There was no way she would ever have redt this, that no self-respecting shadchan would have dared make the suggestion.
Who am I to prevent two people from meeting just because I think they are too different to be right for each other? Chances are 50/50 that the date will end up being just a date, but I know the odds are 100% that there will be no marriage if they don’t go out at all.
The second reason for setting them up despite my doubts is because their meeting can be a valuable networking opportunity for both of them. And that’s how I presented it. I was upfront and told each one that while I don’t know him (or her) extremely well in terms of life goals etc, what I do know is that they are both decent people with good middos. I also said that they should see this not just as a shidduch date, but also as an opportunity to meet a nice person who could walk away thinking, “He or she is not for me, but I have a friend…” Whatever the outcome, there is great potential to turn the date into a win-win situation.
It is said that in the zechus of helping another person (often by prayer as well as action) to attain the goal he or she is hoping to reach, you will be rewarded with attaining yours.
If people can go on a date with the attitude that there is potential for a positive outcome, that something good could can come from spending a few hours with this person – hopefully for themselves, but if not than for a friend – then the effort will not feel like a burden and the pressure will be lessened.
Over the years, I have gone to many singles events and Shabbatonim and there were always disgruntled individuals who insisted that “this is a waste of my time and money – there is no one here for me.” The crowd was either too old or too frum or too divorced (from a Kohen’s or never married perspective.) They would just hang out with their friend (s) and not make an effort to mingle and get to know the other attendees.
Sadly when they scrutinized the crowd, they didn’t see the whole picture. It’s pretty safe to say that the men and women who had come to the event do not live in a social vacuum and thus have relatives, colleagues, friends, neighbors, employees, clients, etc. who are younger or more modern, or appropriate for a Kohen, and could have set their new acquaintances up.
There were numerous networking opportunities that the “there’s no one here for me” grumblers didn’t utilize, just because they were so focused on the here and now of who was in the room. It didn’t occur to them that getting to their marital destination might not, as they envisioned, be a straight forward route, but rather require someone pointing them in the right direction.
You never know where the suggestion for the “right one” will come from. Hashem is an equal opportunity “employer.”
As for the nine-year-old shadchan, retirement is out of the question – she still has one more aunt to marry off!