Settle: A Treif Word For Shidduchim

By A Single Jew. Dear TLS: I am a single Jew who is already pass the age of 26. It seems that all my friends and family keep encouraging me to just get married and not worry about the details of the other person. In other words, I am being told to settle

My answer to people who try to feed me such a treif idea is that I have seen many friends who have ruined their lives by settling. I’d much rather be older when I get married than be married with tremendous shalom bayis problems. I don’t know if the frum world is aware of this, but marriage is a choice that carries with it repercussions for the rest of one’s life.

I refuse to buckle to the pressure just to pick one out of the chorus line. I’d much rather be single as an older person than be married and miserable. I believe the frum world needs to reevaluate its perspective. In today’s day and age it is not healthy for people to get married just to get it out of the way. Many lives have been ruined because of the idea that at a certain age one has to settle. In a certain sense, the frum community bares the responsibility for creating this pressure to get married as soon as one is of legal age. It is a new year. Let us start off right by encouraging our friends and family to get married to someone they feel good about (after many dates) and not just a person who will do.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. 90% of shalom bayis issues are caused from what happens after the wedding. I don’t care how much someone likes their potential spouse befor getting married… shalom bayis is a life long process. It is not something that occurs before getting married.

    Do you think the the thousands of shiurim and tapes on shalom bayis from our leading Rabbanim are only for people who “settled”?

    I don’t know you that well but from what you wrote it does seem like you are being picky. There are things that you should be picky about and vice-versa.

    I would suggest having a long chat with a Rov to find out exactly what you should and should not be picky about (i.e. Money, Out of town, Family, etc).

    In the grand scheme of things several things you think are important and are truly not. I was in the “parsha” for a long time and am speaking from experience.

    I can understand you being stubborn… just make sure you are being stubborn about the right things.

  2. Very well said. Now for me with a twist. I am a single Jew, 32 years old. Don’t rush into things, just take it slow. I have a few friends who are frum and married. The stories they tell me of their marriage make me sad and they all tell me if they had waited they would have found the right person for them. Yet they felt obligated to family to get married ASAP when of age only to ruin the lives of two beautiful people.

  3. To Mr or Ms single fyi every body settles keep in mind no one is perfect (and I don’t mean that you can’t sing) including myself, its the art of settling that you have to learn,

    I heard once from someone in the same situation as yours that went to a smart person and this is what he told him,
    buy a pack of index cards and write down every thing you want your spouse should be, one on each card, and then take out 3 cards, the ones that are the most important qualities to you, and the other cards you throw away, for good.
    he stressed, you should make that decision no one else should,
    you should be very honest with yourself take your time don’t rush, and if you need advise ask,
    you should do it immediately it shouldn’t take more then two weeks, and once you have the final 3 cards keep them with you at all time you should not lose focus, and the FIRST match that you meet that has those 3 things, you get engaged (if they want), 10 months later he was engaged.

    All the best

  4. There is a big difference between “settling” and being realistic about who a person of your caliber and in your situation could expect to marry.Make sure you aren’t confusing the two.

    I don’t think anyone should be telling others what to do in Shidduchim as unsolicited advice.Even if the advice was explicitly asked for BE CAREFUL.You are playing with fire by giving your advice.If you aren’t sure say so.

  5. I am another person who got married more because of pressure than because I felt it was the right thing. My wife and I get along, but neither of us feel that we married our b’shert.

  6. I got married when I was 30, and I most definitely did NOT settle! We both truly feel that we are each other’s bashert, and we have a wonderful marriage. Whatever Hashem’s reasons were for making us wait so long before we met each other, it’s not for us to know…

    Hang in there, your real bashert is out there somewhere looking for you…may you be Zoche to find each other soon and build a true Bayis Ne’eman B’Yisroel!

  7. AL u guys need help we r married and have a gr8 marrage we acticed ourselfs on dates so we knew both of us in diff sichs marrige is somthing u gota work on no matter what

  8. To #7: Even though you posted anonymously I can’t believe you actually were able to “type” that on your keyboard and post it in a public forum.

    Before i got married I asked one of the Roshei HaYeshiva – how do I know that my kallah is my b’shert? What happens if she is not my b’shert?
    In short he told me that I have to Daven and be Mespallel that she is my B’shert and to have Emunah that she is my b’shert. It’s not neccessarily an easy thing but I was able to do it and continue to do it… at this point I could not see my life having turned out any differently and truly believe that I did marry my b’shert.

    It is not possible to know for sure if a person is your b’shert after the marriage and it is certainly not possible to know before.

    You should probably take your concerns to your Rav (together with your “eishes chayil”) and with his help he can instill in you the proper Emunah that any ben-Torah needs to have.

    p.s. I was older when I got married (now i’m just plain old :))

  9. Dear Single Jew,
    NO ONE IS PERFECT.
    YOU ARE NOT PERFECT.
    On that note, no one EVER found the perfect girl and got married and life was perfect for the rest of his life. EVERY maridge has its struggles and instead of trying to find that PERFECT girl maybe you should try to work on your Middos so when an issue does come up you will be able to deal with it like a Mentch.
    Take a look at the ultra Chasidic world were the boy and girl meet just once or twice, the divorce rate is not any higher that the the regular Orthodox world. Why? because they know that Shiduchim are from Hashem and when it is Bashert, it is Bashert. So if you think you have enough knowledge of married life and you feel you can take this process into you own hands and not rely on Siyata Dishmaya that’s your choice.

  10. Firstly, I agree with the letter write. Secondly, everyone should stop judging because all the writer was asking was for people to stop making him meshuga about marrying anyone. I didnt get married very young and I had people tell me all the time that the girl is a nice girl from a nice family, just marry her. Men and women don’t get married just because he wears pants and a shirt and she wears skirts and a top. It may take time for one to find his bashert longer than someone else only because that is Hashem’s will. Let’s remember to treat our fellow single friends and family with the proper respect and sensitivity they deserve.

  11. If you are questioning whether or not a person is or isn’t your beshert, than you are completely missing the point. What have you done to proactively take your marriage to the next level? If the answer is “not much”, then it is your responsibility to change that. The Eibishter gives everyone their beshert…it is what you choose to do with your marriage to them that makes it feel wonderful or mediocre or chas v’shalom worse. Stop asking “if” and start asking “what can I do to make my marriage fantastic”.
    And consider yourself fortunate that you just got that advice for free instead of what it cost me in kesef and agmas nefesh…

  12. Face it. You’re not the easiest person to deal with. Your goal should be to find someone with whom you can have disagreements with, and with whom you can work things out. After you know that, you could marry any of many people. Bashert is possibly many people.

  13. It’s disheartening to see the way people react to some of the letters that get posted here.

    It should be clear that there is indeed a difference between settling and being picky. The argument put forward, that one should not settle when choosing a mate, is valid. Settling implies accepting something that one does not want. A mature individual knows that compromise and prioritization is not settling. Picking your top 3 traits is a good way to prioritize what you really want out of a marriage (kudos Baba treil!). It need not be exclusive, but it’s a good exercise.

    The external pressure is the basis of the complaint – that needs to be tempered. The best marriages are made up of people who are self-aware and mature before marrying, not those who get married because “it’s time to”. There is no specific age for determining if one is ready for marriage. Only a person who is honest with him/herself can determine this.

    IMHO, the ultra-Chassidic method works because in that community self-determination is subjugated to the communal standard. It’s a very different way of living, and can’t be easily applied to communities that value personal determination at a higher level. Additionally, lack of divorce does not absolutely mean happy marriages. The stigma of divorce is carried much heavier in such communities, so unhappy marriages are far less likely to dissolve.

    If one views all compromise as settling, then it’s probably good that one does not marry. I know a number of single individuals who will likely never marry as they are unprepared to compromise on what they want in a mate. Can you imagine what might happen if they actually wed? I can. They should live and be well – by themselves.

    The OP sounds perfectly reasonable – don’t read too much into the post – just back off, be supportive, and IY”H s/he’ll find his/her bashert soon enough.

  14. please get a ruv/Rosh Yeshiva. Get guidance and not from the street. I have freinds who didn’t listen to their rebbes, thought they were worth more on the market than they were, and have still not gotten married. They are both past 50 years old now. Don’t look for a rough marriage but realize that “life is not just so” and if there are problems get help. Don’t be a baal gaiva about it. Mirriage is an opportunity to WORK ON YOURSELF in all aspects. If you think that you or your spouse is a finished product at age 26, I’m sorry to tell you that you may have missed the boat. No one is a finished product until they die. May you live a long and productive life with a spouse that can help you grow b’ruchnius.

  15. YOU :”My answer to people who try to feed me such a treif idea is that I have seen many friends who have ruined their lives by settling”

    ME: They shouldn’t have settled with someone they didnt think was for them. I think at age 26 you should be more the mature enough to realize that settling doesn’t mean marrying someone you don’t like and can’t see yourself really loving.

    P.S. a happy marriage comes with work. I am very very happily married but it’s only bec. of work. Believe me, when I was dating I said “wow a match made in heaven “after all those dates I finally found the most amazing match. BUT marriage is life- it’s not a bowl of cherries. You want a happy marriage work for it- believe me ( from experience ) it’s all worth it 🙂

    to #7 Go get help!

    But since you are single and can’t work on your marriage you would best be off working on yourself.

  16. My Rosh Yeshiva told me that EVERY marriage will require work. You cannot expect that two people, a man and a lady, from different families, will merge perfectly together.

    The point of Shidduchim is to minimize the distance you will have to travel to bridge the differences.

    So while “settling” may strike you as a treif word, we are all in the same boat.

  17. #5 HAS A GREAT POINT(didn’t read the details…..his drasha was toooooo long) everybody settles you have to be practical. nobody ever got exactly what they want…..it doesn’t exist.

    you should discuss it with a MARRIED SMART friend.

  18. Question for all:Lets say Berel is a Shadchan’s dream but he recently had cancer; Brocha is the most wonderful girl you can find but she comes from a major dysfunctional problem family. The issues aren’t their fault but bottom line people will be wary about the Shidduch.What choice do they have other then to “settle”?(It’s probably much easier to settle then to be the one settled on)

    Another question: A parent knows that their son or daughter is extremely difficult to get along with.How should they go about Shidduchim for that child.Making the child change first is not an option they feel they have?

  19. What ever happened to Tav Lemeitav Tan Du Milemeitav armuluh?
    If you prefer a lonely self centered life with non of the joys af children, family, nachas, a home, a purpose and a self esteeem, and you wish to stay an aguna. Keep up your high standards of “Kashrus”..

  20. Is everything your are looking for things that make good shalom bais or maybe they are things that you WANT but don’t NEED?

    How long is it worth while to find what you are looking for?

    Is it worth giving up on 10 or 15 years of marriage to find what your “are looking for”?

  21. Tznius is an ultimate factor of a marriage and home.

    Privacy is central to dating and marriage.

    The same applies to its many complicated issues. – Not publicizing your issues for all the world is a focal point.

    To the poster: Work on that iota- of privacy. When you resolve it- you will find someone willing to settle for you.

  22. first idea:
    listen to Rabbi Miller’s tapes about marriage. They will change your perspective.
    second:
    as someone above pointed out, no one gets what they want on paper, and that’s NOT called settling! find someone compatible and together you will both build a home. listen to rabbi miller’s tape E18 to understand why Chava was created from a piece of Adam Harishon instead of just being a separate entity. You will appreciate a woman’s role more.
    Hatzlacha

  23. Who is settling on whom?

    He on her or she on him?

    We on them or they on us?

    Someone on everyone or everyone on someone?

    The mirror holds the true answer.

    I settle on myself.

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