From the Anash.org Inbox: Concerned with the effect COVID-19 has been having on shidduchim, one Crown Heights resident suggests a few ways any person can help those in need of a match.
By A Concerned But Hopeful Crown Heightser
Making a shidduch is an incredible zechus. Something many people in our community strive to achieve. Making suggestions has become infinitely more accessible in the age of social media. WhatsApp and similar tools make it easier than ever to connect people from all over the world.
Anyone can make a shidduch. You just need a kind heart, some tact, and forethought. Picking up the phone to call a friend with a shidduch idea does not take much effort or time. It can be as simple as thinking of the people you yourself dated, or considering options among your co-workers, classmates, or grocery store-bump-ins.
Some people believe they have to be close with a person before being able to make their shidduch. In fact, the opposite is quite true. Think about the average shidduch. In many instances, the shadchan has only met the single once or twice. Even if one doesn’t know a person that well, they can easily find out more information by reaching out to the single’s friends, co-workers, or neighbors. All it takes is a phone call or a text message to start the process.
Some people are uncomfortable with suggesting a shidduch, feeling it is mixing into other people’s lives. This view is shortsighted because there are many different ways that one can help foster a shidduch. Choose a method that feels most comfortable. One option is to reach out to a shadchan. Any shadchan would be relieved when a single suggests an idea for the person they recently dated. A second option is to find a married friend who can then have their spouse suggest the idea. Young couples may have a unique perspective, after successfully navigating the dating scene. They have access to the men and women. Additionally, two heads are better than one!
Most importantly, don’t doubt your ability to match up two singles, just because you’ve never done it before. The best way forward is to just sit down and come up with a list of people. Start by thinking of your immediate circle of friends and family. Then think about your elementary, high school and post-high school classmates. Lastly, think about your co-workers, neighbors, and acquaintances. Pretty soon, your list will be full. The next time a person asks you if you have an idea for a single, you can refer back to your list.
Remember, be mindful of how you reach out when suggesting an idea. Be kind and gentle. Start by asking if they are available/interested in hearing a suggestion right now. Respect their response. Making a shidduch is not just about throwing out an idea because the woman wears skirts and the man wears pants. Be thoughtful and do some basic research before suggesting the idea.
People are often afraid to suggest ideas because they’re worried that their ideas won’t be well-received or that their suggestions won’t be shayach. However, when ideas are conveyed in a thoughtful and kind manner, singles will likely be more open-minded, and will appreciate you taking the time to help them.
Remember that you don’t need to be an expert or have a degree to make a shidduch! The official shadchanim are working tirelessly around the clock, but it’s not nearly enough. Go out of your comfort zone and pick up the phone. You never know the positive impact you could have on one or more of the singles in your life!