I always wanted to write an article about dating. My friends would hear stories from my countless dating escapades and encourage me to write a book. This week I am turning 34 years old. As I reflect on this past year, I decided to celebrate my birthday by writing my very first article. Just a little something to cross off my bucket list.
There are countless stories of the awful comments and unsolicited opinions that “well-meaning” matchmakers have said to singles, including me. Recently, a matchmaker asked me to come over to her home so she could take some photos of me. She compared the world of shidduch dating to the real-estate market, and explained that the homes that are staged do better on the market. She wanted to stage me so she could make commission. Is this what the shidduch system has been reduced to? An accomplished single is nothing more than a piece of property auctioned off to the highest bidder.
I learned a valuable lesson from this painful exchange. One person does not hold the world’s opinion. I will not let one insensitive comment hurt me. Sadly, this concept in the shidduch world has become so mainstream that she probably did not even realize how offensive her comment was. I cannot control what comes out of this shadchan’s mouth, but I can control my reaction to her words. I am not a piece of real estate.
I told the shadchan that I did not feel comfortable coming to her house for a photoshoot. I find the process insulting and degrading. In general, the idea of sending a picture is demeaning, as it objectifies women. I was confident in my decision. Clearly, she was not the right matchmaker for me.
There will always be people out there who give “well-meaning” advice in the name of “helping” you get married. Lose 10 pounds, wear high heels, straighten your hair, the list goes on and on. Don’t let these awful comments affect you. Own your so-called “imperfections” and don’t allow someone else’s insecurities to take power over you. When the right guy comes along, he won’t care if you’re wearing heels or makeup. You want someone who takes the time to get to know the real you. Attraction is emotional, not logical.
Wishing only the best to my fellow readers navigating the shidduch parsha. Remember, you have nothing to worry about: Hashem is in control.
By Shaina Gold
Shaina Gold is an elementary school teacher pursuing her master’s degree in education. She lives outside the Greater Washington area but is the official wingwoman of the editor in chief of Kol HaBirah, who wishes her a very happy birthday and all the best life has to offer.