Choose to Shine
In this space last month, I discussed some of the concerns expressed by women who feel that many of their dates do not know how to act with the opposite gender. In the interest of fairness, I would like to talk about some of the frustrations which men have expressed to me about some of the women they encounter. The level of their expectations can sometimes feel inflated, unrealistic, or impossibly high. For example, I tried to set up a young woman with a fellow who is 5’10”. She would not even consider it because she is 5’7″ and “must” have someone who is at least 5’11”. This guy happened to meet every other requirement of hers, so I felt disappointed that she would not even consider looking into him. As it happens, I know of one guy who married a woman who is at least several inches taller than he is, and they are very happily married and blessed to have children and grandchildren now. She wears high heels sometimes as well, without any care for what “people will think”. Does height really matter in the grand scheme? What are shorter men supposed to do when even women under 5’2″ insist on a guy who is tall? What if she misses her bashert because of a false sense of what is approved by society as appropriate?
Another problem I encounter too often is when people (especially parents) have heard about a certain single guy. They insist on waiting until he becomes available before even thinking of any other matches. Yes, it happens. I cannot explain why. Vaxxers versus anti-vaxxers further divide the available pool of eligible singles.
I also find that women in general are more “polished” than the men I encounter. They insist on guys who are “polished” as well. I must share with you here that when I was single, I was not very “polished.” All the credit goes to my wife for any finishing school education I may have acquired. Then again, when she and I first met, there were no background checks, resumes, or pictures. It was only a phone number. Being from out of town, I had no clue about how to conduct a military grade background check. It was time for me to begin dating, and I did, with no expectations (and no clue). Hashem really took care of everything.
Is the genie out of the bottle forever? Is there no way to get back to simpler times when people used to meet and see if they clicked? Enter Neshamasconnect.com, a new website where singles post a 60-second video about themselves, along with their first name and last initial. The site was created by Annie Rabinowitz, who lives in Florida. She nearly missed out on connecting with her bashert because she had a checklist of what she believed she wanted and needed in a match. When the guy heard she had a checklist, he bailed. It was only due to their shadchan’s efforts that they agreed to go out. They now have three children, baruch Hashem. How did her shadchan know her? He went out with her first, then thought of her for his friend, who did not need anything more than his recommendation.
The idea behind the site is to defer the background checks and pictures until after singles see if they like the personality behind the resume page. The site was just launched in November, and it is free for the first 100 people who post videos. After the first six months it will cost $10 per month or $60 per year. This is not meant to be a money-making venture. This husband and wife team have already spent thousands of their own dollars to get the ball rolling and hope to establish a nonprofit as well. Please help spread the word about this initiative to help Jewish singles around the world. We need more ideas and involvement at the grassroots level if we are going to make real progress for singles. Everybody knows someone who is single. Step out of your comfort zone and try to network with others.