Readers’ Scoop: Shidduchim Beforehand

Dear TLS: I am a 23 year old single guy who goes to the gym every day, diets, and would like to think of myself as a good-looking guy. I also recently returned from Eretz Yisreol after going 2 years to a very respectable yeshiva. The reason I put great efforts into making sure I look good and have everything going for me is because I am hoping to marry someone similar to me as far as looks are concerned.

I have not made this a secret to the shadchanim I deal with. Maybe, this makes me shallow or maybe it makes me just aware of one of the things that I think are important for a shidduch.

I recently dated a girl whom the shadchan gave me an impression was what I was looking for as far as looks are concerned. I had to travel out-of-state to date this girl and put wear and tear on my car. The shidduch was not for me from the moment I opened the door. I realized that the shadchan lied to me as far as this girls looks were concerned. When I discussed it with the shadchan the woman told me to go on a second date since looks can grow on a person. I told the shadchan that I would not be using her again.

This experience also has me considering another rule I think should be done with shidduchim as a whole. Shaddchanim should require that all shidduchim resumes contain at least one picture of what the person looks like. I think this will greatly help both parties and save time on going on dates that aren’t nogaya.
Many of you may say I’m just shallow and that I’ll never get married. However, the Gemara in Kiddushin that states a guy must see the girl before marrying her seems to defend my position. Secondly, for a yeshiva guy who is makshav sedarim and has limited money this will help him manage his time and money more efficiently.

I hope the shadchanim take this consideration to heart.

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  1. your points are valid, but a few words of warning. A girl who is soo into looks might be very shallow. Middos and hashkafa should be the first two points to look at. If you are machshiv Torah soo much why not speak to your Rosh Yeshiva instead of posting on a public forum? Hatzlocho and may you be zoche to get married this year!

  2. While I’m sure most people would agree that physical appearance is important it seems to be your primary criteria. Hopefully you view marriage as a long term commitment. Your wife will not always look the way she does on a date. Even if she shares your commitment to maintaining her physical appearance, there will be times when childbearing, illness and age may take their toll. For your sake as well as hers, make sure you are compatible on other levels before entering marriage. And for the sake of your shalom bayis, please make sure you have realistic expectations. After a long day of work, childcare and housekeeping chances are your wife will not look like a fashion model when she greets you in the evening. But if you choose a wife whose beauty is more than skin deep and if you appreciate all her qualities, at least you will be greeted with a smile!

  3. Ive always wondered the same thing! not that i judge by looks only but the second i see the person im dating i can already make up my mind if only we can see a pic that would help numerous of wasted dates if only we saw from beforehand. on the other hand a pic can be not such a great idea cuz pple will judge by the pic and not even give a try when in reality they can be much more than what u perceive. Hatzlacha to all.

  4. I agree about seeing a picture first – especially when traveling far and spending lots of time and money when this could have been avoided.
    But many times you get thrown off from a picture because it doesnt portray her real image and had you met her in person first you may have found her very attractive. It’s important to get yourself a girl you’re attracted to but take the middos and hashkafa too – that will definitely give you a great and fulfilling life together. I hope you find your bashert very soon!

  5. terrible idea, people look much different in a picture than in real life. sometimes much better and sometimes much worse so it is not fair and a stupid idea, do your reasearch better next time, these things can be easily found out

  6. as a girl and ”someone similar to you as far as looks are concerned” i am competely unimpressed with this letter. im sure you are a great guy but this sound completely shallow and well… im happy im not the girl you dated. looks are not everything and looks change, shocker! Marry someone for her heart and mind.. get to know her.. give her a chance, one more then you looking at her and giving up on a first date. much hatzlacha and clarity wished upon you!

  7. FYI… to the author of this letter: I truly hope that when you are 33 in 10 years from now you aren’t writing this same letter to the “Scoop”.

    You may want to straighten out your thought process

  8. number 7 is so right. alot of times that stupid picture in front of her brothers chuppah is not at all what might greet you at the door. stop being so worried what your friends are gonna think at your vort and look at girls for who they are. marry someone that YOU”LL feel good walking down the strret with.

  9. As another commenter mentioned,you are right that looks are important but in your case it seems to be the most important factor. That I think is wrong. As far as a picture goes; not such a great idea. A person can “look” much better(or worse) in person since you see them in action vs looking at a manequin! And fyi, don’t think shadchanim will hesitate to give you a picture of another girl so you go on the date!

  10. Hmmm… The scoop keeps either editing my posts or not posting them completely.

    Oh well… at least the “mods” on the Scoop are getting a good laugh 🙂

    …too bad their not willing to share it with everybody.

  11. 1. Pictures lie.
    2. Life changes people.

    All that a picture can tell you is that with a long professional make up session and the right lighting your future wife may be able to achieve a specific look. (Assuming of course that she will ever smile to you the way she smiled to the photographer, not at all a given). She might recreate that look for a wedding or some such other special occasion. That should make you feel good if your happiness in life is determined by the impression that others have of you/your wife. In your own daily life, the reality is that your future wife will not endure a professional make up session on a daily basis. Life and time will hopefully bring deeper and more important responsibilities Every afternoon when you walk through the door following hours of shtaiging you will not see that picture. Learn to appreciate people, not items and you will IY”H have a long and happy marriage. Hatzlacha.

  12. I was once told that “looks” are like a few Zero’s. Just as a Zero will only count if you put a number in fron of it, so too looks are very important but will only count if you put something in front of it. If there are Middos Chesed and Lev Tov in front of it then the looks will complement the Middos Chesed and Lev Tov and so on, otherwise looks on its own is shallow.

  13. so shallow. when people as for pictures and make a big deal about getting one as “they have to see her before” whether it’s the boy or the boy’s mother, it’s a “brech”. I have a sister that always looks gorgeous even without makup, she’s got beautiful Chain that attracts people, she comes out so horrendous in pictures, you would never believe it’s the same person. I have another sister who is “regular” nothing earthshattering and she looks so stunning in pictures (also without makeup) so there you go.
    Also, Chain, which is what”s real in attractiveness you cannot pick up in pictures usually.

  14. so u marry a beautiful girl…what happens if after 5 years she puts on weight? What happens if chas v’shalom she gets hurt and her looks fade? I hope you LIKE the girl and Love the girl based on who she is as a person as well.

  15. So far nobody even mentioned that the shadchan lied . She justified it by saying his concerns are dumb. Who is she working for? Guess what? He is looking to get to know someone who looks good and cares about being healthy. Of course he will get to know her before marrying her. A pic is not necessary. It is necessary not to lie! He is not you! Don’t brush his concerns aside! Oh. And stop lying!

  16. A piece of advice from someone who is B’H married for several years.

    You shouldn’t be exercising, keeping healthy, and looking good for dates. These are things you should be doing for yourself. For instance, if someone quits smoking, because of a prospective shidduch, they will most likely relapse before or soon after getting married. People who want to look good solely for a shidduch, will tend to let themselves go after they’re married.

    Also, good looks are relative. Someone you believe to be beautiful may not necessarily look attractive to others. Don’t fault the shadchan who may have sincerely thought this girl was attractive, by your standards.

    Like others have said, looks aren’t everything. Do you have education under your belt? Do you have a respectable job to successfully care for a family? You may be looking for an attractive woman to date, but she may be looking for these traits as well.

  17. i definitely agree there has to be a physical attraction in a shidduch, but pictures do not do justice. i also believe that shadchanim have to be truthful when describing looks. its unfair to lie about weight or other physical things that might bother someone.

  18. As a girl that is considered to be very pretty, well dressed, family money, etc. I hear your point. You feel that as a “catch” you can take your pick. You obviously feel that the girl will want you in return. NEWS FLASH: she won’t. Oh I won’t deny that good looks are always a plus…AFTER everything else (Middos, GOOD PRIORTIES, nice family, Etc.) So Just know this, you can play the game all you want but that pretty girl you are looking for….she won’t want you. One last point, are you really sure your all that great looking? It is probably a good idea to verify that before sending your zivug packing.
    In conclusion, Photoshop can work wonders on any picture so maybe not such a great idea after all…. But hey if it makes you feel good, feel free to send your picture along with your resume.

    I sincerely wish you the best of luck.

  19. One thing your missing here is that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What you think is pretty may not be what I or the next person thinks is pretty. You can’t necessarily blame the Shadchan, She may have actually thought the girl was pretty.

    A lot of single guys and girls think its a good idea to get a picture first. Some people will not look good in pictures no matter how pretty they are. You may be passing up on yours just because of a pic. Unfortunately your wasting time is just part of the process to find the right one. You win some you lose some. I understand it’s not a good feeling to travel far, (wear and tear) just to get there and feel lied to. If you dont like how dating works then dont date. Is there really a difference if you got there and she was ugly or you went out with a pretty girl and it wasn’t for you for other reasons?! You wasted the same time. I have news for you, you only marry one girl. All the rest of the girls you dated until you found the right one is “wasted time and money” if you want to look at it that way. Grow up and realize that it’s just part of the process.

  20. How shallow can you be, maybe your “date” didn’t think you were good looking enough for her. Looks are NOT everything, it’s what on the inside that counts, looks are secondary, besides in a few years you might start losing your hair and get a pot belly.

  21. one peice of advice for you sir: (moderated) a lot of them thing theyre your friend and want to convince you of anything. a lot of them are naive and dont know what theyre talking about. They think they can get away with lying to a guy or a girl about a shidduch.

  22. He is totally right!
    a boy needs to like his wifes look
    needs to be able to be proud of her
    and not be embarrassed of her
    he has to love his wife
    this is the woman he will be spending the rest of his life with.
    looks are very important and please realize this guy said the shadchin lied! which is in most cases. you don’t know what this girl looked like. she could have really looked bad and for this particular he need s a girl that is pretty or at least takes care of herself! what’s wrong with that? Nothing!! Absolutely Nothing!
    He is %100 right. and please understand his awareness was for the shadchanim, to STOP LYING!! because they get nowhere!. They lie she’s tall pretty and skinny and u meet her and shes NOT! so u say no!
    why do singles(and their parents) have to go thru all the aggravation, time, stress, concern, worries, sleepless nights…and on! all because u want the shidduch to work and u think the guy is blind and won’t notice the girl is 4.5″ instead of 5.6″ or her waist line is 62″ inches instead of 26″ inches!
    so why bother!!
    I just dont

  23. How many guys had same attitude as u and are still single at 28, evry1 has to knw where they stand and to be honest w themselves. There’s more to marriage than looks

  24. boy are you shallow, beauty is skin deep, it’s what on the inside. what happens when she has children, as she ages things change. you cant change the aging process. question do you stand in front of the mirror and look to see if you are getting wrinkles? learn look beyond beauty.

  25. I have a friend that is married for years and is still upset that he was pushed into marring his wife who has average looks, he still feels he would have been happier with a yefas toiar…

  26. I think you should bring the shadchan to a din Torah b’nogaya the wear and tear on your car. Also, maybe the shadchan found your looks comparable to the girl. Thirdly, if you want a picture of a girl, you can ASK for it. It doesn’t have to be a “RULE”. Good luck to you! I wonder if a girl who realizes that your primary concern is her looks will appreciate you. And will you divorce her after she has a baby and looks different than she did when you liked her? Just some thoughts

  27. I actually was shown a picture of my wife before we dated and i did not want to go out with her but then the shadchan convinced me that shes for me and we ended up getting married. Just shows how a picture doesnt mean anything and the picture was actually not taken well. As far as shadchanim lying, i agree its a problem now days and evry girl i was read to they lied to me before. Just as a rule for bochurim: Never beleive ANYTHING till you actually date the girl!!!

  28. To #21: Right on! At least one girls (pretty) head is screwed on straight. I tell you, the crisis would be solved if the guys can learn their priorties from the girls.

  29. i dont blame him , im a girl and not shallow but physical appearance does contribute also , i dont know what a shadchaim is but he should send a photo of himself also…hmmmmph

  30. don’t know if letter writer will read this but here goes….
    a boy who was in shidduchim for a looong time and wanted a beautiful girl finally figured out what to say to the shadchanim after meeting many who did not meet his criteria.
    he felt bad that he was being perceived as vain, so he refrained from saying it like it was. finally after he was over 30, he decided to spell it out.
    he asked the shadchan if the girl was ‘very pretty’ and he explained that he wants someone that everyone would agree is ‘very pretty’ as many times he was told she was ‘pretty’, but that’s very subjective. he told shadchanim only to redd girls in the ‘very pretty’ category so no ones time was wasted.
    i think if you are upfront with that, and that’s what you want, then that’s fine. no one can tell you what you want- that’s for you to decide.
    hatzalacha and i hope this saves you time….

  31. How about if only those married 10 years or longer post replies . They are the ones who have experience, not just conjectures. Your wife will stop looking pretty at some point. Does your grandmother look pretty? It is very important that one wife look attractive in the earlier years until the relationship can be based on things that are more tangible. But that’s it- short term. Those I know who have married what they considered to be very pretty girls and made it their paramount priority are still not happy. There is always someone who married a prettier wife (the grass is always greener). That pretty wife can make your life pretty miserable if she is shrill, has kaas, lacks middos in general, is a shopaholic, sets a bad example for the kids, or isn’t machshiv you. So look for a girl who is pretty enough for the short term, but primarily one who has the middos that will make you and her happy ad meah ve’esrim shana.

  32. dear letter writer:
    REality check:
    Let me also tell you that if you want that type of girl, you are going to have to pay for it in many ways.
    girls like that are very self centered, and that is not a good attribute for a future wife and mother.
    you will have to bathe and diaper the kids, cuz she just had her nails done.
    you will have to wait around for hours while she gets ready to go out with you.
    shaitel macher appts up the wazoo.
    you will have to do all the shlepping and stroller pushing cuz she cant do it in her high heels.

    is this really what you want?
    come on!
    find a nice looking girl who is not so into herself. and you stop working so hard on yourself also. Guys that work too hard on themselves lose all their attractiveness.

  33. Why is there no option for out of town dating if we have out of town business transactions? We use simple tools in business (90% of my clients are outside the NY tristate area) such as Skype, Meetingburner, etc. Why are shadchanim not encouraging out of down singles to get acquainted with a face-to-face meeting using modern technology such as Skype? It’s free and it’s better than driving for a first date when you have no idea who the person really is.

  34. I found my future wifes picture on (moderated) and it was terrible.
    I decided not to rely on a lousy picture and dated her anyways.
    After we got married she told me she put that picture up as a chessed to the other girl who was in the picture.
    BH We’re Happily married for 11 months already and I still think that my wife is the most beautifull in the world.
    IMYH by u.

  35. I think you should call the shadchun to Din tora benogaya not only the wear and tear of your car but also for the cost of Gasoline,road tolls, and maybee a speeding ticket or any other traffic related infraction ect, also he wasted your time, Time is money, I’m sure the shadchun does not work for free so let the shadchun pay kaefull for wasting your time just X you wasted and send a bill, this will send notice to shadchunim that Do your homework and don’t waste my time. Thank you

  36. I know someone who would test his dates with long walks to test their stamina.

    as far as looks go, if you want a picture, ask for one of the mother also.
    most girls end up looking like their mothers after a few years & kids !!

  37. Just 4 ur info girls that look 4 good looking guys r missing something so don’t waste ur time going to the gym 4 that dumb reason I understand if u want a good looking girl becaz guys r guys but u make it sound as if it’s the only thing that matters and it’s not.take a avg pretty girl and ul be happy if she has a lev tov and good Midos good luck!

  38. Alright, so i think your letter is pretty revolting on so many levels. Let me say first that I too, diet and work out and take care of myself, but I do those things so that I can feel healthy and good about myself, not so that I can snag a gorgeous guy. And what’s really sick about your post, is that just because you think you’re good looking, it is your right of passage to get a beautiful girl! Most people want to date/marry a good looking person, but what they usually mention is that they want someone they’re attracted to. After dating for a few years I’ve much realized that beauty is completely subjective. It is rare to come across someone who is “ugly”, and for the most part, people are decent looking. I’ve been told by a shadchan that the boy is “drop dead gorgeous” and I didn’t feel that way. Also, many times I’ve seen couples where one partner is ostensively better looking than his/her spouse, and they are still completely attracted! It is possible looks will grow on you; sometimes a person’s amazing personality will completely shift your perception of their appearance. As well, pictures can be so deceiving. Some beautiful people are not at all photogenic, and vice versa. Listen, I don’t think its a great crime to desire someone pretty that you’re attracted to, but if looks are first and foremost on your mind, you have some issues you need to address before getting married. Also, from a girl’s point of view, many have told me they’re wary of very good looking boys and are reluctant to date them, as they’re usually narcissistic and cocky.

  39. Keep in mind Mr. 23 year old, you’re marrying a girl for her beauty.. she’ll iy”h have kids, and won’t be able to keep up with the makeup and skincare on a daily basis, what will you be left with then? You might hate her and not be able to look at her, since there was nothing tangible that attracted you to her from the beginning. If you marry a girl with middos, patience, understanding, and beauty, then come what may in life but if her qualities are beautiful – you’ll forever be attracted to her and will be proud to walk with a loving wife through the streets together. Believe me, I’m married quite a while and see what goes on in marriages… Hatzlocha

  40. In the words of a wise man – Would you ever invest in something which you know will lose money? Same thing with marrying for beauty. Hashem in his infinite wisdom made the age around marriage the peak of beauty to make us attractive for shidduchim, but to be so shortsighted that this is top priority above anything else is the same reason why our country is so riddled with high divorced rates, which unfortunately are creeping (or have already crept) into the frum world. Kinah, taavah, and kavod = money, beauty, and yichus. of course they are important, but everything in the proper perspective.

  41. Good grief !

    To all those who say that a picture might not tell the truth, here’s a great idea! Only hand in a picture that you think looks good!

    And as far as this young man’s choices, they’re his choices. Not yours. You are all free to marry whoever (whomever?) you wish.

    And the idea that life changes one’s looks is just as ludicrous as someone losing their financial fortune. Of course those things change. Everything changes. You just set yourself up in the best way you know how for the reasons that are most important to you.

    And number 19? Yichus is the zero that needs the one in front of it. But that’s another discussion for another day.

    And “baffled” is (in all likelihood) not the spokesperson for pretty girls everywhere.

  42. I know a person that is one of the greats in klal Yisroel, his kedusha shines from his face, learns all day, he is a genius, close to Reb Chaim, Rav Elyashiv, was close to LBCL Rav Nosson Tzvi etc. When he had to remarry I had an idea for him and he insisted on seeing a picture first. Ad kan.

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