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Dear Dr. Yael,

I have been reading your column for years and look forward to it each week. I found this week’s letter from R.N. to be quite upsetting. While she had very valid points, six out of the ten listed were completely focused on the women, rather than addressing everyone. As someone who dated for nearly twenty years and got married older (B”H) I can attest to the fact that both women AND men are guilty of all the things that she listed. I am also involved with shidduchim and setting up singles and see firsthand how responsible the men are for many of the shidduch issues that exist today as well. The writer seems very biased, and dare I say, somewhat bitter and subjective in view about the truth of what truly goes on in the shidduch world today. While there are exceptions, men are very vain and strong minded when it comes to a woman’s looks. If the potential match doesn’t check off every last detail of what he is looking for, he will nix it and never look back. They can be tremendously unrealistic when it comes to age. A man of fifty or even sixty will say an absolute no to anyone over forty! As they get older, their age range remains the same. If she is above a size six, she is “overweight.” I lost count how many times guys disappeared and never got back to me, or even continued to speak to other women in the hopes of finding someone “better” after dating an innocent and unsuspecting woman for a substantial amount of time.

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While I appreciate your response to the writer, I am hopeful that you will further address her letter in a future issue. If this shadchan is so biased, perhaps she needs to take a step back away from making shidduchim for a while. Perhaps she is burned out. I don’t know her reasons, but I do know that reading her letter was very off-putting to me, and I am certain to many others out there. The impression she gives is that she is placing blame specifically on the women (and mothers of the women), many of which are already so tired of the whole dating scene, rather than giving chizuk while giving important constructive criticism to EVERYONE.

Thank you again for your wonderful column.

Best,
A Loyal Reader

 

Dear Dr. Respler,

I read your article in the family issues pull out section on a regular basis and I am familiar with your responses. Your response to the writer in this week’s article was so upsetting to me that I had to write to you. I was fortunate that my married children were introduced to their spouses by caring, loving friends who actually were concerned about the happiness of their friends. Even though I don’t belong to the yeshivishe world, I know that the happiness of our children is a priority for all of us.

It seems based on the article, that R.N. is not happy with her job. She is frustrated by her clientele and their behavior. Maybe this is not the right job for her. We all have challenges at our jobs and have to deal with them.

I was shocked to read that R.N. refers to the young men as boys. If they are boys, then maybe the mothers are right to have reservation with the suggestion of the shadchan. To suggest that the window of opportunity is short and to refer to the young men as “supply” is an insult. I hope that no young lady will be pushed into marriage because the “supply” is short and her clock is ticking. May all mothers continue protecting their daughters!

Sincerely,
R.P.

 

Dear Loyal Reader and R.P.,

Thank you both for your important and intuitive letters. You are correct that all of the shadchan’s points apply to both men and women and I was remiss in not responding in kind. The shidduch world is a difficult world on both ends. The shadchan who wrote the letter tries very hard and is frustrated with people who don’t respect shadchanim, including men who have the attitudes that you both mention. Being a truly caring shadchan can be frustrating and tiresome. The point of the letter was to be respectful of the shadchan, but I can see how it sounded negative.

Things have changed dramatically in shidduchim. The pictures, the resumes, and even the new way in which people do not speak to each other on the phone before a date (and the shadchan has to set up the date for them) puts a lot of pressure on the shadchanim.

While many singles would do things differently, they are stuck in abiding by these new rules. Your letters are very much appreciated as they help me clarify the message I wanted to convey. Please dear readers, appreciate people who work for hours to help people marry happily. Please forgive me if the letter was offensive in any way. We must all be appreciative and sensitive to people who are trying to redt shidduchim and to the ones still looking for their bashert. Hatzlacha!

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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.