Whether you’re listening or will be soon, these tips from shadchanim will be valuable.
In our BCP survey, we asked our readers what types of content they would like to see on Between Carpools. And one of the things you asked us for was tips on shidduchim (there were almost the same amount of people asking for shidduchim-related topics as toddler-related topics… we love being able to cater to all of you.)
So, we asked shadchanim from different communities for their best tips and they responded graciously.
One more tip coming from us: Compensate your shadchan.
Note: Every community has different nuances. Not all the tips will apply to you or the way the shidduch system works in your circles.
- You can start “listening” to shidduchim a few months before your child is actually ready to date because it sometimes takes a bit of time until, what you feel is the right idea, actually comes your way.
- Before you start looking, ask your child what the two most important qualities are in the person they want. And then focus just on those two. The rest will fall into place.
- Make at least one call about each person being redt to you. Don’t dismiss outright.
- Don’t judge by schools or yeshivas.
- Get back to shadchanim, whether or not you have interest. Realize that the shadchan is doing you a favor. If you want to keep thinking about you, be a person who is responsive.
- Even if you’re overwhelmed, and even if you think a shidduch suggestion is insulting: always act nice and appreciative when someone redts a shidduch. Don’t act annoyed or respond as if they’re bothering you. Show them respect, be thankful and grateful. They’re being nice that they’re reaching out to you (and if they’re not a shadchan, they’re also mustering courage to do it). The shadchan/person redting the shidduch doesn’t know absolutely everything about your child or the other child (so they really don’t intend to insult). When you act nice and appreciative, they’ll call you again next time. When you act insulted or not nice, it’s likely that’s the last call you’ll receive from them.
- Never ever say the words “I don’t see it.” Hashem is the only one that needs to see it. And by saying that, you can ruin a potential shidduch. Look how many couples around you are married and I’m sure if you analyze it you wouldn’t “see” all of them. Hashem has a plan and we need to trust Him. We have to be extremely careful with what we say with our words regarding shidduchim.
- Try to connect and be open with shadchanim. It is much easier to redt shidduchim to people who don’t put a wall between themselves and the shadchan. Have open communication.
- Write it down: Write down every single name that comes in, no matter what – even if you don’t think it’s something that’s interesting. Because you never know. Sometimes six or eight months or a year passes…and the person your child is – or what they’re looking for – changes (or sometimes the person that was redt changes…that girl fresh out of seminary is not always the same person a year later)…and then you have a list in front of you. Also important: Write down who mentioned it first. It’s good to know who mentioned it first if you decide to go ahead with it in the future.
- If a shidduch is not interesting to you, the less you say the better. Also, if something was mentioned previously, say, “Thank you so much, but it was already mentioned, I really appreciate it.”
The second person does not need to know if you’re interested or why not.
- If you’re part of a more close-knit community (this might not apply to the very wide Ashkenaz world): Find someone who knows you and the other family involved. It’s easier to call someone that knows you (or knows your child) for information. They have an understanding of who you are or what your child might need.
- It is highly recommended that prior to your child’s first date, parents should give their child the right tools and feeling of empowerment and confidence by having him/her speak to someone to guide them as to what to expect, how to conduct oneself, what prompts to discuss, etc. Sometimes the shadchan themselves or an experienced parent can give that advice. (i.e. Approximately how long you should keep a girl out, opening doors, topics to discuss/questions to ask, what to say when you take a girl home, etc.).
Thank you to these shadchanim Suri Brach, Esti Rosenberg, L.H. Mandelbaum, Tova Fuchs, Rifky Ungar, and Hindy Gestetner for contributing to this article.