Our child has been in shidduchim for eight months and has gone out a few times, but for some reason, the suggestions and dates do not seem to be on target. It is almost like we haven’t been able to effectively convey to people what it is that is right for our child, or perhaps we ourselves don’t even really know. How can we make sure that we have clarity of what our child is looking for, make sure that we are on the same page, and represent ourselves to others in an effective manner?
While I most certainly could be mistaken, assessing the narrative as it has been provided, there are two crucial components which seem to be manifestly absent throughout.
1. Much is said about honing in on what this dater is looking for, and what is right for them, but there is nary a mention of accurately grasping the essence of the dater themselves. This is not unusual. In short, while perceiving one’s self is putatively simple, that is not always the case. As such, often times, little to no introspection is devoted to ascertaining whether or not one is fully cognizant of themselves.
The difficulty this creates is that the starting point to unearthing that which is right for someone in a spouse, is first knowing one’s self. If one lacks a lucid definition of who they are, it would be quite the feat to correctly distinguish who and what it is that they need.
Correspondingly, if there is any noteworthy deficit in self-consciousness, I would strongly recommend seeking out a skilled dating coach to spend time with this dater, so that they may delve deep into the waters of discovery. It is not always a straightforward task, and it can take some delicate teasing out to unerringly reach clarity. Once that process has been worked through, it is possible that one may determine the reason they were being set up on dates which were so off-point was solely a result of communicating to shadchanim a depiction that was unintentionally flawed, and, in reality, they need something, and someone, vastly different.
2. The entirety of the chronicle is couched from a parent’s position. This makes me wonder, to what extent has the dater been included in this process, and if at all? If the parents and their child are not on the same page as to the needs of the actual dater, and if that dater has indeed been deprived of their opportunity – nay, their right – to present on their own behalf, or if their expressions are being discounted or overshadowed by those of their parent’s, it would come to me as no shock that the dates have been lackluster and discordant.
As critical as it is that parents have a presence in the dating process, it is their child that is dating, and who is the one that must be able to impress upon shadchanim that which they genuinely need and want. As such, if, in fact, the dater in this scenario is not being afforded their deserved opening to convey their own needs as primary, this upside-down script must be flipped as soon as can be.
That said, and not to diminish the conceptual veracity of the above, it is plausible that I have egregiously misread the situation. If so, and the dater here is truly in possession of an honest and comprehensive comprehension of themselves, and has been fully involved in the dissemination of information to shadchanim, I would like to offer the following.
1. It is not uncommon for there to be a period of acclimation before the suggestions of shadchanim are germane. Just as it is not easy to understand one’s self, it can be an equal challenge to understand someone else. Consequently, as shadchanim strive to get closer and closer to ideas which are wholly congruent, trial and error are regularly par for the course. And, as was mentioned a few weeks ago, sometimes, it just takes time to get there.
2. It may be worth sitting down with close friends, sharing with them the exchanges that have taken place with shadchanim thus far, and gathering their opinions as to whether the dialogue parallels how they would describe the dater. Notwithstanding one’s best efforts, it is conceivable that they are not employing the right set of words. Accordingly, one would then have to reframe their conversations so that the core of the dater, and that which the dater is looking for, are both properly supplied.
3. One might be delivering a suitable portrayal of that which they think they need, but the dates they go on evince a need for something else. It is not a rare occurrence for daters to think they have identified the imperatives – based on a precise mastery of themselves – only to later appreciate that they actually require something else. Again, trial and error. If dates are consistently incompatible, despite one’s having been set up with people who match the description they are transmitting, it may be worth taking a step back to reexamine whether one has a misconstrued picture of that which is vital for them to have, in earnest.
4. Similarly, perhaps that which one wants is not what they actually need, and it is not until after dating a few people that correspond with one’s wants, but do not appear to be someone they would enjoy being married to, that one recognizes the bathetic friction that is needs which preclude wants. This is also not particularly atypical.
To be sure, it is a hard pill to swallow having to accept that one’s mental and emotional imagery was misleading, and that which they very much want will not bring them pleasure or satisfaction. Nonetheless, needs must be prioritized over wants. Such a construct is a much better set up for a happy and heathy relationship. Furthermore, once one is able to see this inner conflict for what it is, and can segue into giving preferential treatment to their sincere needs, it is more likely than not that they will become comfortable and content, and find that their erstwhile wants are far less captivating or tempting than they were in the past.
May the Yoizter Ohr illuminate the path to keen awareness for all those in shidduchim.