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Dear Dr. Yael,

I am a shadchan and while I know I’m doing what I do l’shaim shamayim, I also feel it is important to treat a shadchan with respect and kindness. We, as shadchanim, work hard to help people find their zivug and it is a very difficult job for many reasons. I thought it would be helpful to share with your readers the 10 things your shadchan would like you to know.

  1. Kindly acknowledge suggestions you receive with the bare minimum of “Thank you.” Additionally, responding with some feedback, either way, will help me better target your future suggestions. So even if you’re uninterested, or I am off the mark, it is important to respond to me, so I know what you are actually looking for.
  2. To the young ladies who read this, please do not cancel a first date on the day of the date unless you have a real emergency or are sick.
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Simply forgetting you have other plans makes you look highly disorganized and very inconsiderate! It shows no regard for the boy. Plus, the shadchan does not have to be on call 24/7 to expect your last minute cancellation, an hour before the date.

  1. When you receive a yes for your daughter, realize the boy is now in limbo, so kindly get back to me in a timely manner.
  2. When you reject a boy after receiving a yes for your daughter, please don’t drag it out. Better to say no from the get go if you’re not interested. Do not procrastinate with your “No” just because you want to smooth out the blow because in reality you are wasting the boy’s time, when he could proceed with another option.
  3. When you say “No” to a boy from whom you got a yes, please do not leave me a rambling voice note with a ridiculous, petty or shallow reason why you are rejecting the boy. Have the decency and maturity to pick up the phone and discuss what happened in person. Otherwise, it will make me think twice before setting up your daughter again.
  4. Please realize that if you turn down every suggestion you receive because of unrealistic expectations, shadchanim may not bother with you in the future. Realize that if you’re trying to marry off your daughter, the window of opportunity is short and small and the supply is not unlimited. Therefore, be sure you are declining for a legitimate reason and not your own projection of the future.
  5. Please do not behave passive-aggressively with the shadchan by continuously avoiding the shadchan’s call, in regards to your response after a date. Remember that the other side is waiting for an answer. Although you may want to always appear nicey-nice, there are times in life when you need to own up to things. Be honest and mature enough to level with the shadchan, instead of using avoidance techniques. Procrastination will not make the issue disappear, it just wastes everyone’s time.
  6. When I ask to speak to your grown up child, so I can get a better sense of them, allow me to also establish a relationship with the single. Although you will be the one checking out the shidduch, your child should be included in the process because she or he is supposedly mature enough to get married. Trust in your children and empower them to cope and have the ability to handle rejection, instead of shielding them from any reality. Remember they are now adults. Otherwise, the message you convey is that your child is so fragile and ill equipped to cope with life, and therefore you need to micromanage everything.
  7. Please be honest and realistic regarding your child as to who they are, and what will be a good fit for them, as opposed seeking an upgrade or a shidduch to bring glory and honor to you and your family. The goal is not only to get married, but to stay married as well.
  8. Please have real and sincere appreciation for the shadchan. For example: I gave you a boy’s resume first, to check into and see if suitable . You then beg me to get a yes, which I do. Afterwards, you just turn around and decline to have your daughter date him for a ridiculous reason due to faulty research. Realize how insulting that is, and also what a complete waste of my time it is. You should have thought it through before begging me to secure a yes. To compound matters, you ask me in the same breath “who else do you have for my daughter?” This shows you have no regard for another. Have some hakoras hatov and appreciate the tireless hours a shadchan expends on behalf of your child and remember they are not on your payroll. When you burn your bridges, you may have nowhere to hide.

Your goal should be to establish an honest and good rapport with the shadchan so that the process of shidduchim will go smoothly. Therefore, show respect for the shadchan’s time, her rules, and the ability to handle constructive criticism at times, when necessary. May we hear besuros tovos.

R.N.

 

Dear R.N.,

Thank you for your important and eye-opening letter. I hope you know how much you are appreciated and how amazing your tireless work is. Unfortunately being a shadchan is an exhausting and thankless job. However, I hope your letter helps others see how important it is to be more sensitive and appreciative of a shadchan’s time and effort. The shidduch world is fraught with many emotions and insecurities and some of what you are seeing is a result of this; nevertheless, you are correct in what you wrote. May we see many successful shidduchim in the near future. Hatzlocha in your holy endeavor!

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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.