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Dear Dr. Yael,

I wanted to share my story with your readers. I have a son who is a full-time learner. He is very erlich and gets many shidduchim redt to him. However even though he has a great name and he has great middos, he recently got a couple of “nos” which did not make sense to me. We were interested in one shidduch specifically, and I did not understand why we got a no. I spoke to a very close friend of mine who also thought this shidduch was a great idea and also did not understand why we got a no.

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This friend had a situation with a family member of hers that was a great girl but was getting a lot of “nos.” She decided to pose as a mother of a boy and see why her family member was getting so many “nos” as she was a great girl from a wonderful family. She was shocked to find out that one of her teachers was saying something that wasn’t helpful to her shidduchim. She asked me if she could do the same for me and pose as a mother of a girl to find out what my son’s references were saying about him.

She found out that one of my son’s rebbeim, who was close to him, insinuated that although he was a great boy with great middos, he was an average learner and would never amount to anything in the world of Torah. I subsequently called that rebbe who did not deny saying this. I asked him if my son ends up being a rebbe for younger grades or learning disabled children, not a Rosh Yeshiva or Rosh Chabura, is this not someone who will contribute to our world of Torah?! The rebbe felt terrible and apologized to me. I know this was bashert, but I wanted to advise your readers that if their child is getting too many people rejecting them in our challenging shidduch world, they should check who they put on their reference list to make sure that their references are not saying anything negative about them.

A Loving Mother

 

Dear Loving Mother,

I applaud you for seeking out the truth in your situation. Our shidduch world today is very challenging. I remember hearing from people that if they call about a shidduch and the person does not sound enthusiastic about the shidduch, they should not use that person as a reference. The reference who hesitates and does not promote your child is not a good reference for you to have on your resume.

People who are yeshivishe no longer meet on their own. In my generation, it was acceptable to go to an Orthodox singles weekend or a singles event. Today these events are still happening, but often more yeshivishe people wait for the shadchan to suggest a shidduch.

We are going through a serious crisis in this generation with older singles and even young singles who do not date enough and are not meeting their basherts. The girls today suffer more since it seems to be a boys’ world. However, sometimes boys will give situations more of a chance. Many mothers that I speak to say that their boys get redt a lot of shidduchim, but the girls will go out once or twice to adhere to shidduch protocol and then say no. This is a problem as well. While the girls’ mothers complain that their daughters do not get suggested enough dates, the boys’ mothers complain that the girls are quick to reject the boy and often do not give him a chance (of course these are all generalizations, but I am sharing what I often hear when trying to help people in shidduchim).

Girls tend to compare their dates to their fathers who are often successful in working, learning, and davening and are mature in handling life. As a therapist, I often tell the girls, “Your father was probably not so well rounded when he was younger. He grew to be the person he is as he became older and more mature and with the support of your mother.”

I often find girls with very successful fathers have a problem with the boys in their age bracket, as they see them as very immature. In order to get married today, we must be flexible and see our own faults. It is healthy to be realistic in realizing that we must look for the things that are most important to us and not be swayed by issues that one can live with and adjust to.

Middos are paramount and while people will say this is most important, they will often look for material things as the priority. I prevail upon my readers to check their shidduch references and try to help their children look for the important things that will make a shidduch work. Hatzlocha and may your son find his true shidduch bekarov.

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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.