Dear Goldy:

 Shadchanim have been asking me about my son since he was 16. I always heard, “Call me in a few years. I have a girl for him.” My son is good looking, tall, with a great personality – basically he’s the total package. So why has he been dating for three years? Every girl he gets set up with isn’t for him: too dull, too frum, not pretty enough.

I’ve spoken with shadchanim. They agree that my son is one of the best catches out there, but they’re having trouble finding girls who are worthy of him, because “those girls get snatched up right away.” So, what’s supposed to happen? Is my son supposed to go out with girl after girl who isn’t right for him? Or if she is still around, then I know she isn’t one of the good catches because she’s still single. I have been very direct with shadchanim. They tell me they understand what I’m saying. If they understand, then why is he getting set up with girls who aren’t in his league?

A Mother


Thank you for your email, Mother.

Wow. That was some email you wrote. Straight and to the point. But points are “pointy” and sharp, and can hurt people. So let me take a few breaths before I respond.

I, too, was told I was a great catch. My sister was told she was a great catch. My husband was told he was a great catch. Everyone is told that he or she is a great catch. No shadchan with an ounce of seichel will say, “You need to fix A, B, and C, and then you’ll be a great catch.” Some shadchanim are rude and will “advise” singles on what they need to change about themselves, but as I wrote, any shadchan with seichel will say they’re each a great catch. It’s good for business, because I would keep going back to the shadchan who thinks highly of me/my son. And it also makes the single feel good.

Your straight, pointy email was very harsh, as well. You sound very judgmental, and I adhere to the adage that I try not to be judgmental, because I don’t want others (or Hashem) to be judgmental of me. I hate when people are Rashi and try to read into my words, but here I am going to tell you what I gleaned from your email, which I read a few times before I sat down to write this response: “My son is great, and the girls aren’t up to par. There’s no reason why shadchanim are setting my son up with nebby, ‘frummy’ girls who aren’t ‘worthy’ of him. How can I get shadchanim to understand that I only want A1, platinum/gold girls redt for my prince of a son.” Your tone and choice of words were nasty. You insulted all girls out there in the shidduch world with how you described them (like leftovers), and how they don’t measure up to your son’s level. Maybe your son is being redt to wonderful girls, but because he was raised to hear that he was always great and is a great catch, he’s looking at all the girls through foggy goggles, where he can’t see how great they are because he automatically thinks he’s better than they are. Have you thought of that? Have all the compliments gone to your son’s and your head?

There’s a reason I write this column. There’s a reason why I had a dating book published. I went out for a decade – with over 150 men. I, too, was told, “You’re great, wonderful, the boys don’t measure up.” But I saw those people for the used car salesmen that they were: They would tell everyone the same thing, whether or not it was true. They glossed every man they redt to me with a shiny coat of polish. Because that’s what’s done in the shidduch world. I knew my self-worth and what I was looking for, but never once did I ever tell a shadchan anything close to what you wrote. Yes, I said, “He’s not for me or what I’m looking for.” But to say I was so much better? Where is your anivus? Guess what? Your son will not find the girl who checks ten out of ten boxes on his list. The girl may not check half the boxes he’s looking for – but your son may see something in her, a quality that he hasn’t seen in anyone else. Just keep that in mind while shadchanim discuss possible shidduchs. And why, may I ask, are you the one talking to shadchanim? It sounds as if your son has no say because you are the one arranging it all.

My advice: Back off. He’s an adult. If he’s old enough to get married and take on all the responsibilities of a husband, then he should be able to speak with a shadchan about his future wife. Plus, are you adding anything to the narrative of what your son wants or his impressions/reactions to the young lady he just dated? You may unintentionally or intentionally be doing so, because “He doesn’t know what he wants” or “He won’t articulate it well” or “He’s much too busy learning/ working.” Whatever the reason, step back. If your son has no time to talk to a shadchan, how will he make the time to date? From what you wrote and how you phrased it all, I can just imagine what type of shvigger you’d be, and I’m not saying that to be mean, but so that you can see how others may view you from words you chose to write. Will anyone be good enough, worthy enough? Will you critique everything your future daughter-in-law does because “that’s not the right way” or “He doesn’t like it like that”?

I can only form an opinion and provide a response from the words you used in your email. I’m sure you are a great mother and love your son and want him to marry the greatest girl – just like every mother wants for her child; but you are thinking about it and thus going about it in the wrong way. Everyone is on a level playing field. Everyone deserves his or her bashert. Cruel words hurt. I remember speaking with shadchanim who dealt with mothers who were picky or hard to please. Why would I want to go out with someone when I already know his mother is hard to please? And why couldn’t the 30- or 35-year-olds take control of their dating lives? They weren’t 17 anymore, in their shy and awkward stage. Man up! I say that to women, as well.

I don’t want to go on in this tone. All I will say is: Have a talk with your son. Suggest that he take the lead, as he is the best advocate for himself, and the shadchan may be able to get more information out of him by speaking directly with him instead of his mouthpiece/representative. Just like you think highly of your son, everyone thinks highly of his/her child. Perfect people don’t exist. Everyone is great and beautiful in his/her own right and have many maalos – you just have to be willing to open up your eyes and see them.

I’m also going to give you an assignment. Go out and speak with five couples of different ages. Ask them if their spouse was exactly what they were looking for and if they went out with anyone who they thought was less than what they were. I’m positive that four if not all the couples will say, “Well he/she wasn’t exactly what I wanted. But after a few dates I knew/saw...” And I don’t think anyone will use the term “unworthy,” so please stop thinking like that. I don’t want you to develop a reputation as the hard-to-please mother who is difficult when all you want is for your son to find his bashert and be happy with her.

My response may have been harsh, but I felt it was needed, because your email made you sound elitist, while the rest of us are hideous, misshapen ghouls. Change the way you think about “girls” whom your son dates. I know many girls of all ages in the dating pool, and all deserve the best because they really are the best, as well. Some say, “There aren’t enough quality men or women out there,” but I disagree. It’s all in your mindset and how you see things.

Hatzlachah to you all.

Goldy Krantz  is an LMSW and a lifelong Queens resident, guest lecturer, and author of the shidduch dating book, The Best of My Worst and children’s book Where Has Zaidy Gone? She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.