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What I Did With My Shidduch List

z3By Goldy Krantz Gruber – December 19th, 2013

Many know me as Goldy Krantz, the funny satirical writer of dates gone bad/awry. That’s true. But I was still Goldy Krantz, the 33-year-old woman who had been in the shidduch parashah for more than a decade. I went out with countless young and older men who I hoped would become “Mr. Krantz.” But that was never the case.

So I turned my true dating experiences into a book, which I hoped would get everyone in the shidduch parashah to laugh instead of moping about the situation they were in. Thankfully, many did laugh after purchasing my book, Best of My Worst (which is no longer for sale). Many e-mailed me and came out to speaking engagements where I was the guest speaker. I can fill another five books with everyone’s experiences!

Baruch Hashem, I became a kallah and have wed, but just because I am newly married doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten what I and thousands of others went through, or are currently going through. I still have very close friends and cousins in the shidduch parashah. One of the important tafkids I have now is trying to match them up with appropriate shidduchim—not just pairing up a male and a female, because I remember how that feels.

What I offer now is not a good laugh or another dating “horror” story, but some advice. Take it or don’t take it, the choice is yours. But I would be remiss if I don’t pass it on because, as family and people in shul have pointed out to me, “You gave me strength before and you give me hope now.” I don’t think what I have to say is brilliant—to me, it was common sechel (sense)—but I have a yearning and maybe even an obligation to the rest of the Yidden in the shidduch parashah to share with you what happened to me in order for me to stand under the chupah with my chassan, Yeshaya Yehuda.

Very simply put: I threw away my list of prerequisites. I was looking for a working professional, someone with a wonderful sense of humor and an outgoing personality, someone a bit older than I was, someone who had a chavrusa a few times a night . . . I dated fellows who were missing one or two of the prerequisites, but I basically stuck to my list. If I had never compromised, I would still be dating.

I met my husband through work, and we became very casual friends. Yes, it is true—we did attend the same Shabbaton together, but it took my husband a year and a half to ask me out after that Shabbaton. The first date wasn’t a great one and I decided that we should “stay friends.” After that date, my sister became sick and recovered, but I was out of the shidduch parashah for almost a year while helping my family. When I began dating again, there my friend Yeshaya Yehuda was. We started dating very slowly; a dinner here, a movie there . . . And before I knew it, I felt very comfortable with him, and my list went out the window.

My husband works hard at his job, but is not the doctor or lawyer type that I’d always dated. He is a bit on the quiet side, not as outgoing as my list demanded. He smokes. I never wanted a smoker! But I don’t really mind it now. He doesn’t have a regular chavrusa, but learns when he is able to. To top it off, while my husband no longer wears the chassidish l’vush, he is from a chassidish family, with many siblings, and his brothers and father wear bekishes and shtreimels. Goldy Krantz is part of a chassidish family! My friends and family couldn’t get over how well the shtreimels, black hats, and kippah serugas blended at my chassunah.

Had I not known my husband from work, I never ever would have dated him. A smoker without a regular chavrusa, who is two years younger than me, from a chassidish family! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I am two years older than my husband. But I got to know my husband, and I genuinely like the person he is. He cares for me and puts me first and I can tell from all of his actions that he is a good person. Isn’t that what counts in the long run—that the person that you marry is a good person and will put family first?

Forget about what color the Shabbos tablecloth is, or which seminary the girl graduated from (c’mon, she is 26 and went to seminary seven years ago!) Forget the fact that the girl is a bit older—does that really matter when the baby cries at 2:00 a.m.? “Honey you are older, go get the baby.” Let these sh’tusim (nonsensical things) go! Concentrate on one question: “How badly do I want to get married?” You may just open your eyes and mind to many possibilities that you passed by in the past.

Do I guarantee my advice? Will I give money back if it doesn’t work? No! But as the old adage goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” If you date the younger smoker from the chassidish family and don’t end up marrying him or her, then at least you can say that you tried it.

I gave my husband a chance and look where it got me—it got me married. Throw out your lists! You are not dating lists! You are dating people with feelings, experiences, opinions, and so on. If you want to marry a specific type, fine, but no one is going to fit your cookie-cutter mold. I just hope time doesn’t pass by until you learn this lesson the hard way—like I almost did. v

Goldy Krantz Gruber is a licensed MSW. She is the author of The Best of My Worst and has had several articles published on the topic of shidduch dating.

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Posted by on December 24, 2013. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

12 Responses to What I Did With My Shidduch List

  1. The Whiz

    December 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Why did it take you until 33 to realize to give guys a chance who aren’t doctors or lawyers?

  2. Ze'ev

    December 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Did it really take you 33 years to realize how disgustingly shallow and unrealistic those expectations were? Moreover, that nobody in your closeted world told you this? Thank G-d for the rest of Am Israel, because if all Jews were like your community, we’d have been long doomed. “Kol haKavod” for coming to your senses, but it shouldn’t have been such an achievement to begin with.

    • Joe

      December 24, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      If you had tried, I am sure that you could have made your point without being obnoxious and demeaning.

  3. Boris

    December 23, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    hi congrads on ur wedding
    its always nice to hear when someone gets married, have children and so on.,, but what about the divorce rates that are raising in our communities like crazy. Like one R said the divorce rates are soone going to be over 100% and i thought how is it posible and now its making more and more sentcce with the divorce rates in our community.

    • Observer

      December 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Well, if you marry a “list” rather than a person, it’s easier to get divorced too. And, if marry for the wrong reason, that increases the likelihood of problems.

      My point is that the same issues that keep a significant number of people from finding their matches are also helping to destroy marriages.

  4. Sharon

    December 24, 2013 at 2:57 am

    I was a little surprised at the tenor of your comments. Was your goal really just “to get married”? Was the question you concentrated on really “how badly do I want to get married”? The way you phrased these thoughts make it appear that you “settled” for someone because your goal was not to find a life partner with whom to share love and your life, but just because you were desperate to get married. I hope that is not the case, and that your true message is that people should not be bound by an artificial list of shallow criteria, and instead should be open to finding love perhaps in an unexpected place.

    • sara goldberg

      December 30, 2013 at 3:20 am

      Sharon, in my experience, people who made it their goal “to get married” are more likely to do so. We have been conditioned by Hollywood to believe that love is something that happens to us, not something that we do. Many older singles will never “find” love, and may have to choose between making something work or being lonely.

  5. Ahuvah Berger-Burcat

    December 24, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Mazal tov on marrying the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with. May the two of you know more “ups” than “downs” and may you both bring out the best in each other, respect and support one another.

    The strongest point you made in this whole article was the fact that you and your husband were friends before you began dating. That allowed both of you seeing each other as you were without the fear of rejection, which in turn led you ripping up your list.

    Dating someone only after they match up to your list can be problematic.

    Comparing potential suitors in person to a list might open up more possibilities and challenge preconceived notions of what you once thought were important.

  6. Rachel

    December 24, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Ladies, DO NOT THROW OUT YOUR LISTS! Just make sure they aren’t this shallow. Doctor, lawyer, really?
    Make sure it is one of substance based on what your goals and values are that you would not want compromised. Success? Gratitude? Being knowledgeable? Loyalty? Spirituality? Leadership? Hospitality? Hard word/ Discipline? Tradition? Following through on what you say?

    Finding your top values, helps. A wonderful book that I truly recommend that opened my eyes to what kind of man I want in my life is written by a very special woman named Chana Levitan called “I Only Want To Get Married Once.” Not long, clear, to the point, with exercises, and really a personal development book. You must first know who you are to find the man that will be the supportive spouse you need to fulfill your potential and bring Hashem’s light into this world.

  7. Toby Katz

    December 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    It isn’t shallow for a woman to have a great longing to be married — it’s normal, it’s human nature. It isn’t shallow to want to marry an educated professional who has a regular Torah chevrusah. What’s with you people and all the catty comments?!

    I’m happy for Goldy, I wish her mazal tov and may she and her husband together build a beautiful bayis ne’eman beYisrael. I thank her for writing and hope this will give hope and encouragement to the many young women out there like her who, yes, desperately want to be married and build their own Jewish homes and families.

  8. Tahte

    December 25, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Mazal Tov.

    Generations ago when we lived in singular communities shidduchim were ideal — people came from similar backgrounds, had similar expectations and the shadchun likely knew both families, etc.

    Today we have a diverse “Frum” community – and it’s far more than Litvak / Gallitz. There’s always room for compromise but “lists” tend to overlook many important factors while emphasizing the superficial. And “Shiddach Dates” are beyond superficial – people need to be themselves. Yes, best behavior but don’t adopt a false persona.

    One of my sons went the shiddach route and had many very disappointing dates with young women who wanted a kollel bochur (he’s now a doctor) – Nice? Yes! Match? No way! Finally when 2 different shadchunim suggested the same young lady, they were both right. And our families have welded. Although we come from different parts of Europe: We speak Yiddish, my in-laws Hungarian, our in-laws are like long lost best friends to us — that commonality is reflected in our son and daughter(in-law).

    Another of my sons married a young woman who lived a few blocks away and whose family davened in our shule, they worked together at a summer camp — it was bashert.

    I met my wife over 40 years ago — it was love at first sight — but it was 7 years later that we got married.

    The Aybishter works in marvelous ways.

    Again, Mazal Tov.

  9. Lisa

    December 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I’m surprised at how many commentors are completely missing the point the writer is making! She is acknowledging that her list was UNrealistic and actually hampering her goals of finding a husband. She is acknowledging that it was her list that was the problem. The comments are faulting her for having the list, a misguided one…BUT THAT IS EXACTLY THE POINT SHE IS MAKING HERSELF.