As someone living in the frum world, I see the constant need for shidduchim to be made. Boruch Hashem, I am part of a large mishpacha that includes aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. This means davening at least twice a day for the day my relatives will announce their engagement.
I am a very social person by nature and “get” people. I noticed for myself the need for someone to come in and “make things happen.” So, when a close relative was close to entering shidduchim, I was on the lookout. It was total Hashgacha when I thought of something that seemed to me like a “glove shidduch.” I was so excited, because this girl was someone I admired immensely.
The problem is that I am a teenager. It’s been three years since I thought of my first shidduch. Over these three years, a few more ideas came to me, but I am reluctant to try because of my first idea. A day hasn’t passed that I don’t think of my original idea. They are both amazing people – and still single. I spoke to my mother and friends of the girl, and everyone agrees with me – except the boy’s mother. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I can approach her, since she still thinks of me as a little kid.
What should a teenager who wants to help the klal, and feels like she/he can help get people married, do? Are there any shadchanim available to help teenagers pursue their ideas?
First and foremost, I would like to applaud you for your dedication to your family and Klal Yisroel. Redding shidduchim is a monumental task, and that you have not shied away from entering the arena – even at such a young age – surely speaks volumes both about your care and concern for others, and your keen grasp of communal achrayus.
Within the realm of shidduchim, a great many lessons can be learned by taking a step back and surveying the vast landscape. And perhaps chief among them is a sense of humility and shiflus ha’adam. When speaking with even the most accomplished and veteran of shadchanim, one quickly learns that the percentage of engagements, in relation to the number of couples that have dated, is surprisingly low. The vast majority of couples that go out do not marry one another, even when the idea appeared to be an open-and-shut case in everyone’s eyes.
Ultimately, and as any experienced shadchan will readily and happily pronounce, we are all nothing more than fortunate messengers for the One Who is truly mezaveig zivugim. No matter how bright, perceptive, or intuitive we imagine ourselves to be, a relatively short stint in shidduchim should suffice to show us that maybe we do not quite have it all figured out. Couples that that were presumed to be perfect for one another commonly conclude their interlude after just one date, and couples about whom everyone scoffed at the thought of them sitting at a table together regularly find themselves married to each other soon thereafter.
In short, there is really no such thing as a “glove-shidduch.” These conceptions are merely a result of the limited capacity of human beings to comprehend the scope of what actually goes into a shidduch, and forgetting for a brief moment that the unerringly comprehensive vantage point belongs solely to the Borei Olam. Accordingly, it is critical for anyone who delves into shidduchim to remind themselves of this reality, so they may avoid getting mentally and emotionally pigeonholed by a seemingly superior suggestion. When one falls prey to such a mindset, not only do they deprive themselves of the capability to broaden their reach, they may also end up depriving a dater from expanded opportunity. If one feels convinced that a suggestion is flawless, but simply cannot get both sides to see what they see, it may be a not-so-subtle message that perhaps this “sure-shot-shidduch” is not so sure after all, and it is time to look elsewhere.
Furthermore, on a practical and tactical level, if one becomes a broken record in the ears of a family, interminably banging on the drum of one particular proposition, it can slowly lead to the diminishing of one’s stature as a shadchan. When a person inadvertently gives an impression akin to believing that they know more about a family’s needs than the family themselves do, and insists that only one idea is the idea, it is poor look. At some point, no means no, and it is best to respect that decision. At that juncture, through the vehicle of making other recommendations, one can plainly exhibit the vital appreciation that each family has the right to make their own decisions without being unduly questioned or doubted. And once that trust has been established over a significant period of time, bringing up an old and quiescent idea becomes much more palatable, and may even eventually get off the ground.
Alternatively, though remaining firmly rooted within the realm of humility, one can pass the idea over to a different shadchan. The strategy involved would require identifying a shadchan who has already gained the confidence of the family, reaching out to this individual to explain the situation and why one considers the shidduch to be so very excellent, and then stepping back to allow another to run the show. To be clear, doing so demands a notable degree of pride swallowing. Indeed, should the family then accede to the shidduch based on someone else’s word, and should it prove its promise, the one who originally sowed the seeds and put all the pieces in place will likely never receive the same measure of accolade as the person who is viewed by the family as having sealed the deal. In fact, the most the first shadchan may ever get in terms of credit is becoming relegated to an anecdote in the shidduch’s story when the families recall that long ago a youthful friend happened to have had the same idea.
However, if one’s sincere objective is the building of new Jewish homes; if they genuinely accept that Hashem is the only One Who ever makes a shidduch; and if they earnestly have faith that for some reason the Heavenly decree called for someone else to complete the shidduch, they will be more than content with their allotted portion and the knowledge that they properly played the pivotal role which Hashem desired of them.
May the Ratzon Yireiav Ya’aseh supply a surfeit of support and success to all those who toil day and night in His service.