What can I do to get a shadchan to return my calls? I understand that a shadchan cannot return every call, but sometimes?
And why is it that my friend’s calls are always returned? On paper, there is no difference between our daughters. Both attended the same schools, both are bright and personable. Can the only difference be the perception that one father’s income overshadows the other? (One is a business owner, the other a salaried employee.) Could this be the case? What are middle-class people to do?
Of the myriad combinations of interpersonal relationships within the realm of shidduchim, the parent-dater-shadchan triad may be the most complex and nuanced of them all. Indeed, and quite regrettably, it is one which I have seen produce constant and cosmic levels of agmas nefesh for all involved. And to be fair, there are legitimate and comprehensible explanations for the stance each side respectively takes on this matter.
On the one hand, once a professional shadchan has met a dater, or is otherwise aware and familiar with them, both standard operating procedure and basic mentchlechkeit would dictate that missives serving to garner updates should be answered in a reasonably timely fashion. It could be as concise as, “Thanks for reaching out, nice to hear from you! I will certainly continue to keep “X” in mind, and be in touch with any ideas or opportunities.” Truly, any acknowledgement at all provides profound menuchas hanefesh to the recipient.
On the other hand, however, professional shadchanim are faced with two distinct and multilayered challenges. First, for those who have achieved wide-spread renown, it may be genuinely impossible to attend to the entirety of the barrage of communication that is heaved upon them in so many forms. Whereas for the sender, it may appear so elementary and effortless for the shadchan to reply with but a meager and curt response, in truth, that check-in may be one of hundreds of nearly identical inquiries received that day or week. It is a workload that remains invisible to those on the outside, but is undeniably extant and overbearing all the same, on the shadchan’s end.
Second, if a shadchan had a yes, or substantive idea to present, they would have done so proactively, and without external prompting. That is the very purpose of their profession. Accordingly, when one surveys a shadchan who has not been forthcoming as of late, it generally means one of three things; a) they have not put much thought into this particular person recently; b) despite wracking their brain for ideas, and meticulously combing through all of their records, they were unable to generate anything worth pursuing; or c) they have redd numerous shidduchim for this dater, but have been given no after no after no.
As should be self-evident, these are not exactly positive messages to relay. Thus, understandably, shadchanim often opt to say nothing, rather than putting themselves in the position of being the bearer of bad news.
With respect to preferential treatment, I think there is some veracity to the assertion that daters who retain particular, yet superficial, traits – be they sought-after physical attributes, monetary means, or prestige of family – are bestowed with more recognition from time to time. Perhaps this is due to these daters being easier to set up, the potential to earn a surplus in shadchanus, or the natural inclination for some to provide amenities to those in a seemingly higher stratosphere. Nevertheless, I can say without a shadow of doubt that I have spoken with many daters who maintain some, or even all, of these aforementioned properties, and who likewise suffer from desuetude and silent phone syndrome. Some have it trouble-free vis-à-vis summoning shadchan focus, and some do not. Some daters are simpler for shadchanim to set up, and others are not. And as far as I can tell, there is no common thread running through this phenomenon.
Lastly, and conceivably most importantly, the categorical contention that there is no qualitative or discernible difference between two people other than financial stature is a glaring oversight regarding the absolute nature of uniqueness, which must never be de-emphasized. That two daters may share many comparable life-paths and virtues of character is indisputably feasible, and that their disparate socioeconomic standing may be plainly overt is equally plausible. Nonetheless, it is axiomatic that no two human beings are indistinguishable from one another to the core other than their income level. We each possess our own special and inimitable features and abilities, and it is vital that we are all cognizant of, and fully appreciate, the reality and value of the depth of individuality and self, especially as it pertains to shidduchim.
All that said, while I sincerely lament my lack of capacity to offer a clear-cut answer or directive in this case, I do wholeheartedly extend my empathy and care to you for the frustration, apprehension, and anguish that result from sensations of isolation and being disregarded or left unheard.
May the Shomeya Tefilos Yisroel hear and heed your pain and struggle, and bring you perseverance, comfort, and the attentiveness which you and your family so surely deserve.