Other Approaches

Further Advice for Finding the Bashert

Some singles find their match fairly easily, while others are still single after many rounds of dating. It is difficult to know how much or what forms of hishtadlus (effort) Hashem wants from us. This post contains strategies for singles who want to work harder on their shidduch quest. While many of these tips are well-known, it may be beneficial to review them. Some singles eventually find their match without having adopted any of these strategies; unfortunately, some go to every length possible, yet remain single. Each individual has to craft his/her own approach.
Note: The word shadchanim in this post includes anyone who might represent a shidduch prospect: formal and informal shadchanim, parents, relatives, friends, or the single him/herself.

Standard Strategies

Looking Your Best

Appearance is a very important tool since shadchanim and others often judge singles based on how they look. Singles who are perceived as attractive are more likely to receive shidduch proposals, be introduced to eligible shidduch prospects, and be invited to singles events. Singles may want to get advice from a few trusted friends to determine which clothing, hairstyle, makeup, and accessories suit them best and play up their advantages.
It is a personal decision for each single to determine how much time and effort to put into appearance. Certainly, it is crucial to look one’s best when meeting shadchanim or attending shidduch events. Obviously, it is worthwhile to try to look good whenever one is in the public eye, including Shabbos and Yom Tov, when people get together, since one never knows who may be there and know someone... Therefore, it may pay to invest in make up that can be worn on those days.

Living “In Town”

Where feasible, out-of-town singles may want to consider moving to an easily accessible location in the tri-state area. Many single men are not willing to travel to meet single women. While it is hard to uproot oneself from a good job and a nurturing community, there may be compensation to living in a more vibrant singles community, with all the social opportunities and spiritual amenities in-town living offers.

Leveraging Chessed Activities

Aside from the intrinsic benefits of performing Chessed, these activities are a useful way to round out a single’s resume or online profile since they help differentiate and individualize the single to shadchanim. Chessed which is performed in public view, such as kiruv, Shabbatonim, or volunteering at camps provide singles more visibility and exposure.

Finding Advocates

It may be more effective to build deep relationships with a few connected individuals or families rather than trying to meet as many shadchanim as possible. This can be done by volunteering to help them with their public service activities and accepting their invitations on a regular basis. When such people bond well with a single, they often will work very hard to find shidduch prospects and to push suggestions through.


Singles have found their bashert after seeking brachos from tzaddikim or praying at tzaddikkim gravesites. Prayer is always good and there are special prayers for finding one’s match. Singles pair up to pray on each other’s behalf, following the principle that when you pray on behalf of someone’s need when you have the same need, you may get answered quicker.
Giving tzedakah (charity) is also a good idea. However, singles should be wary of charities or individuals that promise shidduchim. If the cause is worthy, there’s no harm in giving to them. But singles should use common sense or ask guidance from their Rav before donating excessively as there are no guarantees.
It is healthy to keep in mind that no segula or bracha is a foolproof remedy, even if it worked for others.

Remote (Video) Dating

Dating remotely has advantages, since it makes the process much less costly, especially for the men.  They avoid the stress of travel, the expenses of dating venues, and the awkwardness of meeting the parents.  Both parties may feel more relaxed while dating from the comfort of their own environment, enjoying their favorite beverages and snacks.  Dates take less time, since there’s no travel to meet and to return from the venue.

While faces are distorted on a screen, singles can nevertheless observe mannerisms, facial expressions, and body language.  The screen does not display the other party’s height, but shidduch resumes are generally accurate within two inches.

Dating remotely is taken more seriously if each party is expected to dress appropriately as though they were meeting in person.  Moreover, the clothing selected provides more information and context for the dating partner.

Young adults who are already accustomed to internet use and remote conferencing are more likely to feel comfortable using Zoom and the like.  On the other hand, if they have been heavily using teleconferencing for work, they might find video dating too similar to their work environment to foster emotional bonding.  Many singles find that they are “not themselves” on Zoom and that it’s not quality dating.

Singles who have grown up in homes where internet use is discouraged might not have the experience and comfort-level to be able to date well remotely at first.  If possible, the single should practice talking on a video site with a friend before starting to use it for dating.  Note that some Rabbanim recommend against internet dating if the single is not already using the internet.

In summary, video dating has become the new normal in many circles.   It's not easy. It's unusual. Nonetheless, it seems to be working well for connecting some people.

Games and Activites for Zoom Dates

Extracted from a list posted in a WhatsApp group

  • Take a “Zoom Walk” together, occasionally flipping the phone to show the date something interesting
  • Watch a short clip together or read something together
  • Go on virtual tours: museums, national parks, tourist attractions around the world
  • If screen and remote control are shared or if there is a shared “whiteboard”, play hangman, tic tac toe, Pictionary. Computer-based board games (backgammon, checkers, Othello, Connect 4) are another option.
  • Do an online puzzle together
  • Play Trivia

Video Dating Issues

Participants should be aware that video sessions can be recorded.  This should be discussed in advance: singles should not have to decide on the spot whether to accept a pop up asking if they agree to have the session recorded.  It is not healthy to have details of a date pored over by one of the parties.  Moreover, there is a concern that the other party might forward the video to others, violating the other single’s privacy.  Standard precautions, such as using passwords, should also be taken to avoid eavesdropping or trolling.

People vary in how comfortable they are with tele-dating.  Some singles find themselves focusing intensely on the little inset that shows how they appear on the screen and feel overly self-conscious.  The software tends to promote an unnatural focus on the face.  Moreover, not everyone is able to sit focused intently on a screen for long periods of time.

Singles should close other apps and browser pages before starting a remote date unless they plan to share the content.

Looking Beyond the Shidduch System

After a certain amount of time trying to follow the shidduchim system “by the book”, some singles may decide to extend their search through other means: shidduch matching sites or singles events. These venues will not work if one is looking for a ben Torah steeped in the Yeshiva world. However, they have proven effective for YU Machmir and further to the left. Singles may want to consult their mentor or Rav before going this direction.

Shidduch Matching Websites

These websites allow singles or their representatives to create an online profile similar to a standardized resume. A search engine goes through the profiles to generate potential matches. It is wise to stay away from unmoderated sites that do not take any precautions to keep out scammers and worse. In general, singles should investigate even more carefully shidduch prospects suggested by websites and make sure that first dates meet in safe venues.
SawYouAtSinai (https://www.sawyouatsinai.com/) combines the search technology with the shadchan system so that only shadchanim may search the database to find potential shidduchim. This ensures the privacy of the singles while granting them access to a much wider pool of potential matches. YUConnects (http://yuconnects.com/) is a specialized portal to SawYouAtSinai designed to cater to the needs of a more rightwing and younger (20 – 35) set of singles.
PartnersInShidduchim (partnersinshidduchim.com) and Kriyas Yam Suf  (YamSuf.com) allow people to browse the profiles directly, with shadchanim available to represent singles. Aliases may be used or personal contact information omitted to protect privacy.
Below are tips on how to use online shidduchim databases most effectively.

Choosing an Online Shadchan

While shidduch suggestions are often generated by the search engine, an effective shadchan enhances the process by using his/her knowledge of the client to tweak the search criteria to generate more and better matches. In addition, an experienced shadchan uses his/her personal relationship with a shidduch prospect to persuade him/her to give the match a try.
Among the criteria in selecting the shadchan:
• Years of experience: the longer s/he’s been working on the website, the more personal relationships s/he has with potential matches.
• Number of matches: effective shadchanim put in time to make searches and follow through on match suggestions.
• Compatibility in Hashkafa: a shadchan with a similar Hashkafa is more likely to understand the nuances of the single and his/her dating system.
It is best to meet the shadchan in person at some point. This helps the shadchan understand you better and should lead to better searches.
The most effective shadchanim might not show up on the shadchan list you see when enrolling in the system, since their quota of singles is full. However, if they are contacted privately, they may agree to let you select them.

When Creating the Profile

Avoid limiting yourself by being too specific in what you’re looking for. The personal description should be written carefully; see {link} The Personal Description post. Avoid sounding extreme or strange by being overly frank. The ideal description is just a little bit more interesting or attractive than the other profiles. Ask a shadchan on the system to give input and feedback on your entry.

Post the Best Photo

Shadchanim and shidduch prospects are likely to obtain a photo through diligent searching through school websites, simcha photos and the like. Therefore, it is best to take control by making sure that they see the photo that shows you at your best.  For more information about taking the optimal photo, click here.

Keep Updating the Profile

Updated profiles are more likely to be noticed. Graduating school, changing jobs, undertaking new chessed activities or widening search criteria should all be reflected in the profile.

Switch Shadchanim Occasionally

A new shadchan may have a fresh perspective and relationships with a different set of potential matches.

Using Singles Events

Singles events, where men and women meet each other in a group setting, have been effective in bringing about marriages. Among the advantages of men and women meeting directly is that this can overcome resistance based on prejudice or mismatch in paper qualifications to a shidduch proposal. For example, the man might have decided that he does not date women from certain backgrounds, but on meeting the woman at the event, he may realize that she may be right for him.
Singles events are also a mechanism for setting up the shidduch that no one would have imagined or for re-starting relationships that didn’t progress in the past. Singles may broaden their search after being exposed to other types of people. Moreover, singles events facilitate networking where one single recommends another to a friend.
The most productive events are by-invitation only, arranged by activists who personally invite each man or woman. These events are designed to bring together singles who share hashkafa and are compatible in age. Having Shadchanim or facilitators in attendance enhances effectiveness according to some.

Another perspective, put forward by an experienced single, is that the Shadchanim are a turnoff for older singles who have had negative experiences with them.  These singles prefer to organize events themselves and to make their own matches.

Singles should find out in advance what to expect at the event, to determine whether it is compatible with their standard of tzniyus and general behavior.
Open events, where anyone can sign up, are less effective and may be emotionally difficult for singles as they feel they are lowering their standards or meeting the same people again and again. On the other hand, one never knows whether one might meet a friend of a friend leading to one’s bashert.

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