Monday, December 15, 2014

When the Shadchan creates the Shanda

Most people would agree that communication is key to any relationship. 
Dating is hard enough as it is, especially FrumShidduch dating. Everyone is on edge, nerves, on their best behavior and its hard to read into people. Personally, even if the guy is the biggest nerd, or most obnoxiously chauvinistic, I will still remain friendly and smile until he drops me off . Hence the guy always thinks I'm interested by the end of the date, when in truth, I'm just yapping away, hoping he will take me home.
Which is why there are Shadchanim (or atleast, why I would like to think Shadchanim are there). They can act as a buffer, hear out both sides, and be your "true" voice when speaking with the other side. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes the Shadchans plan out the entire wedding in their head before you even get into the guy's car for the first date. When you come back and tell  them it's not for you, they just won't hear of it. They have made up their mind, as well as your future life together, it's already all planned out in the Shadchan's head. No matter what you say, the Shadchan will not relay your true feeling at this point, to the other side. They may convince you to 'give it another try' and go out again, or perhaps 'sleep on it' and call them back the next day. Meanwhile, all  you want to do is politely DECLINE.
The other side will get a totally different picture of what you're thinking and the guy might even end up calling you asking about a second date. umm, helllllooo?!?!?!Where did the Shadchan go and why was the message not relayed?
I had this happen to me twice, first the Shadchan was in love with the guy they set me up with and even after giving it a few tries, the Shadchan still wouldn't hear a 'no'. To the point that the Shadchan told me they cannot tell the boy no and hurt him, therefore I would have to do the dirty work myself. Which, in that case, I was forced to do. But rather tell the guy no, than let him wait around or perhaps think I was interested.
Another time, the Shadchan called me right before my date to tell me to handle it myself as we were all in different timezones/countries and with the time difference, as well as cellphone roaming/internet connection as well as the fact that both myself and the guy were only in the same city for 2 days, the Shadchan just dropped the guy in my hands. I must admit it was quite awkward when the guy leaned over in the car asking what time tomorrow he should pick me up and I hummed and hawwed and made up excuses and said I would call back. In truth, I was a coward=I couldn't say no to his face, yet there was no chance in H E double hockeysticks I would date him again. So I smiled, thanked him, promised to let him know, and then texted the Shadchan to call him first thing,
Oy! why does this have to be such a complicated mess?!?!


  1. My thought on shadchonim are that they should be there for the initial setup, and if there are any issues. Anything other than that should be handled by the daters themselves. If they aren't mature enough to figure out if there's gonna be a next date / what time is good fit them themselves, well, then they obviously aren't mature enough to be dating.

  2. It's not about maturity. Does to be "mature" means you're okay with hurting someone's feelings?

    The premise of the shadchan in the initial stages acts like a buffer. If you hear, from someone directly, that they aren't interested, the rejection feels really, really personal. Do you want someone telling you, to your face, that they don't want to go out with you again? I sure don't. If someone did that to me, I wouldn't praise him for being "mature."

    When it comes from the "buffer," then it's more distant, less direct, less hurtful. Additionally, since these setups are rarely on the mark, for the first and second date, let the buffer take care of it, so it feels less like a serious romantic possibility. If I tell him to his face after two hours "I don't think it's going to work out," I mean, c'mon, it was two hours. Why am I making "it" into such a big deal?

    What I really hate about dating is that very often, there will be hurt feelings. My own, never mind, but it hurts worse to hurt someone else. And none of us should become okay with doing that. If that's what "mature" means, then I don't want to be.

  3. Um, its not hard to say no to someone. Just hang up before they ask why.

  4. Adults are people who know how to handle rejection and how to dish out rejection in a way that minimizes hurt feelings. If you can't do that, reconsider your maturity and readiness for marriage.

  5. Oh yeah, like that guy who called me and said in a rush, "It'snotgoingtoworkout" then hung up? I had no idea what he said. I would have preferred a shadchan telling me that, calmly and clearly, rather then having to put him through that.

  6. Look, if someone is dating, they need to be prepared to handle rejection. It is part and parcel of dating. And to me it makes no difference what date it is. On the contrary, to reject after a first date is that much easier specifically because that connection hasnt been established.