As a bochur who has been dating for a while, I feel compelled to ask: Is it not basic kavod habrios that if one side would not like to continue a shidduch, the shadchan should call the other party to inform them? I have been told many times via a brief text from the shadchan that a shidduch that felt promising to me is no longer interested in continuing. This is a difficult thing for boys and girls to hear.
Don’t we at least deserve the decency of a proper phone call from the shadchan? Or do you feel that a brief text is sufficient?
In a nutshell, and in my opinion, delivering such information via text is wholly unacceptable.
Is it true that making and receiving actual phone calls in general is essentially anathema to most people in this day and age? Yes. Have we become overall much more accustomed to informal and causal modes of communication, and rather parsimonious when it comes to how long we are willing to engage in meaningful interactive discussions? Yes. Are shadchanim absurdly overburdened and in need of carving out time wherever and whenever they can? Yes. Do we all prefer not to be the bearers of ill tidings? Yes. The list of hypothetical validations or upshots as to why a shadchan may devolve into such a habit is as vast as the human imagination is deep. Such is the nature of justifying poor behavior. Having to do something unpleasant is undesirable, and rationalizing our decisions is easy. Nonetheless, no matter how saleable the excuse may be, it does not in any way vindicate the impropriety of the action itself.
Discovering that the person one is going with is no longer interested in continuing to date is jarring at best, positively crushing at worst, and can send even the most emotionally durable of daters into a tailspin. Indeed, even if one had planned on ending the shidduch themselves, finding out that one has been preemptively spurned still stings. It is a painful enough revelation to be confronted with and absorb as it is, and having to endure it in solitude only serves to magnify that distress. Furthermore, dispatching a dater’s pink slip via text smacks of callousness and insensitivity, as if one is either entirely unaware or utterly unconcerned with the sorrow they have just brought to the door of another Yid. And while that is certainly not likely the case, it often remains as the transmission which has effectively been conveyed.
The moment of rejection is deserving of true empathy, and it demands all the care and concern one can muster. Care and concern call for sincere dialogue and the opportunity for authentic interpersonal exchange so that the experience can begin to be processed, learned from, and set into the past. What is very much not called for, however, is the isolation of brief, detached, and aloof electronic notifications. A Jew is hallmarked by his or her aptitude to exhibit rachmanus, and transferring messages of dismissal with earnest compassion, difficult and time-consuming as the task may be, is the very manifestation of that badge of honor which is intended to be proudly emblazoned upon each and every one of Hashem’s people.
May the Melech Rachamon infuse us all with infinite capacity to genuinely walk in his path of Imo Anochi b’tzarah.