Dear Dr. Yael,
I am a single man struggling to date in a world that blames the men for what is wrong with the singles scene. Can I share with you my perspective as a Modern Orthodox person? I find that it is the women who do not give relationships a chance. Many of them have commitment issues. I hear this point of view from my married friends. They say that the young Modern Orthodox women are quick to say no, even to a second date.
Dr. Respler, I am an attractive man, educated and I make a good salary, and yet, I am struggling because the women I go out with don’t seem to want to take a chance. And I am not the only one.
Does this go on in the more chareidi world as well? Are people more successful when they go through a shadchan?
I am curious to hear your response.
I was curious as well, so I reached out to a popular shadchan. I was surprised to hear that this same issue does exist in the more chareidi world. In many cases, the young men will have a list of 3-4 things they find important in a young woman, while the young women have a much longer list of demands. And, as you can imagine, as the young women get older, the list gets longer.
Another shadchan I spoke with told me that in the chareidi world “image and stature seem to play a huge role in shidduch decisions.” What the neighbors will say is often a concern for the family.
A single man who works for a large corporation told me that many young women will not go out with him, even though he has a good job and makes an excellent salary, because he did not go to college. They want a “professional.” Another single male shared with me that a lot of young women want what we call a “learner/earner,” not an easy combination to find today.
While it’s true that sometimes the young women look for problems when there are none, it’s not the whole story. Many women are intuitive and even though the young man presents as perfection, they can see below the surface and pick up on nuances.
Men on the other hand, are very visual and value looks more than anything else. This creates a situation in which the young women feel they have to be thin or look perfect. Often, the first question a young man or his mother asks is, “What does she look like?”
Shouldn’t middos be first on our list? I think it’s something both sides forget very easily.
There is tremendous pressure on all sides. The men feel they have to be good learners, have gone to college, make great salaries, and be amazing conversationalists. The girls on the other hand feel that they must have a degree so that they can support their husbands while they sit and learn, be incredibly thin and dress in a fashionable, but very tznius manner.
There are a great many special men and women waiting for the right person to come along. I wish you hatzlacha in finding the right one for you. Something to keep in mind: If you keep getting “nos” it might be prudent for you to seek some professional help to see if you are doing something inappropriate on dates that you are not aware of.