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The Long Road to the Chuppah

Gila Arnold

They’re home from seminary, and the phones start to ring. The race is on, and girl after girl sprints toward the chuppah. Babies, one after the other, soon follow. But what about the girl who never got past the start line? What is life like for her?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

As little girls, we dream of our future wedding day, gliding in a long white dress down a flower-bedecked aisle to the chuppah. As we get older, the dream takes on a more philosophical bent: What kind of man am I looking for? Where can I see myself living? And then, after years of discussion, we find ourselves back from seminary, and the theoretical suddenly becomes all too real. We brace ourselves at the start line, and suddenly we’re off, hurtling through the world of shidduchim, praying to reach the chuppah quickly.

But, unfortunately, for some the road to the chuppah is a long one. The term “shidduch crisis” has entered our modern vernacular much as have other revealing terms — signposts that will serve to inform future generations of the struggles that defined our times. While there are those who object to the term “crisis” as being overly alarmist and anxiety-provoking, there is no denying that there is an ever-growing number of older singles in the frum world today.

What are the unique challenges of the older single as she faces year after year of dating in a society that has no place for people in limbo between childhood and marriage? How does she navigate the sometimes unfriendly world of shidduchim? And, after so many years of disappointment, how did she manage to finally reach that finish line — the chuppah? Family First explores these questions in conversation with several women who married over the age of thirty. Here are their stories — stories that can provide insight and inspiration to us all.


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