The Shidduch Crisis – Whose Fault Is It?

by | Nov 19, 2018 | Dating Perspectives | 0 comments

I often am asked by singles, shadchanim (matchmakers), and members of the community, why we have such a dating dilemma? Why are our singles finding it so difficult to settle down, often at older and older ages? Why are marriages not lasting as long as they once did? Who is at fault? How can we as a community help rectify this so that our singles quickly find long lasting relationships they so deeply desire? The answer typically depends on who you ask:
  • Shadchanim (Matchmakers): Our singles are too too picky. The don’t give good options a chance and aren’t willing to push their comfort zone. We live in an entitled generation and if it doesn’t come in the package they want…they’ll just ship it back.
  • Singles: We’re not set up with the types of guys and girls that we describe. We wait for someone to think of us, only to be painfully disappointed and often insulted by their suggestion. Why does it feel like we are simply set up because one of us wears pants, the other a skirt, and we both happen to be single?
  • Guys: Girls have too many demands; their definition of a successful man is not realistic. They complain they don’t have dates, yet when they date a good guy they are quick to say “NO” and don’t give the relationship a chance.
  • Girls: Men are consumed with looks and if a woman “isn’t their look”, they don’t give it a chance. They have so many options that they rarely take the time to fully invest in their current relationship.
  • Parents: We’re willing to do anything and everything to our children married. (Yet when suggestions arise that are not quite what they had expected, they are often quick to encourage their children to move onto other option.) The Community at Large has shown great concern and interest in singles by arranging singles events, speed dating evenings, singles weekends, co-ed Shabbos meals, Shidduch initiatives etc. Yet with all the time and expenses invested, there is relatively little return. That said, who IS to blame? Who CAN fix this? Is it the increase in divorce that has led to poor role modeling for our singles? Is it the increase marriages with quiet and underlying dysfunction that have not charted for their children a healthy path to follow? Is it the children of widows and widowers who have no role model couples to emulate? Are today’s singles too busy building their careers to focus on dating and relationships? Is it that there are more women than men, or the spread between the average marriage age of boys and and girls?
  • In any disagreement, pointing fingers at one another will never resolve the conflict. All we can do is point to ourselves, take ownership, and make ourselves more whole, happy, healthy, flexible, and open-minded to another’s perspective.

    Whatever your beliefs, we should be in agreement that this is a huge problem and that there are unborn generations that we will never meet because of this painful reality. Generations that may have held the cure to cancers or answers to great Talmudic questions. There will never be one solution that will satisfy each and every gripe on this topic. What we can focus on as individuals is the work we all must do to bring us to where we need to be. In any disagreement, pointing fingers at one another will never resolve the conflict. All we can do is point to ourselves, take ownership, and make ourselves more whole, happy, healthy, flexible, and open-minded to another’s perspective. We need to look inside ourselves and see what we can grow, change, adapt and fix within us. Yes, we need to be more open minded to ideas that were outside our comfort zone. Yes, we need to seek help from therapists and dating coaches to figure out what may be holding us back from finding that right one. We probably do need to go out with someone who is shorter, older, or less educated than we may have liked. As matchmakers and friends, we need to listen with more sensitivity and have more compassion with less judgment. As a community, we need to discuss with our singles what they feel would be most beneficial to them. I don’t have all the answer, but what I do know is that if we get into the habit of pointing fingers at others for our struggles, if we play the victim, and don’t roll up our sleeves to do the hard work, we will never build. Let’s do that hard work of taking ownership to become greater versions of ourselves so that we can build healthier dating experiences, marriages, and communities. Leading by example in the shortest route to their longest relationship.

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