If a bochur’s shidduch references do not pick up the phone right away or after repeated calls, or they don’t give enough information, should I proceed with a first date? Or should I discard the shidduch suggestion?
How one should maneuver from the position of being under-enlightened regarding a potential shidduch, and what exactly their next steps should be, strikes me as primarily contingent on the specifics of the situation and the particular nature and constitution of each person. And while it would be impossible to conceive of, and lay out, each and every imaginable circumstance, I would like to provide a few iterations, contained within two examples.
1. Nearly no substantive material has been pieced together with respect to the person to whom one has been redd. In such a scenario, I would find it hard to argue that one should move forward, essentially blind, committing to a date with someone they know nothing about, and having not the faintest idea if there is even baseline compatibility between the two parties.
2. Some valuable data has been gleaned, but it remains piecemeal and disjointed. In such a setting, I believe a great deal depends on a person’s natural inclinations, accompanied by their general shidduch goings-on. That is to say, if one senses that they will be highly uncomfortable walking into a date lacking the background information and blandishments they are accustomed to having at their disposal, it may be best to take a pass. Similarly, if one is fortunate enough to receive ample dating opportunity, and is pleased overall with their dating frequency, they may note rather minimal levels of internal compulsion to take a flyer on a shidduch suggestion which stands on such shaky ground. Conversely, if one is of the disposition to be confident and surefooted even with a relatively incomplete picture, and/or finds that their prospects are few and far between, it may indeed be deemed responsible to advance into the field, despite possessing comparatively flimsy and fragmented familiarity vis-à-vis their counterpart.
Additionally, there is also a hidden third option to consider with these types of dilemmas. If, in the main, one feels interested in giving the shidduch a shot, but is also conscious of a lingering undercurrent of ambiguity as a result of having been supplied with but a soupçon of defining characteristics, it would be wise to report back to whoever redd the shidduch and communicate the conundrum at hand. Accordingly, the other side can then be made aware of the problem, and will have an opening to respectfully ask their references to return whatever calls were left unanswered, and/or enhance whatever truncated and patchwork account they initially conveyed, so that the shidduch can be capitalized upon properly. Moreover, I think it fair to say that doing so is a middas chasidus ad meod, and one which may create untold zechusim, as it represents a tremendous chessed to another Yid who appears to be unwittingly disadvantaged in shidduchim, and thus offers them the chance to rectify and repair what may be a significant barrier to their ability to achieve success in reaching the chupah.
May the Yossad Eretz Al Michoneha ensure that all those in shidduchim nary fall nor falter as they seek to firmly establish their batim ne’emanimb’Yisroel.