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Dear Dr. Yael,

I am a single girl and I have been dating for years. I work as a teacher with many sweet chassidishe girls who seem to get engaged and married easily and seem to be happy with their growing families. I begin to wonder if they are right with their parents doing research, the beshows, and the quick engagements and happy marriages. In their community, the girls are the gold stars and there are more boys than girls. I struggle with my weight and over the years there were a number of overweight girls who seemed to marry nice looking good boys, where their weight was not an issue.


Recently one of my older single friends married a chassidishe boy and seems very happy with him. He is younger than her. I am not sure that I am ready to take on the chassidishe minhagim. However, the girls are not expected to work so long and the boys do go to work earlier than my friends who married learning boys. I wish I could date litvishe boys the way chassidim date, but I know that is not possible. I don’t know if I should try to meet some chassidishe boys or if I’m just starting to feel desperate and I won’t be happy in the end.

Confused Single


Dear Confused Single,

Thank you for reaching out about this. You do not give much information about yourself, so it is difficult to guide you; however I have been advocating for litvishe girls to meet chassidishe boys for a long time. Chassidim have the opposite “crisis” as the litvishe, where they have more boys than girls and the litvishe has more girls than boys. We are all frum, and while I agree that there are different minhagim and nuances, maybe some singles can find middle ground. Most people I share this idea with think I’m crazy and do not agree. It is hard for a litvishe girl to even fathom dating a chassidishe boy, but once you get past the garb, you may find out that there is a lot to like. This obviously will not work for someone who is not open-minded and not willing to adapt, but if you’re starting to think of a change, it is definitely not a crazy idea. There are all types of chassidim, just like there are all types of litvaks and it doesn’t make sense to take an all or nothing approach. Perhaps you can start putting out feelers that you would be interested in a very open-minded, frum chassidishe boy and see if anyone has any ideas for you.

It is interesting that you now appreciate how the chassidim date. Many people who are not from the chassidishe world cannot understand or fathom that a couple can get engaged after three meetings and be happy together. They think it’s crazy or unhealthy. However, many chassidim are extremely happy in their marriages, especially when their parents understand who their children are and what they want. When parents look for a match that is appropriate for their son or daughter and do not look for things that are important to them (rather they look for what is important to their child), then these matches are generally very successful.

I hope you find what you are looking for and wish you much mazel with finding your bashert b’karov! Remember, being open-minded about the unimportant stuff can help you find someone who fits all of the important criteria. 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 [email protected]. 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 and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at