As a dater, I tried to be one of those who was very dan lekaf zechus, both for myself and other singles when we were constantly berated with the belittling retort “well, the reason why you’re not married is because you’re too picky!” I thought that most guys and girls were simply being lectured by the older generation who were lamenting how much easier it was “back in the day” and that the modern generation is so super-saturated with choices in life that they apply this misdirected attitude toward finding a spouse. Granted, there definitely exist a certain subset of singles who are so full of themselves, usually portrayed as egotistical guys, who want nothing short of perfect and gorgeous, but I believed they were an incorrigible minority.
Speaking from my own dating experience, I can honestly say I tried to give every profile I received proper consideration. I’d read over what was written, make a few phone calls (or have a dating mentor help me with research), and come to a conclusion that whether the girl was worthwhile or not. On a few occasions, I did receive profiles that I declined shortly after reviewing them, because it was simply clear that we were hashkafically mismatched, or in some cases that included a picture I legitimately didn’t find her attractive whatsoever (and as have I mentioned before, to each his/her own in that area, as long as it’s reasonable).
During our time working as Connectors, ASoG and I have experienced what I would describe as a significantly high number of people, both men and women, who are unusually and unfairly dismissive of perfectly good suggestions for the most ridiculous reasons. Certain individuals who we’ve sent dozens of suggestions to have not yet accepted a single idea we’ve given them. It’s not as though we’re coming up with ideas that are a hashkafic mismatch, one person wants to make aliyah tomorrow while the other isn’t interest whatsoever, or that the other person’s appearance is utterly unlike anything they are attracted to. These individuals point out spelling and grammar errors, unclear sentences, or “general feelings” they get after reviewing a profile and simply reject the person outright instead of say, being reasonable and calling the references to find out more.
On the surface, these uber-picky people will tell us, either in their initial decline or when we press for more information when they send a blank response, the person we sent is actually very much what they are looking for. But, there is some seemingly minute detail, which is only apparent in the profile itself that they then use as the lynchpin to reject what otherwise seems like a great shidduch.
Understandably, this is quite frustrating for us, because ASoG and I really do read the profiles and try to match people up as best as we possibly can. Granted, nothing is ever perfect, although sometimes they seem as though they are almost perfect, but I would think that any shidduch that legitimately looks like it has potential should be investigated as much as possible before just throwing away a perfectly good opportunity.
I’m not really sure what the problem is with all these guys and gals. Do they think that there are so many people out there that they can simply turn down any suggestion that is less than a 99% match for their “list” of requirements? Why don’t they actually invest some time into checking out these prospective candidates? Granted, daters using YU Connects, and often daters in the YU World in general, are not required to perform the more extensive research protocols found in the more right wing/yeshivish dating circles. Doing so requires a lot of time and effort, and it can be very frustrating, so many rabbeim encourage a middle ground of some investigation before and more while dating (if things are going well).
At any rate, whatever means of researching suggestions a person may utilize, it seems ridiculous to me that all these people don’t want to put an ounce of effort into checking into prospective matches if everything isn’t picture perfect on paper. Why not ASK for the person’s reference numbers and inquire from the people who know him/her? Or, as a few saner people do, simply ask the connector to find out for you. It’s really very simple. We will email the person saying a potential match would like elaboration on point X in your profile, and we almost always receive a thoughtful reply. I think it behooves each and every member on YUConnects/Saw You at Sinai to treat each suggestion with the utmost seriousness, to the exclusion of the random, dart-board suggestions thrown at them from uncaring connectors.
To the readers who are involved in the more Modern Orthodox-type dating world, particularly those who use YU Connects or SYAS – do you actually make an attempt to check into profile sent to you? If you don’t, why not?