Sunday, August 19, 2012

Marrying into a Family

The last time I was suggested to a guy, I received a most interesting resume. Aside from the usual detailed information, he had included a photo. Yes, whilst some guys do include a photo, usually it's a profile picture of some sort. This guy, though had included a photo of him-surrounded by family. It looked like a wedding picture from a married sibling, only with an arrow pointing him out and a red circle around his face.
I havta admit, at first I thought it was so strange. Then I realized-it was utter brilliance. 
You see, most photos I've received from potential young men, are an official pose, a professional photo, or some dumb photo that they thought was 'casual' but made them look ridiculous. It's hard to tell a guy's personality from a professional photo=they are so stuck on being positioned (chin down, face camera, etc) and with a pasted on smile that it is just a photo to see if you find them goodlooking or not. The casual ones, may reveal somewhat of a personality, or how they would like you to perceive them. 
This guy's photo, although it was posed, and all official, showed you more than the guy-it showed you his family. It was a smart idea, as you always wanna know what kind of family the guy comes from. What type of people they are, etc. Even though you make phonecalls and ask around, it's hard to get a picture-and literally, here I had a photo. This made me feel more comfortable with my decision, as I was able to tell alot from this single photo. I can tell what type of people they were, and was able to see the family members, the emotions on their faces, etc.
As much as we hate to admit it, and as much as we are told-it's not the family you're marrying-it's the guy, family does count and we eventually do end up marrying into the family. Whether they are close or not, whether they live in the same city/country/continent, family is family. If it doesn't matter to you, it should matter to you. This is where the guy comes from, this is how he grew up, these are people he lived with, these are where his manners, middos, upbringing come from. 
So, whilst I thought it was odd to send such a picture, I now appreciate how much that picture told and how I was able to see what type of family he comes from.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. this doens have to do with this post but it has to do with shidduchim its funny and sad check it out

  3. I am also into families. It gets me nervous when a guy says, "Oh, I have my own life. I keep my parents out of it."

    What's so terrible about family nowadays?

  4. Knowing the family is EXTREMELY important. Unless your spouse is the type of person who has had such a bad relationship and decided to completely cut him/herself off from their folks and siblings, you're going to have these people in your lives on many significant occasions. Their parents will be the grandparents of your children - which is something big to think about.

    You may also be interested in a particular type of warm, caring in-laws that treat you like their own child - or you might care less. It all plays in to different degrees, depending on how you feel.

    So yes, the other person's family is very important.

    I like this idea of including a family picture. I think it's a great way to give the other person a preview of who they are and where they come from.

    I wonder if we could make this the norm? I would think there would be fewer objections to a stand-alone shidduch headshot.

  5. QUESTION: What chance do Baalei Teshuvah and sincere gerim have in a shidduch system where family is paramount?

    ANSWER: Nobody cares about Baalei Teshuvah or gerim; they only care about their own children and grandchildren.

  6. We don't have control over the family we're born into.

    Sure, it says something about where a person came from, and what can be expected from the family if you end up with them.

    But I'm more curious about the individual's character and relationships. Did they choose to disassociate from some family members because of abuse? How do they connect with family members? How do they handle the particular quirks of their family?

    I think a lot of people would love to feel like they gain a wonderful family when they marry someone, but I think that may not be realistic for everyone, and family shouldn't solely determine whether or not they end up with that person.

  7. In the past I didn't care about family background. My parents became frummer than their own parents so I see how a parent's level isn't necessarily an indication of the child's, and I appreciate my grandparents for who they are and the strong values that they hold.

    Which is why it didn't bother me dating a boy whose parents were baalei teshuva. Until I randomly found out (from him) that his mother was a giyores. And then my parents started getting antsy that we had to verify the geirus so that we could be sure the guy I was dating is Jewish- forget about labels within the community. Had his father been the ger it wouldn't have been quite as nerve-wracking, but it did throw me for a loop because this was the last thing I expected with a regular yeshiva guy. In the end he broke up with me so it was a moot point anyway (I really liked him!) but now I do see some validity in checking out a family. I was stunned.