I have been redding shidduchim for a number of years and successfully made a number of shidduchim. Recently, I have been hearing from mothers of Lakewood boys that they are only looking into Lakewood girls. I have heard this multiple times. I am assuming that these mothers are looking for the convenience of not shlepping for a date and eventually for the couple to live near both sets of parents.I find this very disturbing. Why are people giving up on quality for such minor conveniences?
Have you, in your experience, seen a similar phenomenon?
That many families in shidduchim tend to rate various types of superficial conveniences and creature comforts rather high in their decision tree is not a new phenomenon. It is simply human nature to start with that which is least taxing, and proceed from there towards that which is more challenging, when and if needed. It may be vain, narrow-minded, and ultimately self-defeating, but it is, at the very least, a fairly readily understandable tactic on the surface level.
With regards to this specific matter, however, there may more be far more there than meets the eye, transforming the superficial into the substantive. True, a few hours in a car to get to a date, or even a few flights, are comparatively trivial nuisances. But looking beyond that, there are other factors here to account for, and they genuinely carry real weight. To begin with, there is much to be said for men and women who grew up in the same locale dating one another. There is often a great deal of common ground between those who share socio-cultural norms, and ample shared values between those who were shaped in the same community. Furthermore, not having to travel numerous times throughout each year with an army of small children in tow is no small matter indeed, and neither is the cost of doing so when plane travel is unavoidable. And finally, there are no shortage of single women dwelling in Lakewood, and they all need to get married just as much as the single women living elsewhere.
The question then becomes: How will the expansion of these incidences impact those women residing in other communities? To be honest, I have no idea exactly how this will play out in the long-term, and it is certainly possible that there will be some sort of ripple effect. Nevertheless, I do know two things to be true. First, it does not seem conceivable to me that every eligible fellow in Lakewood will begin and end their dating career with counterparts from their own city. It is only natural that very many of them will want or need to branch out, for any number of reasons. Second, and most important of all, we must always bear in mind that HaKadosh Boruch Hu is the One Who makes every last shidduch, and if a young woman from Tibet is meant to stand under the chupah with a bachur from New Jersey, no amount of ease-based decisions made by mere mortals will ever prevent His infinite and inscrutable concatenations from bringing that eventuality into fruition.
May the Borei Kol Haneshamos speedily, comfortably, and joyfully bring together each and every one of His preordained zivugim.