To the Shadchan:
I am 23 years old and have been dating since I was 20. Last year, I met a guy I really liked. We connected on many levels. We went out around 10 times, and he seemed to like me too. It might sound weird, but I was sure we would be getting engaged and was already planning our life in my mind, when, all of a sudden, he broke it off.
During the phone call, he was very brief. He didn’t offer a reason, and I was in such shock that I didn’t think to ask him for one. I called the original shadchan, but she had dropped out after the second date and said she couldn’t help me. To this day, I do not know what happened and why he refused.
Now it is a year later. I am still single and so is he. I have dated other people. I probably don’t give them a chance because I keep comparing them to this boy. I would like to get back together but I don’t know how. My family tells I am nuts. But I think it just might work. I don’t want to call the original shadchan. Do you think I could just call him up myself and ask him if he wants to try again?
The Shadchan Answers:
Let me say, first, that you are not the first or only person to find yourself in this predicament. Many couples have broken up and then resumed their relationship – as long as a year and a half later – and lived happily ever after.
Let’s start by discussing the young man. He dropped you without explaining why. This in itself is a “red flag,” and questions can be raised about his behavior. He owed you an explanation. Did he all of a sudden find out something about you or your past that he could not handle? Perhaps he heard a rumor that was not even true but whose continued dissemination is detrimental to your future. Not telling you the reason for his decision was not fair to you.
The other possibility that comes to mind is that he is one of those individuals who fears commitment. That would also explain why he is still “available.” I don’t know this young man’s age, but I have seen a pattern among many “boys” who become what I call “career daters.” They get to a certain point in the relationship and can only go that far. They cannot make up their minds, get cold feet, and go on to the next girl. The years pass, and they wonder why they are not married. If this is his problem, he must see a therapist to help him work through his fears.
In a way, I blame the shadchan. Even though she dropped out, when you called, she should have stepped back in to see what had transpired. I always tell my shidduchim, “I will stay with you until after the third date. Then you are on your own – unless you have an issue or problem. This has occurred many times, and when I got involved again, it often worked. Sometimes, of course, nothing can be done, but at least you know you gave it a fair shot.
I don’t know the hashkafos of you or the young man, but it seems to me that he is not in yeshiva at this time and that you also are not yeshivish since you are willing to call him yourself. If he is not in yeshiva, does he have a rav who guides him through his dating process? What is his spiritual level in general? If he does not have someone whom he respects to give him guidance, this would be an area of concern as well.
As for getting back together, there are a few ways to go about it. Forget about a shadchan. Rather, find someone to whom you are fairly close and who knows you both, and ask that person to find out the true reason – no hemming and hawing. If that is not feasible, ask your rav to call him and speak to him very frankly. He should ask for the reason for the breakup, and whether there is any chance that he might be willing to start again.
You are not “nuts,” but your parents are right about not calling him. Under no circumstances should you contact him directly! Why stoop so low and run after him? Value yourself. If it is bashert, he will “wake up” after his conversation with your go-between and realize that he made a mistake by not continuing the relationship. If not, what you see as a big disappointment now could actually be Hashem’s chesed to you, which you will understand only later, when you meet your true bashert.
At this beginning of the New Year, my hope is that these suggestions will help you get to the bottom of this and go forward. And my wish is that you find your true zivug during the coming year.
To all readers of the Where What When, in particular, and all Jews in general, my best wishes for a g’mar chasima tova in good health ad meah ve’esrim shana.