Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Are we realistic?

Other challenges will exist if one is looking for a working bochur. There are challenges for someone working just as there are for someone on shlichus.

If he is going into his family business, that is a sure thing. If he does not have such a possibility, what skills does he have? Is the career he envisions possible. If he wants to be a lawyer but his English is nonexistent (correct spelling and good vocabulary) then he will have a steeper learning curve. Is she ready to help him out?

Is a working boy ready to make a commitment to learning even if only once a week? Is this important to her? Is he well-matched for the work he wishes to do? Does he have the temperament for it? To use the previous example, if he is not comfortable with public speaking how will he present a case? If he is in college or will go to college, will he be able to support the family until he gets his degree? If he wants to start his own business, does she understand the extra hours he will have to invest in the endeavor? Some girls think in the back of their minds that if they get a working bochur they will be able to lead a (relatively) easy life, they will have a steady income and able to set up their houses as they wish without skimping etc. They may not grasp that until established in the profession or job of their choice, their husband will not bring home as much as they may think.

Their expectation of lifestyle should be discussed. We as parents have to prepare our children for the financial responsibilities they will find in married life.

Again, when saying one wants a working boy, there are a lot of levels. Let our children be specific with their needs.

In the case of older singles, the girls may have a better position and a better salary than the boy they are looking at. He may have remained in yeshiva or helped out in shlichus all this time and not started a career. The girls have to take into consideration that these boys will not be as “sophisticated” and worldly as the ones they meet in the business world. They are certainly no less worthy, they have to be valued for what they are.

When your child describes their ideal match, have them look at themselves realistically, and have them ask themselves, "Would such a person want to marry me?"

An illustrative story was told to me by a shadchea from “Saw you at Sinai”. He had matched two people he thought had compatible backgrounds and goals. She was not too tall and a bit heavy and he was not tall and a bit heavy. She sent him an email, insulted that he had suggested such a shidduch, she wanted a tall skinny fellow, not a short heavy guy! So he answered her “If people were to judge you the way you the way you judge others you would not have a fighting chance.” Naturally she complained and he was reprimanded, and he truly should have been more diplomatic, but the point made is real – would a tall and thin guy look at her?

No matter that we say over and over look at middos and not appearances but we must be reasonable in appearances too. The person has to appeal and not put off the prospective partner.