Ask the Shadchan


To the Shadchan:


 I was going out for a few months with a girl whom I really liked. I was just biding my time and waiting to pop the question. To my great shock, I got a phone call from the shadchan, who told me that the girl did not want to continue dating. She did not tell me a specific reason but simply said that she feels I am not for her. She did not even have the courtesy to tell me herself but went through the shadchan!


I know I am not the first to be rejected, but that doesn’t help me feel better. At this point, about four months later, I just don’t have the energy to start all over again. I invested so much in the relationship, and told her things I had never told anyone before. I feel like I was punched in the stomach. The few times I’ve dated since this happened, I said no after the first date. I am afraid to go through this again. Any suggestions or ideas to help me get over this and move on?


The Shadchan Answers:


This is a very “difficult” but interesting question; I hope I can give you some insight.

My first thought regarding your situation is the most obvious one: Have you thought of trying – or have you already tried – to address the situation again? Maybe the girl has reconsidered and is sorry that she broke it off. You never know.

Beyond that, it seems to me that a lot of your pain is simply not knowing what happened and why. Here are some questions that occur to me: Regarding your statement that you were “biding your time and waiting to pop the question,” why did you choose this course of action instead of asking her to marry you as soon as your were sure? Did you give her any inkling that you were ready to go forward? Maybe she felt that you could not commit and were shlepping along?

Or perhaps it was the opposite extreme: Did you reveal too much about yourself too early in the relationship, thus making her uncomfortable with you? The phenomenon of getting to know another person is a delicate balance in the dating/shidduchim process. There is no right way and/or a wrong way. But sometimes the reaction of one party to the other may not be what is expected. Did she reciprocate in telling you her innermost feelings and thoughts? Was this one-sided on your part, or did she express her feelings that she was ready to go forward as well?

In any case, you must call the shadchan back and ask her to tell you what the problem was, as I believe it is important for you to know that answer before going forward in shidduchim. You need to explain to her that you would like to move on from that relationship, but the situation is troubling you. If it is a character trait or a dating strategy, then it is important for you to know, so that you can work on improving the issue that may have caused the breakup. It is not fair for the shadchan not to tell you what happened. Knowing what caused the breakup will enable you to fix the issue, or at least have closure regarding the relationship, and to continue on with your life.

As far as the girl telling you directly, she may have been embarrassed that she was calling it off, or maybe did not want to be persuaded otherwise. Someone who feels one of those two emotions will often choose to breakup through a third party (most often the shadchan) because that person is not emotionally involved.

Regarding your general feelings of despair, I hope a few ideas will comfort you: Throughout life, Hashem gives us nisyonos, or tests, in many areas. However, we can rest assured that if Hashem grants us a nisayon, that means that we have the potential to overcome the test and go forward. This is especially true in shidduchim. This happened very suddenly, and you are in shock. Right now, it seems to you that you have experienced the tragic loss of “the girl for you,” you must realize that everything is in the hands of Hashem, and maybe this was gamzu letova. Better now than later. You don't see it as such now, but in time, when you heal and you meet your true bashert, you will realize that the relationship in question was not destined to be. In addition, the coping skills gained by “getting over” the relationship will also prove very useful as you move on in life and encounter other difficult times.

As you emphasized, you know that you are not the first one to be rejected. It happens time and again in our current shidduch world, unfortunately. Know that rejection should not be taken personally. It may simply be that one of the parties cannot, for whatever reason, see him or herself being with that person for a lifetime. Marriage is a delicate balance between two people, very often from different backgrounds, who are attempting to become a unit. It is possible that one party sees that it just doesn’t mesh and therefore calls it off.

As far as dating again, don’t just go out to go out, as you must have done the past few times. It is not fair to the girls that you go out with, if you are doing it half-heartedly. Wait until you hear of someone you really feel may be the right one for you and let things happen naturally. You have nothing to be ashamed of, and if it is bashert, then nothing will stand in the way. You cannot continue living in the past. Do not think of what could have been but what, i”H, will be.


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