Referring back to yesterdays midday at work post. Which was more of a reminder for myself to write a more articulate article on the subject.
Orthonomics is an awesome blogger. She consistently writes on topics regarding core issues in the jewish world. While more specifically geared towards economics and financial matters, once in a while she takes a shot at the jewish dating scene.
In her latest post she discusses an article from Rabbi Pruzansky. While I have no clue who he is and haven’t bothered to google him, he seems to be wise to the issues affecting the jewish dating scene.
More specifically the issue where men have become large wimps. I didn’t notice it at first, but once I joined the dating (re: shidduch) scene at the young age of 22 it only took me a few months to start feeling something was wrong. My notions of dating were always something along the lines of a knight in shining armour mounted on a steed… or at the very least the modern day version – dressing dignified and treating a girl out as a gentleman.
The more shadchans set me up, the less comfortable I felt with dating. Everything became so convoluted, especially with the invent of the shidduch profile.
A means unto which shadchans can evaluate the worthiness of an individual.
Shadchans can’t admit the above fact, admitting this would then mean something much more terrible… the honest and brutal truth… their actual shallowness. I’m not saying shadchans are shallow people, just the means they use to evaluate what makes a good match is shallow. No kidding there’s so much rejection and such a huge rates of young couple divorce.
Simply put, shadchans are doing it wrong. Not all, but many, and of course this isn’t the only factor that afflicts the jewish dating world or it would have been a quick fix. Other factors like the AGT (Age Gap Theory) while disproven, still has mitigating factors, or there’s Abnormal Socialization, Community Pressures, and Helicopter Parents, etc… but I digress.
Getting back to the topic at hand, shidduch dating has created a jewish society of wimps. Men and women have become so used to others ‘finding’ people for them it’s come to a point of complete reliance. So much so that it’s unacceptable for young adults to have a brief conversation in public, be it in shul or in a grocery store. Any attempt at normal conversation is looked upon by a vast majority of ‘frum’ jews as inappropriate and immodest. I’m not saying men and women should be able to frolic together and mingle as they darn well please. There’s a very real level of modesty and appropriateness with which to conduct oneself, however the levels which are considered standard today are just overly machmir and are now having a clear negative affect. Orthonomics and Rabbi Pruzansky are two examples of people vocal about this.
I understand the need to segregate boys and girls as kids. But after high-school when boys and girls are returning from their first year abroad or for those who stayed home and went to college/University at the age of 20+ boys and girls are now young men and women. There are skills in life they must start refining to be healthy community participants. Segregating these two groups past a certain age only leads to highly under developed social skills, and as an adult not being able to face these challenges becomes a highly humiliating experience often difficult to cope with. The older you are, the harder it is to develop proper socialization.
How does a 22+ year old man explain his shyness, nervousness and inability to socialize with a girl. There will be nay sayers that point out one learns as they get more dating experience, but that proves my point all the more so. Shidduch dating is to limit the exposure of men and women socializing. It’s counter-intuitive to say they’ll learn the ropes as they gain more experience… the whole point is for men and women not to get much exposure, period. /sigh…
I’m still not done with describing the wimpy men shidduch dating has caused, but at 705 words it’s time I publish and continue in another post.