Jun 8, 2015
"Pressure-Cooker" Shidduch Time

Op-Ed: Dating before the summer months brings its own set of challenges, making a complicated process even more so.

By Devora Krasnianski - Founder and Director of Adai Ad Institute

Yossi and Leah

Yossi had summer plans that he was very excited about. First, he would spend 5 weeks as head counselor in a Gan Yisroel and then a few weeks of traveling to help Shluchim in some farflung, exotic destinations. He had worked out all the details months ago.

He found himself in a dilemma. He was in middle of dating Leah and there were only 13 days until his flight to camp. Things were going well enough. But it just didn't seem that they would be ready to get engaged within the week or so, with enough time for him to go to camp. Leah had a few things that she wanted to figure out.

Of course, normally Yossi would have given her as much time as she needed. But he had these amazing summer plans and he had the responsibility to the camp. He did start dating Leah more than 6 weeks before the first day of camp; that should have given him more than enough time to get engaged and be ready for camp. But here it was less than two weeks until camp, and .

The shadchan understood the problem too. If Yossi and Leah didn't figure this out quickly, they would either have to continue dating long distance (which makes everything more difficult), hold it off for two months, or So she decided that Leah needed a little pressure. After all, this was a perfect shiduch.

And so she called Leah directly. And put on the pressure. You know, it's almost summer; you both have summer plans. What's taking so long? You already met for five weeks. By now you should know yes or no. You have to figure it out in the next days or so.

So after an agonizing night, Leah just called it off. She couldn't make such a life decision with that kind of pressure. BH for her, her parents and family were supportive of her decision, and didn't try to push her in either direction.

Both Yossi and Leah each had a miserable summer. Yossi couldn't understand what went wrong, they got along so well, they had similar values and life vision. Leah felt bad for hurting him. And she kept second guessing herself.

So how does Leah and Yossi's story end? After many months of not dating anyone else, Leah finally got up enough nerve to ask another shadchan to approach Yossi again. And now they are married. Nice ending!

Mendel and Sara

Another story same beginning, but different ending. Mendel and Sara, both wonderfully accomplished, capable, well balanced young people from good homes, were dating for a just a short time in June. Summer plans loomed closely and they got engaged, even though they weren't 100% sure. Their parents and/ or mashpiim told them that nerves are common and nothing to really concern themselves with.

They each went onto their summer plans. With their very busy schedules and being in two different parts of the world, they barely had any time to really speak to each other. After the summer, Sara busied herself with wedding and apartment preparations and again they barely had time to talk.

So how does their story end? Not so well. There were many challenges. Two good people but not compatible. Put it this way, their initial apprehensions were based on real issues.

Dating needs a clear head

During dating, each party needs to be able to feel his and her thoughts and emotions. There is enough pressure in a normal dating experience; there is a lot to think about, a lot to process. Not only are they considering if this is a good match, they are also wrapping their head around the upcoming changes in their lives. And they need the space to begin that emotional connection with each other.

External pressures, such as summer plans or 'extended family is coming in for Gimel Tamuz so it is a good time for a lchaim' (or any number of other things), make it just that much more complicated. And too often even once is too often they make decisions just to shirk that pressure, to make others happy. And oftentimes, it is not for their best. And they pay for that pressure for the rest of their lives.

Every Shiduch plays out differently; and each one needs the head space to make good decisions.

The Adai Ad Institutes programs provide the necessary tools and insights for a strong and successful marriage starting with pre-shiduchim, continuing through the shiduch process and into the marriage itself. www.adaiad.org

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yasher koach to COL for this one
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you. you saved us.
(6/8/2015 10:00:40 PM)
No pressure anytime
I think you bring a great point that although it can be a bigger deal in the summer is really a year round issue. Pressure. For those that believe in pressuring a shidduch there will always be a reason to push the process. Tishrei, chanuka, yud shvat, chof beis shvat, another family wedding happening, no family weddings happening etc etc.

For those that are aware of the dangers of pressure they realize that it's okay to take some time for dating. It's okay to take some time away, or carry on a long distance for a few weeks. It's okay that your great uncle who came in for gimul tamuz might miss the lechaim if you take your time to make this lifetime decision. Be smart and if it's meant to be, it will be.
(6/8/2015 10:13:56 PM)
Thank you..
Could not be said enough..Its not only summer but all year round. Many times people just need that space and more time which in so many cases are not given...
(6/8/2015 10:19:02 PM)
"wonderfully accomplished, capable, well balanced young people from good homes..." I would be more impressed if they were so fantastic from difficult homes. HaShem places a child in a given family so if the family is not chaotic and the child becomes another Lubavitch cookie cutter, congratulations, nice and easy.
(6/8/2015 10:24:34 PM)
Well written!
I must say, Chazak U'baruch to the author of this Op-Ed!
Secondly, I would like to add, it's impossible to know a person in 5 weeks. The whole "Date for a few months" thing is ridiculous. Date for at least 6 months, and date often. It takes a long time to know the person as a whole, and not seeing the whole person and getting married to them is highly risky. (Even if it doesn't show, there could still be major problems in the marriage.)
Good luck to all the people who are dating, and make sure to keep a level head and NEVER EVER kneel under peer pressure.
Best of luck, hope you find your soul mate. :)
(6/8/2015 10:26:24 PM)
Yossi & Leah

Option #3 could have been NOT bring a head counselor that summer and finish dating the girl of his dreams....
(6/8/2015 10:32:10 PM)
Exactly what we may be about to go through!
Sure hope my sons shadchans reading this one!
Thank you!
(6/8/2015 10:43:24 PM)
Giving time and space is so essential..It also shows your willingness to give in life.
Manny times its not just the time of year but one of the sides are not willing to give the extra time needed...we hear it happen often how one side calls the shidduch off because they went out 10 times and their date is not ready...or needs time to work it through. (There is a reason the Rebbe said when dating, take as much time as you need, but have a short engagement) If you really like the other person then would it not make any sense to give them the ample time and space THEY need?...After all, it is a life changing decision, one they have never made before. Besides wouldn't you be happier if you knew that when they made that decision, they made it with confidence, with clarity, and they were ecstatic to choose YOU?
(6/8/2015 10:49:08 PM)
solution please?
I agree. So what should one do if it is 2 weeks before the summer and one has just started dating/about to start etc?
Cancel summer plans? Let down Shluchim? cancel the expensive flights?
or postpone shidduch... maybe permanently :/
or ask him/her to follow you to your exotic destination?
catch 22.
(6/8/2015 11:05:45 PM)
To #9
One should not start dating if one has summer commitments two weeks henceforth. You can do your research, exchange dor yeshurim numbers, and plan to date as soon as summer commitments end. If one of the parties doesn't have plans, they should be open to date someone else should something come up in the interim. Obviously, what Hashem has planned for them both is what will happen.

Great article. Thank you so much!
(6/8/2015 11:25:05 PM)
Literally anxious
Sure let's put undue pressure on Leah, how DARE she not know she wanted to spend the rest of her life with someone after 5 weeks! Literally this whole system could use so much reforming. It's wonderful at it's core but come on, People need to take a breathe and do what is best for them.
(6/8/2015 11:26:51 PM)
Giving time while dating
Heads Up - best advice while dating don't give any pressure to one another. Understand that this is the biggest decision in ones life and it's only normal to give the person as much time needed. If you end up putting on pressure it can easily break up the potential shidduch. Dating is a nerve wrecking time in general - you have 2 strangers trying to get to know each other..you have your mind racing with different thoughts on how you feel about each-other etc bringing up marriage to fast can easily scare the other person and end things for no good reason.
(6/8/2015 11:30:09 PM)
to number 12
could not agree more! Why do things have to be so rushed
(6/8/2015 11:40:21 PM)
Intersting observation
The sentiment of giving each other the time they need seems to be repeated over and over in the comments above...I find it interesting...as I happen to know someone that was dating and although interested in the shiduch working out there was somethings that person needed to work through before being ready to take it to the next step...and said that they are going to need a few more dates, being that they already dated multiple times the shidduch was called off.
Although we know its bashert, while your dating let it play out verses jumping to conclusions unless your saying no for other reasons...If its your potential bashert why would you allow the need for time to get in the way?
(6/8/2015 11:53:56 PM)
thank you for writing this much needed article
so often a good shidduch is put to an end because of time pressure. This is a very stressful and unnatural way to date. If you care about someone (possibly your potential spouse) give them the time they need to feel comfortable.
(6/9/2015 12:02:36 AM)
These are great examples of why the rebbe encouraged us to have Mashpiim
Both my wife and myself would not have been READY with out the clarity given by a independent person - Mashpia
(6/9/2015 12:05:40 AM)
Pressure is never good! Those in a Shidduch need to feel that they are making the right decision, and from what I have seen, couples who are rushed into making a decision, regret their choice later on.
(6/9/2015 1:00:19 AM)
to add to the point
When I was dating years ago, and still had doubts in my third round with the same Bochur, and fourth date of that year, the Rebbe answered, by you and (many?) others, 4 times is not enough, go out again!
(6/9/2015 1:32:58 AM)
A shadchan
Years ago I dated my soon-to-be chosson once a week.
For a few weeks.

Time spent processing dates is as important as the dates themselves.
Internalizing ideas that have been exchanged on dates is as important as the dates themselves.
Downtime is as effective as the dating itself.
Please don't rush to see each other without a week or at the very least a long weekend or a good few days in between one date and the next.
Even every other day is too taxing on the decision making process.
As this letter indicates, this is not something to ever rush.
Having said this:
After PROPER dating,
Do not date ENDLESSLY :come to a decision.
Within a month or two at most.
There is not much left to be said after 8-13
After this period of time you are armed with enough 'ammunition' to make a clear decision.
Especially seeing as most dates run 7-8 hours long.
Do the math.



Remember shidduchim are a leap of faith always.
Even under the best circumstances.

Trust in Hashem

After this period of time if you are still 'dating'
Be honest with yourself -
ask yourself :why?
If youre enjoying your time... it becomes girlfriend and boyfriend which is and ....you will have your whole life to 'hang out':
...Indeed you are ready to get engaged
And if after all this time you're still unsure:
Take a break
And see how that feels.
Mazel Tov.


(6/9/2015 3:08:02 AM)
Give us a break already.
Too much advice and the system is still out of kilter.
(6/9/2015 6:11:03 AM)
We put so much pressure on ourselves trying to fit in with time constraints in life in general,that we just need to stop and see that the world hasn't fallen apart when we stop and smell the roses.Make sure to follow your heart,your logic and everything will fall into place.
(6/9/2015 7:37:01 AM)
We try not to date for 6months
Unfortunately even the biggest tzadikim have tavas the longer u date the more comfortable you get with one another and unfortunately might do things that are not appropriate. The shorter (not saying 2 dates) but the shorter the dating and engagement period is the less tava or the easier it is not to give in to your tavas. Wishing everyone in this process and easy and smooth darning process al derech hatorah. May we be reunited with our Rebbe before Gimmel Tammuz!
(6/9/2015 7:49:30 AM)
to #5 really?
"Date for at least 6 months, and date often." says who? . I happened to have dated for 2 weeks. After that me and my wife were both ready, with no outside pressure at all. We are happily married with children.
I know it generally does not work that fast, but it is not correct to say: "it is impossible to know a person in 5 weeks.
There were no surprises in my case, everything I saw in my husband, is what I got.
On the other hand, you can have people dating for 6 months, and then when they get married the marriage goes sour.

Good luck to all those dating. Don't let any pressure in the world make your decision,not your parents, the shadchan,he/she is ready, it has to come from you.
(6/9/2015 9:29:10 AM)
So what do you suggest to someone in such a situation?
(6/9/2015 10:22:49 AM)
To 24
In a situation where one or both of the people involved in the shidduch are not ready to commit (with a longer than 2 week break in between) the shidduch should be temporarily broken off, with the understanding that of both parties are still "free" and interested after the summer, they will return to this idea.
(6/9/2015 10:31:12 AM)
my son dates
every week and when it comes this time of year everyting almost shuts down till elul
(6/9/2015 10:31:58 AM)
It's sad..I have at least 3 friends that felt they had met their bashert but needed a lot of time. And because of pressure from one side it was called off. 2 out of the 3 ended up getting back together after a few months. So be careful first time around instead of wasting time. Why is it that 6 dates in our system things get so serious.
(6/9/2015 11:00:42 AM)
Citizen Berel

""wonderfully accomplished, capable, well balanced young people"

Either this isn't true, is true by some weird definition or they did not get divorced. Marriage is supposed to work cause you make it work.

People don't get divorced because the aren't 'compatible.' That's modern gibberish.

One or both have issues, most often one, but no preference to gender, in every case I've heard of or seen.
(6/9/2015 11:18:48 AM)
The Head Counselor Type.
It's for these reasons that I stay away form head counselors for my daughters!
When you date to fiend your Bashert that should be your # 1
(6/9/2015 11:38:45 AM)
times have changed!
We had a similar situation years ago in our family: bochur was scheduled to work at camp, his parents accepted an offer a few weeks before the camp started. BH there was no drama--they liked each other, got engaged quickly, and married in the fall. Happy ending for all, BH.
While we all agree that people should not be pressured into the biggest decision of their lives, I wonder what is taking these young people so long to decide? 6 weeks x twice a week=12 dates. If the answer is "no", one should know by then.
(6/9/2015 11:54:05 AM)
Let's remember the simple principle of dating:
We date to find out IF we feel comfortable with ourselves while we're around the other person.
We take a break to find out HOW MUCH we feel for the other person.

A couple who are meant to be together will end up together, while a couple who aren't, will end it. That's what bashert means. That's what hashgacha protis means. That's what trust in G-d means as taught by the Baal Shem Tov.
(6/9/2015 1:06:04 PM)
what is a good reason to call off a shidduch?
(6/9/2015 1:24:58 PM)
why didn't Yossi ask Leah to go out after camp
(6/9/2015 2:04:34 PM)
Shidduchim today
I wonder what constitutes no pressure?
Is there ever a thought to what is our value system?
When, if ever, is too much?
Perhaps along with paying the shadchan we also need to make sure that the young people have a dating coach, a mashpia who is willing to give the time needed.
Making such a huge decision of whom to marry is fraught with pressure. No matter what!! And there is no getting away from that.
We are talking about children who were brought up in frum chassidish homes, and who want to build such homes.
It needs to be done the best way possible for that individual young person.
(6/9/2015 4:49:11 PM)
Pressure is good
Agreed with some previous comments,
that this is not necessarily a "summer" problem.
As with any situation in life a certain amount of pressure is vital to decision making.
And this decision is no different .
(6/9/2015 4:51:27 PM)
You gotta be kidding..
No. 5 did you say SIX months?? Oy vey. no wonder we are having issues in the Shidduch world! Going out for 6 months will NOT help, in any which way, to get to know each other any better than the traditional 2-6 weeks. I honestly don't know when this "mishigas" started but no where is it helpful to try to really really get to "know" someone - it only creates tension and gives TOO much time to look with that microscope at the invdividual's chesronos (and who doesn't have any) whereas when you date for a decent amount of time, you STILL get to know enough about each other, if you are compatible, get along well, attracted to one another,same spiritual outlooks etc. then you DON'T need pressure but a "someone" Mashpia, the Shaddchan, a parent to HOLD YOUR HAND and take the "yes intimidating" but very vital, very necessary, and very BENEFICIAL leap into marriage, which will certainly be blessed by Hashem for you are marrying for the right reasons and hence it will be the RIGHT ONE! Hatzlocho to all singles and try to work out a system that one can somehow differently date through the summer...
(6/10/2015 1:45:32 AM)
did yossi and leah give shadchanus gelt to the first shadchan also?
(6/10/2015 5:47:57 PM)
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