A couple months ago I wrote a piece entitled “10 reasons why stern girls won’t date me.” Since then many girls have approached me and told me that guys were also incredibly ridiculous when it came to dating. Being a guy myself, I found it hard to believe that buchrim could be irrational. This all changed a couple months ago at a shabbos meal by my friend’s apartment. As the meal progressed, the conversation naturally began to move towards the shidduch scene. As I sat there taking in the conversation I listened as the buchrim described in detail what they want in a meidel. One buchur spoke up and said “I will not date so and so because her tooth is crooked.” Another buchur spoke up and said “She is an awesome girl, but there is no way I would date her…she’s from Brooklyn!” Someone at the end of the table chimed in and said “I would NEVER date a Brovender’s girl!” And then it hit me! Guys are really just as absurd as meidels when it comes to going on a date! Due to my new enlighten view of the shidduch crisis; I decided it was only fair to list 10 frequently used reasons why buchrim reject meidels…and my analysis.
1) “I’m not into the look” – Attraction is very important! I want to make that clear before I give buchrim a hard dose of reality! If there is no element of attraction, than you should not go out with the person! Period! End of Story! It seems like only recently that people have developed this notion that “looks will grow on you.” This is nonsensical. Would you purchase a painting you find hideous with the hope that over time you will come to like it? Of course not! Obviously, I am not equating a bas yisroel to a painting because there are many more aspects to a person than just appearance, however, why would you date a girl with the hope that one day you might be attracted to her? It’s just irrational! That being said I think guys need to be realistic. YOU’RE NOT BRAD PITT! In fact, you are probably far from it! Before you go around listing exact physical specifications of what you are looking for in a girl, take a look in the mirror! If you have a pop belly, acne, and constantly look disheveled, then maybe you should be a little less rigid on your physical requirements for your bashert (you may also want to consider getting a gym membership)!
2) “I won’t go out with a girl from that seminary” – Believe it or not there are guys that go to KBY that smoke weed and go clubbing, just like there are those in Michlala that enjoy those same types of activities! Yes, you read that correctly! There are naughty people in every school, just like every school has their share of quality people. The spectrum of people in each yeshiva/seminary varies widely and you shouldn’t use a school to label the person! Another red flag for buchrim is often that a girl didn’t go to Israel at all! Just because a meidel doesn’t go to Israel for a year doesn’t mean she is a shixa! In fact, there is a good chance that she is less phony than girls that do spend a year in Israel getting brainwashed…oops, I meant learning!
3) “She went to Stern” – I heard this from both YU buchrim and people at secular college. They say girls are just in Stern to get their “MRS” instead of an actual degree. First of all, Stern has a rigorous dual curriculum that can’t be matched by any other university. Secondly, just like seminaries have a wide range of students, so does Stern. There are pre-med girls, pre-law girls, and girls pursuing one of the fields of therapy, as well as meidels that are just looking to get married. There are many options out there. Thirdly, since when did it become a bad thing for a girl to want to get married and be a good wife? That’s a pretty noble goal! It’s better then marrying a high powered corporate attorney who you’ll never see or speak to!
4) “She is comfortable with guys” – Several times I’ve tried setting up a buchur with fine bas yisroel and I got this response as a reason why they won’t take the girl out! Thinking that they might assume that they aren’t frum I proceeded to clarify that they literally are just comfortable talking to the opposite gender and don’t indulge in any hanky panky! The buchur clarified and said “I don’t care if there is no hanky panky, I don’t want a girl that is comfortable in the presence of guys because I am not comfortable with girls!” Are you kidding me? Most guys overcome the fear of talking to girls at some point in high school, but since you seem to be a bit slow in this area you are looking to find a girl that is equally socially retarded as you are?!?!? That’s absurd! If anything you should look for a girl that is comfortable in social situations so she can help you overcome your social issues!
5) “I refuse to go out with a girl that is majoring in one of the therapies” – I had a friend who is a big shot financier say these words to me. I don’t really understand the logic behind this. From what I understand, pursuing a career in one of the therapies can pay well and is also very flexible, which is quite suitable to someone who wants to raise a family. However, the most important issue as to why going into one of the therapies is a wise career decision is the fact that it’s not cyclical like other industries. There will always be people that need physical therapy because of some type of injury! Regardless of the economic conditions there will always be people with speech impediments! Despite the freeze in the banking sector, there will always be children with hand writing problems that an occupational therapist can fix. As I write this, I’m sure there a plenty hot shot lawyers, financiers, accountants, and businessmen who are reconsidering their career path!
6) “Won’t go out with someone unless her father must makes more than 400k a year” – Yup, someone actually said that to me! Not sure how the material success of a girl’s father is relevant to the compatibility of two individuals for the sake of marriage, but there are some real freaks out there! I can only imagine how tricky it is to try to obtain this information!
You: “Mr. Goldstein, you daughter is very nice, very, pretty, and is exactly what I am looking for in a girl.”
Mr. Goldstein: “Great, I’m glad you think so highly of her!”
You: “Yeah, so I’d like to take her out, but there is just one more thing I need from you.”
Mr. Goldstein: “Sure, you seem like a nice young man! What can I tell you?”
You: “Well, I’d like a copy of your financial statements for the last 10 years and also a copy of your most recent tax filing. Also, if you don’t mind I’d like to get cash flow projections and various other financial and tax information. Do you mind if I speak to your financial advisor and accountant or do you think you can just fax that over to me by noon?”
As you can imagine, I bet things will get super awkward from this point forward. Ladies, it’s one thing for someone to ask what shul you go to, if you’re a good cook, and for a picture of you, but once someone starts inquiring about your families personal finances…I would run in the other direction!
7) “I have my eye on someone else” – Wow, sounds like you are really in the middle of something intense! Wouldn’t want to break up something so serious! You fool! When someone has a quality girl to set you up with, unless you are in the middle of a relationship, you should go for it! What is this nonsense about having your eye on someone? Saying that you have your eye on someone just means that you spotted someone that you thought was cute, but don’t have the guts to bust in there and ask her out! Since you lack the confidence to ask someone out, I would suggest taking people up on their offers when they have a good girl for you!
I don’t date NY girls”– This is a very common phrase I hear amongst guys. Let’s face it, NYers are quite intense and out of towners are generally just much sweeter human beings! However, the fact of the matter is, there are sweet girls in NY…I’ve actually met some! Despite the reputation that NY girls have earned for themselves, one shouldn’t write off a potential date just because their family resides in NY. Believe it or not there are quality girls in NY…even in Brooklyn/Long Island…they are just harder to find!
9) “Her mother is fat” – Let me address this one by illustrating the following scenario: Let’ fast forward two decades from now. You’ve just spent the last 20 years of your life working long hours trying to put your kids through modern orthodox schools. Your spare time is spent dragging your kids from basketball practice, to SAT classes, to piano lessons, etc. After years and years of working and schlepping will you still be able to maintain your chiseled abs? Will you be able to maintain your healthy eating habits on the road and under the extreme stress of providing for your family? Will you be able to maintain your athletic underwear model figure? If you answered no to any of these questions, or if you lack that type of superior physique now, then maybe you should stop being so critical of other people’s mothers!
10) “I don’t want to go out on a blind date…I want to meet someone in a natural setting.” – Well isn’t that lovely! Don’t we all want that perfect Hollywood love story! We meet at a friend’s birthday party, its love at first site, the person fulfills all our dreams and desires, and then we ride off into the sunset and build a bayis ne’eman biyisroel together! NOW WELCOME BACK TO REALITY! This isn’t the movies! Most of us don’t have our bashert just fall into our lap like that! Anything in life that is worthwhile takes effort, sweat and tears! If you are “in the parsha” than you should be trying all different methods of finding your bashert (blind dates, asking people out yourself, online sites, getting friends to set you up, etc.). It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I watch one of those chick flicks, but you have to keep in mind…it’s just a movie! As long as you are doing your part in this shidduch game, then we can always hope that we will find someone in a Hollywood manner, but in the meantime there is a very good chance that we will meet our own price/princess on a shidduch date!
To all the buchrim out there: You need to make sure that what you’re looking for in a shidduch is realistic based on what you have to offer. Believe it or not, despite what you’d like to think about yourselves, you have faults too! Before you expect the most beautiful MMY girls, whose fathers’ make over 400k a year to fall for you, ask yourself “what do I have to offer in return?” What do you have to offer that will make a girl want to look past your pop belly, poor social skills, subpar hygiene, and lack of drive? For example: Seal married Heidi Klum. Heidi is one of the most beautiful meidels in the world, and Seal happens to be an objectively ugly individual! However, Seal has the voice of an angel! If he sang to me, I might even consider dating him! Seal had something to offer that earned him Heidi’s hand in marriage because she was able to look past his ugly exterior and into his neshama. As we all work hard to find our respective basherts, it is imperative that we remain true to ourselves, and constantly work to refine our character, neshama, and physique before we’ve earned the right to critique others!
[Note: I'd like to thank Penina and Usher for their various insights to this post. May you both be zoche to find your respective basherts in the near term.]