Dear Dr. Yael,
As a married woman with a number of still unmarried friends, I have to agree with the letter writer in your 2-23 column. She is correct in her assertion that my friends are looking for a “great learner who will support them in style after they are married and has the looks and personality of a Hollywood star, the sense of humor of a comedian and the yichus of Yaakov Avinu.”
My husband and I could not agree more; her letter was so on target. We have set my friends up with so many of my husband’s friends only to be told some of these reasons for why “the boy is not for them.”
Then, shortly after, the young man gets married to a young woman who understands that people mature and develop with the right wife. I have a few friends who I believe are literally pushing their bashert away for ridiculous reasons. Many of these girls come from nice homes and indeed compare the boys to their successful fathers.
While the shidduch crisis is generally blamed on the boys, the girls are clearly part of the problem as well.
Thank you for publishing this column and I hope some girls will read it and think about what they are doing with their lives.
I also found this writer’s assertions very realistic and true. However, I do not think there is anyone to “blame” for the shidduch crisis and all we should do is look for a solution. There are many young men and women whose “dream spouse” is unrealistic and I hope that reading these columns will cause them to rethink. I know so many people who have married someone they thought was “not for them,” and are now happily married.
For example, I know of a woman who married a man who made her laugh; he was not as attractive as she would have liked. Today, his sense of humor and kindness shines through and she thinks he is the most handsome man in the world.
Some of these people have told me that had they met their spouse a few years earlier, they probably would not be married today. However, what seemed important to them in their 20s wasn’t so important when they were in their 30s. Today, they are with people who treat them well and with whom they are able to build beautiful lives.
Dear readers, please do not take offense, but if you feel that you have been dating for a long time and have not found “the right one,” it may be time to seek professional help. It wouldn’t mean there is anything wrong with you or that you need long-term therapy. You may just need a sounding board and someone to listen and help you figure out what is really important to you. Such conversations can truly be enlightening. Perhaps you have been subconsciously sabotaging yourself.
With all of that said, my dear anonymous friend, we must be sensitive to those who are still searching for what you already have. You may be correct about their “unrealistic expectations,” but they are still trying their best and making them feel bad will not help them find their bashert quicker.
Instead, you can try speaking to them about how much your husband and you have changed since you got married. You can suggest ways for them to find the type of person they are looking for. While it is important for people to face the truth, we also have an obligation to make sure we never ever hurt someone with our words! Onaas devarim is a very serious issue and we must make sure to never transgress it.
Thank you for your honest and helpful letter and I hope that you will be matzliach in helping your friends.
Next week’s column will feature a letter with a completely different take on the issue.