this young lady's common sense & ability to think outside the box. I agree, people must start looking beyond the confines of "acceptable" (whatever that means!)

There's nothing wrong with parents making their kids Shidduch....my machateniste-to-be & I did just that, after meeting by chance. We are old friends, & we got talking about our children & decided at the end of our conversation to call a professional Shadchan & see where it would go. We both were 100% certain that it would work (how, I couldn't tell you) & B"H the wedding is very soon!

We both tell the details of the story to everyone we know (you probably know who we are!) just to show people that they should never miss an opportunity to "present" their child...or someone else's! It may be embarrassing at first to "advertize" but we are living proof that you may miss making a shidduch if you allow your own discomfort to stop you from speaking. Many times, people you meet (even casually) don't know you have a wonderful child who is ready to get married. Don't be shy!!

Wishing all Chabad families many simchos!

(1/28/2012 7:04:38 PM)
Thank you
So nice tio hear the happy side of life too.
(1/28/2012 7:16:14 PM)
This is the way to look at the shidduch process!!
(1/28/2012 8:12:45 PM)
to #3
what are you confused about? did you read the article or just look at it? The point is to be proactive about shidduch, dont just sit around and wait for it happen. This can be applied in mostly all areas of life.
(1/28/2012 9:22:30 PM)
thank you!
very informative article....
i have never even considered the fact that a baal(as) teshuva does not have the support of his/her family and can sometimes even be discouraged by the family as they do not understand the whole religious dating system. thank you very much for sharing you're experience so that i can learn to respect people and have a bit more of an understanding of what they are going through.

It is also nice to read about you're taking a "break" from the shiduch "rituals".... sometimes we just have to "let go" and let G-d run the show for us.....

Mazal Tov!
may you and you're future husband always be happy and healthy together.
(1/28/2012 9:27:29 PM)
to no. 2
what do you mean? Is this so out of the system? It is still quite the system. a shlucha sent her a profile so instead of doing the research herself are you suggesting that it should have gone through her shadchan or parents? no , i think she did the most sensible thing. Boruch Hashem and Mazel Tov to the author. i suggest children, at a certain age onwards(perhps 23) ask their parents which names are coming up and if they can be helping in the research, perhaps they will be interested to someone the parents dropped. I
(1/28/2012 9:41:56 PM)
The point of this article:


It's not about being a "pro" or your job.

#2 Be proactive.

#3 Relax!


BTW, skype idea? AWESOME! Before making a guy spend $500+ and the time for the trip, have a skype date!

(1/29/2012 12:46:45 AM)
Thanx for the helpful advice in regards to making shidduchim. I a not a Shaddchan however I so much enjoy going to Shidduchim meetings. These meetings are beneficial for my own shidduchim aged kids as well as for trying to make Shidduchim for others. Every so now and then I wonder if I should be attempting to get involved with setting up Shidduchim for I am NOT a professional Shaddchan. However, with articles as this one I am truly encouraged to continue to try and hey I almost landed one! It is honestly an enjoyable thing to do, it makes a lot of people happy and could definitely be considered a perfect hobby. It is always helpful to get advice from a Shaddchan especially if you get close to actually finalizing a Shidduch but on the long run its a wonderful challenge and YOU can do it! Hatzlocho Rabba!
(1/29/2012 4:30:12 AM)
It is unfortunate that many baalei tshuva are forced to call references and look for their own shidduchim. No t everybody feels comfortable doing this. I know a number of baalei tshuva who married later because it took them a few years to build up this confidence.
This is the way many must approach shiduchim. Baal tshuva seminaries/ yeshivos help for a while, but once they have left the yeshiva system they all too often end up on their own.

(1/29/2012 5:11:25 AM)
i also hav a hashgacha pratis story
cuz i just let Hashem do his thing..........& cant stop thanking hashem for my dtr in law!
(1/29/2012 8:49:47 PM)
please share your story too!
(1/29/2012 11:18:15 PM)
sleep and jump
hey number 11
your advice is not so clear
Relax and Be Proactive.
(1/29/2012 11:27:30 PM)
I commend this very level headed and realistic young woman and wish her mazal tov and a very nachas filled and happy future.
i believe that young people should approach shidduchim in a pragmatic,proactive and realistic way.Romantic notions are just that -notions and the stuff of fairy tales ,not real life.The man or woman of your dreams does not exist as you dreamt them up ,so how could they?
If you meet a decent,kind person with the right values with whom you share common goals and aspirations ,and with whom you feel some connection ,you can then have a happy marriage.And love grows as you share a life together.As long as there is a sense of mutual respect and a sense of humour(vital) you should have a happy marriage.Hatzlacha to everyone looking for a shiddach.Hashem should answer your tefilos.
(1/30/2012 1:56:33 AM)
so cool
thats what its about, making your life not waiting for others to do it for you
(1/30/2012 10:29:26 AM)
Congratulations to you!!!
Congrats to you on the engagment and on taking action

Your lucky this article is confidential because there are people out there who would tell you to step back not say or do anything and let hashem take care of it but we all know that out part is very important as well
(1/31/2012 6:04:40 PM)
mazel tov!
I like your attitude, and your chayos! Now just imagine to throw into the formula being a older, divorced BT-- not so simple, but your advice is still shyich, minus parents' assistance (but of course, they're helping from Shamayim) please have this special category of singles in mind under the chupah!
(2/3/2012 11:33:39 AM)
Our responsibility
Yashar koach and very belated mazel tov, as I just read this. I would like to add, that when we are mekarev people to Yiddishkeit, our responsibility does not end when we send them off to learn.... We should look for shidduchim for them, and we should be the ones offering to check their references for them! My husband and I have always felt that our mekurovim deserve the same mentshlichkeit in this as do our own children
(5/30/2013 1:28:01 AM)
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