Editor’s note: Last week, we published an op-ed, “Do Shadchanim Even Care?,” by a young woman about shadchanim who act discourteously to singles by ignoring their calls and texts and otherwise not treating them in a manner befitting their reputation as gracious women trying to help people get married. This is one of two responses we received to that op-ed. You can read the other one here.
The single woman who wondered if shadchanim care is clearly in pain. When a person is in pain, he or she seeks remedies. When no cure is in reach, it sometimes feels good to assume someone or something didn’t function properly, which explains the ongoing bad situation.
Undoubtedly, there are insensitive shadchanim – just like there are insensitive doctors, nurses, and other professionals in the helping fields. In fact, as a longtime professional shadchan, I oftentimes shudder at the disparaging comments expressed by other shadchanim on shidduch WhatsApp groups about specific singles. I will even share that I have asked shadchanim who have facilitated at my events to leave because I felt they didn’t give proper honor to the singles they had agreed to help.
Other shadchanim mean well, but don’t know how to express their thoughts gently. Sometimes, it’s not what is said, but how it’s conveyed that makes all the difference.
The reality, though, is that even the kindest shadchanim can’t help every unmarried man or woman find a match, or even a date. Sometimes the type of spouse one seeks isn’t easily available. And when the shadchan finds someone, that person may say no. No shadchan can compel someone to go on a date.
As for shadchanim who don’t get back to clients: Sure, some don’t, and that’s very unfortunate and unprofessional. However, every so often, e-mails end up in spam folders, text messages are missed or inadvertently deleted, and Facebook messages aren’t seen because the shadchan is not Facebook friends with the person so the message goes into a separate, less-seen folder.
If young men or women can’t get through to a shadchan, they need to try again or find a less busy shadchan – just like if their doctor didn’t return their messages, they would try again or find a less busy doctor.
A young woman recently texted me at 10:30 p.m. saying she wanted to talk to me. I replied that I was on the phone and asked her to call me in half an hour. I gave her my landline number as well. I made sure to finish my call at 11:00 p.m., expecting to hear from her. I didn’t.
At 11:15 p.m., I called her, but she didn’t answer her phone. I tried a few more times, till 11:30 p.m., at which point I sent her a message stating that I had called a few times without success. I then went to bed for the night.
The following morning, I saw a text message from her that came at 12:30 a.m. stating that she was on the phone talking to her friend, which is why she didn’t answer her phone. I noticed on my missed call log a call from her at 12:35 a.m., at which time I was already fast asleep. I tried to reach her several times throughout that day, but my calls went straight to her voicemail.
I took no offense, however, because I know that even when people have the best of intentions, they may not be able to respond right away. Unexpected things come up. Life happens, and we move forward.
The important thing for every single man and woman to understand is that no shadchan in the world holds the key to their marriage opportunities. When one sets out on a journey and sees a roadblock that may cause a major delay, the smart traveler will seek to reroute to get to his or her destination with more ease.