Monday, August 29, 2011

Historical Dating

The shidduch system is a long-known ally to my people. 

My siblings all wed through it. Via friends and relatives, none were through "professional" shadchanim. 

My parents were wed through it. A relative, as well.

My grandparents were wed through it. For one set, twice (second marriage after the war). Also, friends and relatives.

Simply put, my people know no other way to marry. 

Yet something has definitely changed. 

There are a few shadchanim who play it "old school"; no references, no photos, not even a meeting. These masters take matchmaking to an art form. They exaggerate, they push, they sell every individual, just to achieve the desired goal: a date. Not a marriage, a date.

A friend of my mother's was saying - and my mother was quite surprised and horrified to hear it - that the current method of "shadchanim" is to send to a marriageable male eight different girls' stats. 

That's not how the system works. A shadchan is supposed to call up a guy, gushing, "Have I got a girl for you!" (without the girl's knowledge, so she won't be hurt by a rejection) and proceed to sell her, and only her (not her cousin and classmate as well while she's at it). Then she calls up the girl and proceeds to do the same thing.
Asking a guy to select a girl like a card from a fanned deck? "Pick a card, any card." Um, no, then you are not a shadchan.


Tania said...

Love your comments. Nice Blog

Ish Yehudi said...

I really appreciate what you describe here, and I think it has a great many merits. I hope you can make it work for you this way too!

I do feel compelled to comment also that there is no single dating system, irrespective of the title. There is also no single way that shadchanim set people up, and there is no single way that people are supposed to meet their future spouses. In that vein, forcing everyone into a single system (whether it's resumes and stat-checking or selling a person by singing their praises by exaggeration) is limiting and often inappropriate for a great many people.

I feel that people should choose the ways that work for them, and then make it work for them (because that's what it is -for me!). Either that, or become flexible in terms of how people are brought together. Perhaps a bit of both would be the ideal.

Princess Lea said...

It's just that I hear so many people complaining about the shidduch system, that I wanted to clarify what the shidduch system actually IS. If people don't follow basic systemic etiquette, they are not abiding by the system and so cannot call it "the shidduch system."

When people follow the rules - meaning they already call up with the guy's yes and so forth - I am very happy with the system. Since they are actually following it.

iyhbyu said...

I could not agree more, I want to feel like you suggested this specific girl, because you think she has the potential to be a good match, not matching up a skirt and pants.

Princess Lea said...