Shidduch Narratives: Sharing a Life in Context

A dilemma faced in many shidduchim is how much and when to reveal less than positive aspects about oneself.  On one hand, there is a realistic concern that revealing too much too early will doom the relationship before it gets off the ground.  On the other hand, not revealing pertinent information creates its own problems. The person feels like a fraud and will question whatever positive feedback he is getting from his partner. “How positive would she feel about me if she knew the truth about me?” “She likes the person I’m pretending to be and not the real me.” Likewise, the truth often comes out later, and even if the person had a psak that he wasn’t halachically obligated to disclose this information – and even if the partner would have accepted the shidduch if they had been told, now they resent having been deceived.

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Finding The Bashert: Why Is It So Difficult To Hear The Bas Kol?

The Gemara ( Moed Katan 18b) quotes Rav Yehuda in the name of Shmuel that “Every day a bas kol proclaims that the daughter of so and so [is the match] for so and so.” One would therefore imagine that singles need only to sit back and wait for a bas kol to guide them to their bashert (intended). If only it were so! Instead, countless frum singles are frustrated in their sincere efforts at finding a shidduch. There are, undoubtedly, many sociological factors, some affecting the Orthodox community at large, while others impact only specific subgroups, that can make the shidduch process more difficult than i t needs to be – but those issues are beyond the scope of this article. Often, however, there are individual emotional issues that make the process especially arduous for particular individuals. This article will focus on some of the more common emotional issues that I have encountered in working with singles who have asked for help in the shidduch process.

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