Although I am not a shadchan, I try to keep an open eye for our young men and women still looking for “their right one.” I often find myself in the following predicament and would love some opinions and advice from the panel.
Sometimes I give a name to a parent/shadchan and they will tell me that they need a couple of days for research, etc. In the meantime, I realize that the boy/girl is a good – or perhaps better – idea for someone else. Now what do I do? Do I just ignore the fact that I already redd this person to someone else or do I have to wait it out?
First and foremost, yaasher koach to you for your perseverance in the realm of shidduchim. It is no small endeavor, and certainly worthy of applaud and accolade. May Hashem grant you unceasing strength so that you have the capacity to fill this role for many years to come.
That said, of the thousands upon thousands of shidduchim that are redd each year, the ratio of engagement-per-suggestion is abysmally low. Indeed, even in speaking with some of the most prolifically successful shadchanim – those who may possess impressive engagement-per-date ratios – I have gathered that their normative engagement-per-suggestion ratio hovers in the area of a meager 1-2%. This is to be expected, and is part and parcel of the process. And yet, despite this paltry percentage, and our overarching global shidduch woes, single men and women of all ages are getting married, at all times and in all places.
How is this possible? The answer, of course, is that it is the Yad Hashem which guides each and every shidduch. Be it a friend, family member, neighbor, camp counselor, dabbler, or professional, the “shadchan” is always and only but an emissary of HaKadosh Boruch Hu. In fact, whenever I find myself congratulating a shadchan on a completed shidduch, the constant refrain and rejoinder is, “It wasn’t me, I was merely a shaliach.” Furthermore, I cannot even count how many times shadchanim have told me that ideas which they had considered to be on the flimsy side blossomed into a chasunah, and ideas which appeared to be a sure thing fizzled out as a one-and-done.
As such, provided a suggestion is reasonably suitable and sensible, I would lend minimal weight to evaluations made by ephemeral entities, adjudicating suppositions hierarchically to be objectively “best,” “better,” or “worse.” Each proposal is but our requisite hishtadlus, and from there, the Borei Oilam takes over. Consequently, once a shidduch has been redd, I would strongly recommend following procedure, allowing the information to be passed along and acted upon in what would be considered an appropriate timeframe, and without any interference rooted in the belief that a new epiphany supersedes one’s previous notion, to the degree that the plug ought to be pulled on the original proffer.
Additionally, one must be cognizant of the potential logistical disaster of commencing a new idea, whilst two yeses might be on the verge of issuance, unbeknownst to the intermediary who initiated the shidduch. And, even more importantly, one must take into account the probability of deeply hurting another human being, should a dater have the proverbial rug ignominiously pulled out from underneath them, due to their expected counterpart suddenly withdrawing, after having been offered a shinier, more captivating, prospect. Such an outcome would be especially egregious, given the reality that fresher tenders carry no greater actual likelihood to culminate in matrimony. Accordingly, by my estimation, this would be an excellent example of extending the expression, “First, do no harm.”
May the Ilas Ha’ilos continue to ensure that each single man and woman in Klal Yisroel find their zivug hagun, through whichever conduit He deems befitting, corresponding to His infinite and unfathomable wisdom.