Shidduch GPS – Divine Destiny

By Mrs. Tzirel Rubinstein

: I often read and hear that there is a shidduch crisis, which is usually translated to mean that there aren’t enough available boys. However, as a Rav involved in helping people in our shul, I just don’t see this reality. I see many available boys as well as many available girls. As long as there are boys and girls who are not married, I don’t understand how there can be a crisis.
I have found that single girls, like the boys, are looking for certain things in a shidduch, and when those characteristics are lacking, they reject the shidduch. There is an unwillingness to compromise. But to say that there is a crisis and that there aren’t boys out there — I believe it is simply untrue. I’d greatly appreciate your perspective on this.

: Anyone in a position similar to yours, who has direct involvement with frum singles, will agree that there are many available older boys; they’re just not as vocal and expressive, perhaps making their plight less noticed and more understated. However, it seems quite certain that there is a greater number of older single girls than boys. Research has shown that it’s been like this for generations. When asked, many survivors will recount that there were eltere maidlach in every shtetl in pre-War Europe. The difference between then and now is the outspoken and widely-available chareidi media, literally at our doorsteps, giving constant publicity to the topic of shidduchim and often sensationalizing it.

Another reality to ponder, regarding girls and boys, is that too many shidduchim are tried and ended before they are fully explored and given a chance to develop. False expectations of “what I thought I would get” and “how excited I should be feeling prior to engagement” are also frequently the culprit when a shidduch falls apart. Not knowing how and when to progress a shidduch on the boy’s end and then falsely concluding that “it doesn’t click” is another obstacle in the way, commonly preventing a good shidduch from coming to fruition. Askanim like yourself, on the battlefield of shidduchim, experiencing these phenomena daily will probably conclude that it’s more of a shidduch process crisis than a shidduch crisis.

After many years of shidduch involvement, I tend to take notice of reoccurring patterns regarding the shidduch process and study the root causes. Based on experience, there is a very clear difference in the way boys and girls approach shidduchim. In an effort to be cautious, girls are typically on the constant look-out for “red flags” when they’re dating and, therefore, more often the rejectors of a shidduch that doesn’t work out. Many girls develop anxiety (some boys, too) to different extents, which is the most common obstacle when it comes to making shidduch decisions. Girls will often need a greater comfort level than is realistically acquired in the frum dating process which may complicate a shidduch situation further. On the other hand, boys will generally continue dating if there isn’t anything glaringly wrong and will have an easier time committing. These are all true generalizations which partially explain the phenomenon of why there are more older girls than boys.

Many Gedolim have acknowledged that the current shidduch challenges that Klal Yisrael faces are due to yeridas hadoros, the downward spiritual spiral of the generations; meaning, in this context, a lack of emunah and bitachon. Hence, labeling our challenges as a “crisis” and blaming it on social trends is perhaps “missing the boat” and contrary to what we ultimately believe. Rather, we must pledge our complete faith in Hashem that it is only He Who is the Kol Yachol and the ultimate Mezaveig Zivugim — thus bringing menuchah into the complicated realm of shidduchim and every other facet of our lives.

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