Shidduch GPS – Divine Destiny

By Mrs. Tzirel Rubinstein

Q: I went out with a girl and it went really well — she’s everything I am looking for in a shidduch. The one red flag that has me concerned is the fact that she was very critical of her parents. She wasn’t critical about anyone else and has a very positive demeanor, but she was clearly negative about her parents. Everything she said sounds legitimate — so if what she said is indeed true, I don’t blame her. But it is still scaring me off. My dilemma is whether this issue is enough to stop pursuing the shidduch.

A: Although you express your dilemma quite clearly, more information is needed to truly advise. However, based on the given facts, it’s probably safe to assume the authenticity of what the girl is saying since “she wasn’t critical about anyone else and has a very positive demeanor.” Besides, who would incriminate her own parents, possibly jeopardizing a good shidduch, if it weren’t true? It is also assumed that the shidduch has reached a more serious phase and, therefore she was prompted to bring up an issue which she felt was important for you to know now, before the shidduch progresses further.

There are instances where parents’ behavior can be seriously problematic, causing contention in and immense strain on their children’s marriage — sometimes even leading to its demise. Hence, your concerns are justified. If you’ve just started the parashah of shidduchim and this is a first or second dating encounter, you may want to consider if the shidduch is worth pursuing or perhaps to give yourself a chance to meet someone else who fits your criteria without the family issues. However, if you’ve been dating for a number of years and have gone through several shidduch experiences but haven’t yet met a girl who is “everything you’re looking for,” you may choose to explore the situation further by doing extensive research on the parents — discreetly — through friends, neighbors and relatives. They might reassure you that although her parents may not be easy-going at times, they do not meddle into the lives of their married children. Or, if you do find out that they are seriously problematic, you may overlook and still consider the shidduch if the girl is willing to live in a different community, a distance away from her parents. In any case, it would be wise to meet her again and discuss how this issue would manifest itself in the future when she’s married and building her own home. Since she raised the issue, she’ll understand that you have questions.

The fact that this girl is “everything you are looking for in a shidduch” makes the situation deserving of thorough investigation and further contemplation. Whatever the case, before you come to any conclusion on how to proceed, it is advised that you review the situation in detail (the pros, cons and options) with a Rav, Rebbi, or respectable person with daas Torah and experience in this area, who can guide you with clarity and an open mind.


Regarding shidduch issues, one needs to verify the facts prior to moving ahead or moving on.

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