Decision-making is not my forte.
Yesterday I was dining out in a local restaurant. After spending 15 minutes considering all the options (bearing in mind, there’s roughly ten), the waiter approached our table to take our order. Even though I chose what I wanted, I glanced at the menu and requested dishes that I dismissed 10 minutes before!
Be it food, clothing, gadgets, colors, dates or times; I find it impossible to make a solid decision.
Or so I thought.
In the shidduch world, you get set up with someone who a shadchan believes is an appropriate life partner. Two/three weeks will go by and if you’re still together, the questions start arising as to why no one has gone down on one knee yet. It’s pressurizing and stressful, and to be frank, it’s horrendous to endure.
“You’ve been out on enough dates, are you going to marry him?” Many times I’ve choked at this point, clarifying that deciding my entire life on knowing someone so momentarily is preposterous. Apparently wanting to get to know someone extensively before agreeing to spend your life with them is a concept too difficult to understand. My reply is always the same: “I don’t know yet.”
Uttering this statement is like lifting a red flag to a raging bull; the lecture begins: “It’s fine not to be 100% sure, if you have no reason NOT to go for it, then you SHOULD go for it. Knowing everything about each other is a bad thing. Details could cloud your judgment….” And so it continues.
I appreciate that you cannot know someone properly until you physically live with them which is forbidden anyway. But an attempt to understand them, see their reaction to different scenarios and be around them with a variance of people gives you the chance to experience the range of emotions and attitudes they possess. This makes a massive impact on your feelings towards them and ultimately, it should be someone’s personality and nature that makes you fall for them – nothing superficial or materialistic. Discovering their inner core takes time; I find it improbable that one can be assured they’re familiar with a boy after 3 sittings.
I have spoken to many people about the sort of person I need by my side. Seemingly, the criteria that I find crucial doesn’t seem to exist; certain traits and beliefs are understood to be mutually exclusive so over the past few years, many people have tried to convince me to forgo on some characteristics I find imperative. In simple words, I was told to ‘settle’. I was informed in not such polite terms that what I had to offer, compared to what I want, doesn’t match up, so I need to go back to my drawing board.
I fear for those girls who don’t have the strength or courage to speak up for themselves to women who think they can play god and decide whose lives are worth matching. I have undergone bullying tactics, threats, arguments and abuse through the process and many times I felt like simply giving up rather than allow my confidence to take yet another beating.
In fact, I will never forget the phone call where a shadchan said she would not set me up with anyone until I relented and agreed to date this one boy. Thank G-d I have a backbone; I told her exactly where to go and that it would be unfair on not only me, but the boy in question too, if I were to date him out of force.
Bearing all this in mind, and my inability to make decisions, I couldn’t picture a diamond approaching my left hand any time soon. But then, several months ago, my entire life changed and I thank Hashem for proving to me that I should never compromise on what I believe to be important, be it in yiddishkeit or personality. I passed my tests and overcame my hardships to reach my reward; the incredible person I now am able to call my fiancé.
So yes, that’s right; I not only made a decision (which was one of the simplest I’ve ever had to make), I also found exactly what I was searching for.
Mazeltovs all around – I’m engaged!