Q. When it comes to a shidduch of a young boy or girl how involved should they be? For example....asking questions, making phone calls, speaking to other boys and girls, checking out information? It’s a parents responsibility of course, but how much can and should the boy or girl be involved in the process?
A. I believe it’s the parents responsibility to make calls and check out the prospective date. I feel that young singles asking one another, can become a problem when each person has their opinion and what works for one person might or might not work for the next. Dating, indeed the whole parsha of Shidduchim, is such a personal experience – I don’t think it’s healthy for singles to share this type of information with each other. Rather, they should focus on the date and seeing how the other person reacts to situations and circumstances. Discussing values and goals will give the boy or girl a pretty good picture of who the person is and what’s important to them. Social cues tell a lot too….
If they need to discuss concerns with a mentor or Rebbi/Teacher, that’s always a healthy way to voice concerns with an outside person, if necessary. Hopefully, they maintain a healthy relationship with their parents – and then they can usually fill that role.
Wishing you lots of hatzlacha
This is a difficult question to answer because the answer depends on background, personality and what is accepted in one’s circle. If you would like my opinion on what I think would be the right amount that the boy and girl should be involved, I would say the less they are involved, the better! The way that young people date today, even in Yeshivishe circles is similar to the dating of the goyish world. Allowing the young boy and girl to be involved in the shidduch process by looking at pictures and speaking to their friends is often counterproductive simply because they do not have any knowledge or experience about what is truly important to look for in a shidduch. Pictures and friends can often cause the prospective dater to focus on the things that are least important when looking for a marriage partner.
Parents should be the ones to do the research before the dating process and make a mature decision if they think this would be suitable for their child. Of course, this could only be applicable if two conditions are met. The first is that the parents of a boy or girl must be on the same page. The second is that hopefully the parents have raised their child to trust their opinion!
The Yiddishe way of finding a shidduch was always through a shadchan and the parents. The boy and girl would meet when 90% of the match was sealed! They just had to meet once or twice to make sure there is nothing “horrible” about the other in their eyes! This is the way shidduchim have always been done because anyone who is privileged to be married knows that it is not as important to find the right one as it is to BE the right one!
A successful marriage is not necessarily the most compatible match, it is a decision on the part of the boy and girl that we will work hard to make this work! If people would put into their marriages even half the amount of effort that they put into finding the “right one”, we would have many more successful marriages.
Rebbetzin R. Taub