May 21, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 21, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Some Alternative Approaches To Online Shidduchim

I noticed that in Michael Feldstein’s Meet Me in the Middle feature of the June 30 issue (“Orthodox Singles: 20 Years Later Many of the Same Challenges Remain”), he stated that “organizations such as YUConnects and SawYouAtSinai have harnessed the power of online technology to create matches that years ago might never have happened.” As a long-time single, I would like to recommend some other, fundamentally different, approaches to using online technology to support the shidduch process.

One possibility is to access shadchanim without specific sites. Many shadchanim have networks without using a site, such as YUConnects or SYAS. Even more significantly, some top-tier shadchanim, such as Ahuva Cherns and Fayge Rudman, maintain an online presence without a specific network.

The primary advantage of using “independent” shadchanim like this is that one has a higher chance of finding an expert shadchan. Not a mere facilitator, such a shadchan will have the skill, training and experience to see compatibilities that may not be immediately apparent from a resume. Having taken care of knowing at least one of the singles well in order to put significant consideration into each match, such an individual will curate the potential matches so that the singles involved will receive suggestions with a high chance of success; this will then mean a reduced number of attempts, and thus reduced time, before the right match is found.

Of course, such high-quality shadchanim may not be available to provide many matches. To make quality matches based purely on meeting for shidduch purposes requires tremendous expertise, and those with such expertise may be rare. Additionally, such a focus on quality will necessitate time to get to know the singles (likely multiple hours per single at a minimum) and time to consider each pairing; thus, quality will inevitably come at the expense of quantity. (This is also why such shadchanim are more likely to be found as independent; a quality-over-quantity shadchan may wish to avoid the competition with more prolific shadchanim that is to be found in a larger network or site, or may find that such a network or site expects them to be more prolific themselves. Alternatively, such an expert may wish to work as a shadchan full-time, and therefore need to be able to set a price not compatible with a network or site.)

As a result of this limited supply, and the fact that independent shadchanim are harder to find in the first place than networks or sites, it is very possible that suggestions from high-quality shadchanim may be either entirely unavailable for a given single, or provide fewer matches than that single wishes to pursue. In such case, it would be necessary for that single to rely on shadchanim that are less particular in their matchmaking and rely more overtly on Hashem’s help to ensure that the match is made with a suitable individual; indeed, this demand for more matches is likely the reason for the aforementioned expectation that shadchanim be prolific.

However, once such overt reliance on Hashem’s help is present, there is another possibility: Some sites, such as JWed.com (formerly Frumster), do not use shadchanim at all; rather, the process is singles-driven, with singles searching for their own matches. This approach has a number of advantages: By placing control of the process in the hands of those with the most stake in its result, a single who is finding themselves not to be getting enough matches can perform searches and make their own matches. Conversely, someone who has enough suggestions to pursue will not search for more, and will receive only those proposed by the other party. Thus, in every match, it is guaranteed that at least one of the two matched singles is available and interested at the time of the match, significantly reducing the likelihood that the match will fail to get off the ground.

This self-correction in the number of matches also means that nobody will receive a truly overwhelming number of suggestions; this, in turn, means that there is no need for the site to limit the number of matches that can be open at one time or that can be received per week. As a result, even if a match is clearly a mistake, it cannot “block” a more suitable match as would happen in the presence of such limitation.

Another advantage to such a singles-driven system is that the only people who will see the resume are its author and people they are hoping to date. As such, there is less reason for concern that a shadchan reading it may prove judgmental and tell other shadchanim, making it harder to find a suitable match; thus, singles may be more comfortable being more authentic in their resumes. While this may not be enough to compensate for the loss of an expert shadchan, it is certainly a worthwhile approach to try if one wishes for more leads than are available from those who invest significant time into every suggestion.

Yitzhak Kornbluth
Teaneck
Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles