Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Shidduch "problem"

So I may not be the most qualified to talk about this topic as I did get married while I was still in school, but I have talked to friends/family who have gone/are going through this situation and I ponder how we got to this place. What is really the root of the Shidduch problem? is it the unrealistic expectations people have for relationships? Is it the approach we as a community have taken to teaching about relationships? I have a few theories regarding what causes/caused this situation.
1: We have become as a society so superficial and self centered that we have a need to have the perfect mate. Even if such a person does not exist. People are not perfect. Everyone has annoying quirks and faults no matter how wonderful they are.
2: We as a community lack a standard and consistent method for teaching teens about relationships especially sexual relationships. As far as I know no Jewish day school even broaches the subject of sex ed until possibly senior year. The serious lack of sex ed and relationship ed is a major underlying problem, which ties into the expectation problem. if we don't teach kids what to expect they will make it up as they go along.
3; The pressure to  get married. There is so much pressure to get married, settle down and have a family that when you are thrust into the world of dating you have only one goal: Marriage. While I don't believe dating should be "only" fun, dating should not be this pressure filled race to be the first to get married. Young people who are dating should relax and enjoy the period of life that they are in.
If we as a community make some fundamental changes in our attitude and education, we might be able to, if not fix the current situation then at least make it better for our children.

1 comment:

  1. B"H

    From my perspective, it's all about money. If you have it, you can get on all the dating places, if you don't you can't. And Shadchanim have the same attitude.

    When I was in my 20s and 30s, I was quite on the heavy side. Now that I'm older, the "V" word scares them (why? in all their years as bachelors they never learned how to take a piece of meat, toss some spices on it and throw it in the oven?).

    I think, also, hashkafa is a huge thing. I don't want to marry a guy who will have a fit if he sees me in pants (which I wear almost all the time) or finds out that I learn Gemara or used to sing with a mixed gender choir. But, by the same token, I want someone who does keep Shabbat.