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Guy Confessions: What I Want to Tell the Shadchan

Guy Confessions: What I Want to Tell the Shadchan

Four points from actively dating dudes that could make Jewish dating even better.


I am a now-married Jewish male who experienced the shidduch (Jewish dating) system. Granted, after undercover research exploring all of the other systems (AKA my past secular life) I discovered firsthand that the Jewish way of dating is healthier, more secure, and produces significantly lower divorce rates than the rest of the world is enjoying. The current statistics of the divorce rate in America seem to be hovering between 43 and 47 percent. The latest data on Religious Jewish couples shows the divorce rate something between 7 and 10% depending on which source you trust. The gap in those stats is actually something that drew me towards a life of Torah to begin with.

Having said that, there are some issues. I’ve done a loose poll of my inner and outer circles and have put together four key points of contention from actively dating dudes that could make this nearly perfect process even better.

1. No Means No

When a guy calls the shadchan after the date and says, “no” the shadchan must accept it. My former yeshivah mate and current friend has a 22 message correspondence through email practically begging the Shadchan to accept his decision. Here’s how it began:

“Dear So and So, Thank you for keeping me in mind once again. I went out with ____ last night and the chemistry just wasn’t there. The conversation was very forced and I am sure we both felt that. Also she is taller than me which, superficial as some may say, just doesn’t work for me. Like I said, thanks again for thinking of me but I’m gonna have to move on.” - Eligible Bachelor

Matchmakers, this email has to be enough. And if you’re one of the good ones and would have accepted this then keep doing what you’re doing. But, as the several dating men that I’ve spoken to can attest to, this is often not the case. Here’s her response:

“I don’t see a reason here that you two shouldn’t go out again. Please elaborate.” - Stubborn Shadchan

What?! There were like, 3 legitimate reasons that he gave! Chemistry, conversation, and a physical barrier to entry. It should be enough if he kept it tznius and didn't give a reason at all. But 3 good reasons?! Holy exclamation points Batman!

No means no.

**The Caveat: We get it if there is a compelling reason that the guy should give it another chance i.e. the girl’s cat died that day and she's having an off night, or she got caught in the rain and make-up and clothes were ruined or she just converted to Judaism the night before. All reasonable reasons to nudge the lad to give her a second chance at a first impression.

2. Looks Aren't Everything

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Noah! This is the number one thing guys care about! Our hands are tied here and we’re forced to focus on looks more than we ever wanted to!” There is a lot of truth to that. I get it. What I want to focus on is setting two individuals up just because they share superficial attributes.

“You’re both tall.”

“You both have a dark complexion.”

“You’re both really bad dressers.”

Okay that last one may have been an exaggeration but you get my point. Which leads me to my next point…..

3. Getting to know you….Getting to know all about you

Here’s a quote from my friend from yeshivah who's dating for marriage. “What happened to the good ol’ days when a Shadchan would sit with you and really learn what you’re all about?” I recall one shadchan who sat with me and booked a one on one meeting for 45 minutes before she allowed herself to send me one resume. That was less convenient but far more beneficial…Like most things in life. In the digital age it’s easy to get lazy and mass email a bunch of newly religious young tzaddikim and wait for one of the spaghetti strands to stick. From the sounds of it though, the serious single guys on the street are saying to heck with convenience. They’re yelling from the rooftops “Give us a sit down and get to know our hopes, our dreams, what we envision our Shabbos table to look like, and our favorite book!”

What a world of difference it would be that instead of filling the newly eligible boys' egos and inboxes, we filled their most precious need: the right fit.

4. Thank You

The last piece that the male dating world wants to say is Thank You. What you’ve signed up to do is a pretty thankless job and one that Hashem surely finds meaningful to the future of preserving the Jewish people. I am being critical but all healthy singles out there know how essential you are. It’s easy to stand on the sidelines and critique but when we stand under the chuppah most of us have a Shadchan to thank for that. Thank you.

Write your own suggestions in the comment section below.

July 22, 2017

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Visitor Comments: 14

(7) Anonymous, August 10, 2017 7:07 PM

You Nailed it! But a few more thoughts.

I also feel shadchanim should see this article. I don't understand the shadchanim who will suggest without talking to the single at all. One shadchan,who does not need to see this article, not only gave me a nice amount of time to get to know me but she even called a reference! I thought that was an amazing idea and I suggest other shadchanim do that too.
Also, I think shadchanim should know that if they feel the need to criticize they should gauge how much to do so based on their relationship with the single and make sure to only focus on actions not the person or the way they are. For instance, one shadchan once attacked something about my personal hashkafa based on her her own hashkafas all because she had made assumptions about me
that weren't true and then told me that was the way she felt and was not speaking for the girl. That's what not to do. A shadchan who once criticized me correctly focused on something she had been told about and it was an honest mistake on my part and it was all resolved without anyone feeling not heard or like a victim.

One more thing, both the girl and the boy have enough on their minds already, they don't need a shadchan who is difficult to reach as well. Please, either make yourself available often, use email, and/or give them a time or time frame to call that works.

(6) Bracha, August 3, 2017 5:14 PM

Thanks from a still- single lady

I really appreciated the well- written article, and it was nice to hear it from a guy's point of view as well. I have experienced it all, especially the relentless shadchan who won't take no for an answer. Once on a Jewish dating website, I turned down a guy that a shadchan suggested, and I explained my valid reasons. The shadchan (a perfect stranger) called me on the phone to demand why I turned down her match. She was rude and condescending and I had to hang up on her in order to get her to stop talking. It sort of turned me off to the whole website. Thank you to the ones who do care, and know their boundaries.

(5) Anonymous, August 3, 2017 2:00 PM


Nice article. I had not heard of the jewish dating system before, despite that I have lots of jewish friends and we talk about religion a lot. (As a writer, I think it would have been helpful to the reader had you explained what this system is before diving in to defend it...the reader was left to fill in the blanks). I think it sounds like a great system. I guess I just wonder why this has to be a jewish thing....or limited to jews. Why the need to separate? For Pete's sake, the jews and the christians worship the same God. And the God I know doesn't discriminate. So...why? Why the "tribe"? That is so exclusionary and unloving. I admire so many things about the jewish faith...but not this part. This separateness. As long as religious groups insist upon their separateness, there will be wars. We should be focusing on what we have in common, not what makes us different.

May you go in peace and love of the brotherhood of humanity.

Aviel, August 7, 2017 1:41 AM

The Almighty forbids Jews to intermarry Deut 7:3

Dating for marriage does not have to be a "Jewish thing or limited to Jews." Any person can do it.
A Jew who is serious about keeping mitzvoth will not marry a non Jew any more than he'd marry his sister. It's a forbidden relationship. Not all Jews keep this biblical commandment but according to my understanding no Orthodox Rabbi would agree that an inter faith marriage is a marriage.
Some Jewish denominations do accept interfaith marriage, but I and fairly certain that is not the opinion of any Rabbis associated. with Aish.
Mature people recognize that people have both similarities and differences. They can be respected without needing to go to war over it. Jews and Gentiles have different obligations and privileges. Without a unique role there would be no reason for Jews or Israel to exist.

Anonymous, August 10, 2017 5:57 AM

Are you joking?

I have so many thoughts on your comment I can't even think straight. Let me try to put this as concisely and clearly as I can:

1. You are literally on an Orthodox Jewish site, reading an article written by an Orthodox Jew for Orthodox Jews. You are not the intended audience. The intended audience gets what he's saying.

2. There's a saying in Orthodox Judaism that you'd only understand if you learned enough about who we are and what we do, but the saying goes like this: "When the Yidden don't make kiddush, the goyim make havdallah." This basically means that when the Jewish people don't elevate and separate themselves from their secular surroundings, the non-Jews will make that separation and distinction for us. It's happened time and time again throughout history. There's a reason anti-semitism is rampant again and only getting worse. We are supposed to live our lives separate from others. That doesn't mean we're supposed to think we're better than anyone else by any means, but your argument that we shouldn't be so "tribal" is nonsense because that's exactly what we're supposed to do.

3. Jews and Christians do not worship the same god. Christians believe that Jesus is god (to whatever degree), and according to Jewish practice, God in a corporeal form is literally one of the signs of idol worship. The western world may be built on Judeo-Christain ideology, so we may share a lot of similar morals and ethics, but we are not the same people. Our ideals are different, our goals are different, and our God is different.

4. Religious "separateness," as you put it, is no reason for war. War only comes about when that separateness tells you to kill anyone who isn't part of that separateness. Between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Judaism is the only one that doesn't tell its followers to convert/kill the infidels. We all know about the Christian crusades and the Muslim crusades. I dare you to find one Jewish crusade.

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