Before you were born, Hashem picked out your bashert. Before you went to this seminary or that yeshiva. Before you wore glasses or had a stutter. Before you grew too tall or not tall enough. Before you gained weight or had learning difficulties. Before your parents divorced or you got that useless college degree. Before you began taking medication for something or other. Hashem picked out your shidduch and it will happen at the right time with the right person. Hashem is in charge.
As I frequently say, shidduchim is like hydroplaning. In Driver’s Ed, they teach you that when you’re driving in the rain and your car starts to skid completely out of control, take these 3 steps: (1) Never ever let your hands off the wheel; (2) Slowly ease your foot off the gas pedal; (3) Absolutely do not brake.
With shidduchim, you may be behind the wheel, but you are not in full control. Everyone has a tough time with shidduchim. The pretty girls. And the girls with anxiety. Top learning boys. And the boys who are socially awkward. Singles from the “best families”. And those whose parents are divorced. Some singles get redt dozens suggestions a week and zero are a good fit. Others get redt no suggestions for months. It’s hard for everyone.
Here’s my advice: It becomes easier if you remember that you are not in full control. It’s no different from hydroplaning. First, as frustrated as you are, do not go FULL BRAKE (or FULL BREAK). Do not stop shidduchim just because it’s not going right. Second, ease off the acceleration. Don’t go out with every suggestion. Don’t talk to a million matchmakers. Don’t go to a dozen events every month. Don’t sign up for every new website. And finally, don’t let your hands off the wheel – you are not in complete control, but you have to be active.
As long as you don’t stop trusting Hashem, you’ll be okay. That means remembering that you are not in complete control. But you have to keep both hands on the wheel. That means you have hishtadlus to do.
When you are burnt out, it is easy to stop investing time and effort to properly and actively search for your shidduch. Helpless and hopeless. That is a common trend among Jews who are ready to give up. Even after the great miracles of yetzias mitzrayim, many of Bnei Yisrael were ready to turn around and return to Mizrayim when they were confronted with the Yam Suf. Hopeless and helpless.
But Hashem always sends the cure before the disease. Nachshon Ben Aminadav didn’t give up, and he made sure the Yam Suf split. No matter how bad things may seem, Hashem has your salvation ready. And your bashert was picked out long ago, before you were born. So either it’s not your time yet, or you have turned down the match Hashem chose for you, or you simply are not doing the right hishtadlus. Because most of the time, the problem is not WHO to date, but HOW to date. How do you use your time well, so you don’t waste it with the wrong matches? How do you maintain excitement in shidduchim when you are getting bad suggestions or having horrible dates? How can you utilize the time on a date properly? How do you network with the right people to get suggestions? How do you get from where you are today to the chuppah?
While people bemoan the shidduch crisis and the challenges the singles and their families in our community face, the shidduch process works. More people are finding their matches through a third party – not an event or a website. It could be a professional matchmaker, a friend, a colleague, or a neighbor. But it is usually a caring human, who took the time to make a suggestion.
And if it’s not happening on its own, then it’s time to go professional. You can’t wash all your clothes at home; some have to go to the dry cleaners. If you have a complicated taxes, you hire an accountant. When you are sick and not getting better, you go to a doctor. It doesn’t mean you are useless, weak, or an incapable person. It just means you can’t do everything yourself.
I believe that if you work closely with credible, good, professional shadchanim, then you don’t have to feel hopeless or feel helpless. So if you want to get married and things aren’t working for you, shake it up and do something different.
Stay tuned for more next week!