Ladies first? Well, sometimes…

I’ll be the first to admit that I am an amateur shadchan.

Contrary to what many believe, it seems that matchmaking is a serious skill that needs to be honed and nurtured.

As I muddle through the earlier stages of “shadchaning,” I’ve been taking notes for myself on the mistakes I make and how to avoid them in the future. I figured that it can’t hurt to share them with my three or four millions of undying fans out there…

So here is Tip # 1, below.

Feel free to disagree with me – I am very open to other opinions in this arena. More to come…

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Lefty’s Law # 1:

Always suggest your shidduch idea to the side which is more likely to say “no” first.

Intended Audience: Shadchanim

Convention dictates that the shidduch be suggested to the boy’s side first. This is because the boy is more likely to turn it down, due to his notorious “list.” (Excellent case in point here.) Although 95% of the time I adhere to this rule, I have learned to adapt it somewhat depending on whether or not there is reason to believe that the boy gets turned down more often than the average girl.

For example, a “perfect” (:gag:) 24 year old girl is being redt to a guy whose parents just went through a messy divorce (or any other medical/psychological/familial/social issue that is considered “baggage” for shidduch purposes). In such a case, I’d call the girl first to find out if this was something she’d consider. Chances are, this guy has a hard time getting a date, so why hurt him further unnecessarily?

If the aforementioned girl also has an “issue,” I’d stick with the original rule, because then they are “even,” and at the pre-dating stage, the boys always have the upper hand in normal situations.

Basically, the point is to be as sensitive as possible to all parties involved. Sometimes this takes extra thought and effort, but in my experience, people really appreciate it.

Happy shadchaning!

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6 Comments on “Ladies first? Well, sometimes…”

  1. I agree with that rule. When I was dealing with my son in shidduchim, I didn’t realize that it was an actual “rule” that made some sense. Now that it’s my daughter in shidduchim, I’ve learned that the first question I ask the shadchan is…did you suggest it to the other side yet. If the answer is no, I will not look into it until they do. Researching a shidduch is a lot of work, and I won’t invest that time and energy when it’s too easy for the boy’s parents to say no.

    • leftylogic says:

      My parents do the same. For girls, my mother won’t even write down a name until we get a “yes.”
      I think they learned from experience as well. Even if they do actually look into it, the boys could take months to get back with an answer, if they get back to the shadchan at all.

  2. Princess Lea says:

    You do have a point there. Except, despite the fact I rarely say no, I’m getting calls first and then the guy says no. So I’m getting pretty annoyed.

    People curse out the shidduch system. It’s not the shidduch system’s fault; people just don’t abide by the rules!

    • leftylogic says:

      PrincessL, I’m in total agreement.

      Perhaps people making these suggestions are unaware of the “rules.” Unfortunately, there is no official guidebook or popular halacha sefer delineating all of them. ;-)

      Do you ever try asking them to please speak with the guy first?

  3. Princess Lea says:

    Usually the person on the other end of the line doesn’t comprehend the “rules.” While the shidduch system does not, of course, have halachic requirements, there are still some basic outlines.

    Putting down anyone in the process of redding is not allowed. Call boy first. Ask boy first after date. Shadchan will get something if a marriage results. It’s not so difficult.

  4. This seems like pretty sound advice. I’ll mention it to my wife, and we’ll see how it works out during our YU Connecting!


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