Articles by Mashe Katz

Ask the Shadchan


shidduchim

To the Shadchan:

I’m a regular Baltimore girl. I live at home with my parents and work as a professional. I’m considered pretty and accomplished, and have everything going for me. At 25, I’ve been dating for five years and am finding at least one aspect of it very stressful.

I keep hearing from shadchanim, my mother, and people in general that I should be going to shul and to other events and gatherings so that people will “see you and remember that you need a shidduch.” I’m constantly told that I have to look my best at all times – including makeup and perfect hair – whenever I leave the house.


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Ask the Shadchan


shidduchim

I am a 23-year-old man. I work and also go to college, and I am getting ready for my first date. Of course, I am getting lots of advice from friends, brothers, and my Mom. Unfortunately, much of it is conflicting advice. For instance, I usually wear casual clothing. Do I have to wear a Shabbos suit on the date? Will the girl be insulted if I don’t? I would also like to know how long the date should be. I have heard everything from going out for coffee to a three- to four-hour marathon. What do we talk about for all that time? How personal should I get? People say, “Talk about your family.” Well, how deep do you go with a perfect stranger? How much does my date really want to hear? Do I open the car door before the date? Afterwards? Do I just drop her off or walk her to the door? I haven’t seen any men do these things once they’re married, so isn’t it a little artificial? Finally, a friend of mine’s wife set us up, so am I expected to go through her for a second date, or can I just ask the girl out again if I want to?


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Ask the Shadchan


shidduchim

To the Shadchan:

My neighbor’s oldest daughter has just started going out, and I have a gotten two calls, so far, about her and her family. People know that I am her neighbor, so they call me. I am in a quandary, because I know too much. My neighbor is a very nice and warm woman, but she suffers from terrible shalom bayis problems as well children with health problems and learning disabilities. I am her friend and sounding board, so I don’t know what to say to callers. I don’t want to hurt my friend or her daughter, who is a nice girl and deserves a chance. But I also don’t want to mislead people. If they ask specifically about these issues and I am evasive or don’t answer, I know that people will assume the worst. Even if the caller does not ask about shalom bayis, am I supposed to volunteer the information? Would I be guilty if not telling this information were to cause problems down the road? What is my responsibility? What is a smart way to handle it?

 


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To the Shadchan


shidduchim

To the Shadchan:

My older daughter got married a few years ago. The whole shidduch process went very smoothly for all of us. She was a typical kind of girl. She went to a typical seminary in Israel, came back, and started to work and go out. She had lots of friends like herself, and she wanted a typical type of boy.

My second daughter now wants to start dating. She is more of a loner, who does not have a lot of friends. There is something a little atypical about her. For instance, she doesn’t seem to be aware of fashion. (She likes to wear hats in the winter, which makes her “different,” silly as that may sound.) She also tends to be moody and emotional.


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Ask the Shachan


To the Shadchan,
I have brother-in-law who is a popular and outgoing person. Unfortunately, he is also a loudmouth, saying whatever happens to cross his mind without thinking. As you can tell, I am not fond of him. Lately, I’ve become aware that people doing shidduch research are calling him about me, even though he is not on my list of references. I am having trouble getting dates, and I have reason to believe that my brother-in-law is saying not nice things about me. I have asked my sister what he says, but she does not want to be in the middle.

I’m not necessarily accusing him of maliciousness. But he is not a refined person, and I can just imagine how he talks. Anyone who deals with shidduchim knows that when you give information, you need to emphasize the positive and present any negatives in a positive light. My brother-in-law just blurts things out.


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Ask the Shachan


shidduchim

To the Shadchan:

I am a 26-year-old, nice, normal guy, and I am having an issue with commitment. I think the problem is that I have a number of divorced friends, and that number seems to be growing. My parents are happily married, as are my two married sisters – at least I think they are – but this divorce thing scares me.

What typically happens is that I go out about 10 times, and I really like the girl. But then, as I am getting ready to move to the next step, I start to see the bad traits. These could be a high level of anxiety, temper, putting others down, or just plain selfishness. I don’t see these issues in the beginning.


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