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Dear Dr. Yael,

I am writing to express my feelings about being a single Orthodox girl in New York City.

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I graduated from a respectable Bais Yaakov high school, went to a great seminary in Israel and received a BS in accounting from a city college. I am currently employed at a well-known accounting firm. I am tall and slim, and based on what people say, very attractive.

My parents really wanted me to meet someone from a strong yeshiva background, a real ben Torah who would also assume responsibility for our parnassah. But that has been harder than finding a needle in a haystack.

Over the years, I have met many shadchanim, in a number of cities. While the meetings were pleasant and comfortable, they rarely followed up with any suggestions and, with few exceptions, do not respond with requests for information about potential shidduchim.

I am not sure why this is so, but do wonder if it has to do with my job or lack of yeshivishness. I also wonder if it’s because these well-known shadchanim are only interested in dealing with girls who make it clear how many years the young man can sit and learn before even thinking about what he wants to do with his life.

It is certainly easier to make phone calls to prospective families when a shadchan can say that the young lady and her parents are prepared to provide support for x amount of years. I guess they want to be productive and profitable.

It seems to me that when you tell a shadchan that you want a young man with a plan or an idea of how he will support his family, the conversation is over. It becomes too complicated when the shidduch is going to depend on whether the couple can meet the challenge of transitioning into self-dependency.

I wonder where the chesed and kindness that should be prevalent when it comes to shidduchim and building a true Torah family have gone.

Single, but still hopeful

Dear Single,

I hear similar complaints from mothers and young women all the time. You are looking for a “learner/earner,” as they say in the shidduch world, a type of young man not so easy to find when the young woman is in her twenties. It seems that either the boys are committed to learning, often without a plan or are more modern and totally focused on their careers.

However, I do know that there are solid young men out there who are looking for the type of young woman you seem to be, it’s just a matter of finding them. That is one of the reasons I believe it is incumbent on all of us to be trying to set people up, not just the professional shadchanim.

I look forward to hearing some suggestions from my readers and wish you hatzlacha on your journey.

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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at www.jewishpress.com and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at www.dryaelrespler.com.