Dear Shadchan,
It must be incredible to be in the business of making miracles happen.
Incredible, exhilarating… but also tough. Because when you’re digging deep into the soil, getting yourself muddy and pricked by thorns, it must be hard to remember Who actually gives life to the miracles you plant.
You have experience. You have methods. You have careful, step-by-step plans. I have none. Fresh out of seminary, first-time dater, new to this world. I’m just the girl — not the important one. A girl who’s so grateful to even be set up.
I appreciate everything so much, and that’s what makes it harder to say what I need to say now.
Yes, you put hours into this shidduch. Yes, the research process was intensive. Yes, you calmed and cajoled, and I’m so grateful for your patience and time.
You walked us through the first date, second date, what to wear, what to say. You called and asked and listened and suggested and talked and guided and shared and heard and called again. And again.
But now, I need you to stop calling. Because the pressure is too much.
I know what you want to say, because you’ve said it all. That he’s happy, that he’s ready, what’s taking me so long. That slowing down when the roller coaster’s speeding could kill the shidduch. That Boys have Lists and what if he runs out of patience and trust me, you’re young and innocent, but a girl can’t take her time like this.
I hear you, and I know. I know you’re worried. I know you’ve worked hard to pull off this shidduch, that you feel it’s so right, so why risk ruining it all? I know you’re saying it because you care, you really do, and you want me — us — to be happy.
But here’s the thing: I need time.
Not a lot of time. Just a little less pressure, to think, to see, to talk through, to make the most important decision of my life with calmness and clarity.
And the pressure is killing that. The pressure to share, the pressure to decide, and to do it now, or something might go terribly wrong.
And then there’s the next thing: If I can’t commit, if something’s not yet clear — then you want me to talk. Tell me, you say, talk it through. Discuss it. Let me tell you if it’s something really alarming, if this is normal, how you can broach the topic on a date.
I want to talk things through, I really do. But it’s uncomfortable for me to share certain things with you. Because although you’re the shadchan and initiator and advisor, you’re also practically a stranger.
So I give vague answers and then seek advice from those close to me. I follow that advice, even when it goes against your veteran shadchan expertise. Even when it means another date, or taking a few days’ break, or asking a crucial question that might raise uncomfortable answers.
Why am I risking my chances, you ask?
I’m doing it because I believe. I believe in Hashem, Who guided two souls on a journey to meet in the first place. I believe He is limitless and will not let me down for doing the right thing. I believe in us, that we can build together, if we set the foundations with thought and care. And I believe in miracles, even though mine is still on its way to happening.
Yes, there are doubts and worries and nerves. Our journey isn’t over yet. But please, instead of picking up your phone to pressure, to urge, to talk — pick up a Tehillim. Daven for us to have the clarity to make the right decision at the right moment.
Many times you push a shidduch through to the very end. The miracle of it is disguised, lost in the strain and sweat of a thousand midnight calls, of talking and persuading and counseling and warming last-minute cold feet at either end.
But sometimes Hashem pushes you into a place where you can do no more. Where He reminds you that no shadchan, no mentor, no matter how caring or knowledgeable, can control His world. When the girl or the boy needs you to take a step back, just as sometimes they need you to take a step forward. And when that happens — when things seem totally out of control, not understood, not right or regular or simple — you get a bonus: You can simply let go and watch the miracle happen on its own.
With gratitude and with hope,