There is popular myth out there that it is easier to be a boy in shidduchim than a girl.
I am a (lucky) mother to have both a son and a daughter is shidduchim. Although it is a lot quieter on my daughter’s end (which can be a challenge too), shidduchim takes a lot more of a toll on my son. Dating frequently is very time-consuming and emotionally-draining, not to mention expensive. He is often required to travel in to the girl (up to five hours of driving there and back). Also, the overflow of names given to him first just means a lot more “nos” given to the boy’s side. Although boys are meant to be less sensitive, rejection is always hurtful. Once the dating begins, my son also has a lot more responsibility, such as carrying the conversation, deciding on a suitable venue, etc.
I think the boys deserve more validation and sensitivity. What are your thoughts?
In order to properly address this analysis, I believe three qualifications are in order.
First, setting aside any universal postulations as to why this is the case, and extrapolating only from my own experiences and observations, it appears to be an unassailable fact that young men, as a collective group, are in possession of a substantial advantage vis-à-vis the primary objective in shidduchim. Namely, getting dates. Without dates, one is in no position to get married, and single men in shidduchim largely have myriad more opportunities for dates – be they good ideas or bad ones – whereas single women often suffer from a painful dearth of attention and activity. Indeed, the third sentence of the narrative provided essentially states as much.
Second, and as is with almost all sweeping statements, the above is merely a generality, and is thus not inevitably applicable to any one individual. As such, as undeniable a reality as I feel the aforementioned assertion is, it is equally indisputable that some single women receive more suggestions than they know what to do with, and some single men find themselves presented with very few propositions to pursue. Accordingly, it is rather inadvisable to leap to the conclusion that because someone in shidduchim is male or female, their experiences must therefore be in sync with whatever is most common for the majority of their peers.
Third, what is or is not easy is contingent on each person’s constitution and that which they personally find to be challenging or disconcerting, versus that which comes naturally or is just not perceived as aggravating. For some, a prolonged period during which no dates are obtained can be exceedingly worrisome, and for others, it is handled with calm and composure. For some, having to rifle through numerous profiles and make a determination is overwhelming and enervating, and for others, it is an exercise which can be handled with straightforward methodology. Similarly, while rejection hits hard for some, for others, a “no” to a first date simply means returning to their massive mountain of profiles and picking out another appealing alternative. For some, the peripatetic demands and economic burdens of sustained dating can be extremely taxing and strenuous, and for others, it is not particularly bothersome or financially problematic. It is all very much a subjective realm.
What is not idiosyncratic, however, is that for the vast majority of those in shidduchim, there will be some aspect that is not quite serene. It may be an exiguousness of prospects; the tension of uncertainty along the way; the physical, emotional, and mental strain of dating numerous different people before securing a suitable spouse; a crushing break-up at the precipice of engagement; or purely the task of dating itself. Dating, like marriage, is not easy. And no different from anything else worth having, and that is a life-transforming occurrence, it takes work.
Consequently, when the question is asked, “Is it true that single men have it easier in shidduchim?” the answer depends entirely on what is being considered. If the topic at hand is confined to the very specific arena of who is usually proffered with more options, then yes, many single men have it easier. Contrastingly, if the question is meant to be broader, and is being asked on a global scale, then the answer could very well be no, as anyone in shidduchim may be under notable duress until such time as they are standing beneath a canopy side-by-side with their betrothed.
Correspondingly, and returning to the original inquiry introduced, I would heartily agree that single men and women are both deserving of unencumbered support and unconditional commiseration for any distress or apprehension they may have related to shidduchim.
That said, on a practical level, much like an impressively slender person bemoaning their need to lose three pounds, care must be taken how and from whom empathy is sought. For as long as the person being spoken to is convinced that they have it worse, one will find little approval or appreciation following the airing of misfortunes. Analogously, regardless of how credible the personal hardship is for one who is going out every week, someone else who is struggling to get a date at all may have little room in their heart to endorse or comprehend the adversities which accompany a horde of dating opportunities. Conversely, friends or family who are not in a situation that would leave them inclined towards being oppositional should be more than capable of providing proper encouragement and understanding, and are probably the best source from which to seek commensurate compassion.
May the Gibor L’Olam grant fortitude and endurance to all those who are undertaking the monumental mission of finding their zivug hagon v’nachon.