I was disappointed in the initial emphasis of the response by Rebbetzin Sobolofsky to the dilemma of the out-of-town dater (“Advice for the Out of Town Dater,” December 17, 2020). Though the response eventually got around to the message that both the young man and the young woman would be better served by being more flexible and engaged in the process, she first spent a few paragraphs questioning the woman’s actions in the young man’s withdrawal. Did she not give enough information? Was she from too far away? Was she leaving town too soon after the proposed coffee date? Was she not willing to return to the metropolitan area for a follow-up date? Why was it only her [the woman’s] fault that the date did not take place?
The clear message was that it was the woman’s responsibility, and not the man’s, to do all that was possible to attempt to make the shidduch happen. The mode of the shidduch environment is, in the experience of the single women I know, that shadchanim are looking for girls for the boy, and not the other way around. And in our current digital environment, and especially in the era of COVID-19, distance should be only a minor factor in moving a shidduch forward, as video chatting should be a perfectly acceptable dating device. And why would it not be feasible for the young man to travel to the young woman’s location, instead of only the reverse?
Rebbetzin Sobolofsky’s own experience, described only at the end of the response, told the true tale. Her own shidduch happened only when her future husband declared that he was as responsible for the process to succeed as she was. If only we could communicate that message to our younger, as well as older, singles, perhaps there would be greater success.Name Withheld Upon Request