My Shidduch Experience

In continuation from my last post, I wanted to share this with you.

I went to a shadchan. Once. It was after my divorce, when I was getting back into the dating scene (and after I had dropped 45 lbs – had I gone before…..well, read on). This woman was someone I had never met before but we had a mutual friend.

She was very frank with me. “You are divorced and you have four kids. No one will want you. You will for sure have to settle. But… you are skinny, so perhaps it won’t be impossible…”

I walked out.

Through the magic of online dating I was blessed beyond belief to find my KoD – he is my everything, my soul mate, my missing piece! I certainly did NOT settle.

While my heart breaks for those poor girls mentioned in the previous post who are looking for a husband first time around, it breaks even more for those women who have been around the block like I had. I was a mom of 4 boys, 34 years of age and dating again. I had stretch marks and wrinkles and a silver hair or two. Was I supposed to get plastic surgery to hide all of that? Heck no – those are distinctions I wear with pride. Every wrinkle tells a story, the stretch marks are badges of honor from when I carried my babies, the silver hairs – well, they each have a name on them. But they are ME, they represent MY story. Do second time singles – due to divorce or widowhood – have to start feeling this crazy pressure too? Can we surgically excise our past? It’s hard enough as it is to get back out there, with kids, with history, having been hurt.

The men my age in similar situations were all dating women years younger than them. A guy in his thirties can still date a 20-something never been married and not be looked at askance. Reverse those roles? Not so much. Guys my age were not interested. And yes, I married an older guy – but one who loves my wrinkles and my silver highlights and wouldn’t want me to change a thing about myself.

Let me suggest that you go read what my buddy Eliyahu Fink had to say on this issue. How to Solve the Shidduch Crisis WITHOUT Advocating for a Bunch of Nose Jobs

7 responses to “My Shidduch Experience

  1. You are so right about the predicament of older, divorced women looking to get re-married. In addition to the problem of age and rapidly declining physical factors (only half joking) I am at even more of a disadvantage if the potential suitor wants to have more children or cannot relocate. It’s great that you did not listen to that first shadchan’s demoralizing advice and you went on to find your amazing Kod!

  2. Good for you.

    I wonder why some many supposedly religious people seem to think that nothing Judaism has to teach about interpersonal relations applies when someone is looking for a marriage partner.

    • Mike, I get asked this all the time by converts in the dating process. They are so appalled by the matchmaking process. It goes against everything Judaism teaches about interpersonal relations and how someone should be judged…and not judged. Skin color, hair texture, divorce, widowhood, weight (size 2’s only need apply!), family history of divorce/widowhood, mental illness, family history of mental illness and most importantly, bank account and FAMILY bank account, education (a uneducated male without a college degree has a better chance than a female with a PhD) all affect the shidduch process. They are all counted as strikes for or against you. There are videos online of Ashkenazi Orthodox men saying being set up with a Sephardic girl is the lowest of the low. These things both embarrass me and disgust me as an Orthodox Jew and a rabbi’s wife.

      Women blame the men and men blame the women and yes, men do have a HUGE advantage PERIOD in the dating world, not just the Orthodox world. Women have a biological clock that stops ticking eventually. (My father’s eldest brother, well into his 60s, just had his 4th child with a 20-something second wife! My father is 56, the youngest of 6! Neither have grandchildren so they’ve made their own!) But honestly, the couple of times I tried to help set people up, I realized that all they cared about was how much money the person or person’s family or car was worth and what they did for a living (Computers? Too geeky!) and what they looked like and yes, if they were Ashkenazi and Sephardic because “Sephardic girls were the lowest of the low.” So I gave up. I just hope I can set up situations where people can meet naturally as I met my husband.

  3. Very and extremely well said-stand your ground, live life to the fullest and always get a second opinion=yours!!

  4. Hey, as a convert…and speaking for so many of the converts I know who have had terrible experiences with matchmakers, I thank you for this post! I live in Los Angeles where matchmakers tell young women that they need to straighten even the most cherubic curls if they want to get married. By curls and conversion, I would have been twice condemned! I met my husband at a housewarming party of mutual friends.

  5. Michael Makovi

    “the silver hairs – well, they each have a name on them”

    Funny…my mother says the same thing, LOL.

    It must be different here in Israel, because off the top of my head, three different shadkhanim have my information, and I never heard more than once from each of them in the course of several years.

    Or maybe I’m just considered too horrible for even the bottom-of-the-barrel girls, LOL. To quote Gary North on Murray N. Rothbard, Rothbard “did all the things you are not supposed to do to advance your career with a brilliance he had for not advancing his career. I mean, he was a specialist in the division of labor in not advancing his career!” (“What Made Rothbard Great”.) Well, think I am “a specialist in the division of labor in not advancing” my shiddukh prospects. Let’s see … I’m a convert and baal teshuva who loves Rabbi S. R. Hirsch and Austrian School laissez-faire economics and who published an article on why qol ishah does not apply anymore. (Fun fact: Rabbi Hirsch, in his eulogy for Friedrich von Schiller, endorsed Schiller’s classical-liberal politics as essentially Jewish, so as best I can figure, if he were alive today, Rabbi Hirsch would be saying that Ron Paul’s views are the same as Orthodox Judaism’s.) Yeah, I think no shadkhan will touch me with a ten million mile pole, LOL.

    • Michael Makovi

      Incidentally, footnote 10 there of Rabbi Hirsch’s eulogy of Schiller, corroborates my thesis on qol ishah.

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