The suffering of thousands – yes thousands – of single girls waiting for a shidduch is unbearable. And yet, we as a society are doing absolutely nothing about it. Everyone knows of an older single or two, whether its your neighbor, friend, cousin, or sister.
The problem is a difficult one to solve, and the causes of it are demographic in nature. But nevertheless, the added stress of requiring money to be able to afford a good boy only makes a bad situation even worse. While it is true that wealthy families are also affected by this, the money issue causes more hardship and difficulty to the shidduch process.
In the past, shidduchim were based mostly on the traits and characteristics of the boy and girl, and less emphasis on the families. It was quite common for a shidduch to occur between two very different “types” of families. Now, partially because of the need for financial support, it becomes more of a business partnership instead of a shidduch. The father of the girl needs to be reassured that his investment is suitable for his kind. And the boy’s parents want to really be assurred that their “precious son” is going to be well taken care of. So instead of opening up the market and easing access for the boys and girls to meet each other, another layer of complication is added to the mix, which takes time to be carefully considered, and often is the reason many matches are rejected.
In the past, shidduchim were often made between the boy and girl themselves, without any intervention of the parents. While that may not be feasible today, we should not lose focus on what is the most important factor in shidduchim – do the boy and girl actually like each other? Eveything else is really just icing on the cake. Shidduchim should not be sidelined with matters like money and support, which in the scope of a lifetime are really insignificant.
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