In my early twenties, finding myself frustrated by my single status, I thought it might have been a good idea if, at birth, each child was given a sealed envelope from God, containing a single name on an index card: the name of his or her eventual bashert (and perhaps a city, especially in case of Davids, Rachels and other common names). That envelope could be held in trust for a to-be-determined period of time, after which it could be redeemed by the lovelorn adult. I subsequently determined that this would strip the process of searching of any romance or satisfaction, and (because God’s agent never returned my calls) I jettisoned the clearly unimplementable idea.
An Anonymous poster on JDaters Anonymous wrote (spellings corrected for purposes of editorial sanity):
I like the idea of the arranged marriage. It would save alot of time and hurt feelings. If the matches could be done analytically with people who care about the matchees. Something like this could be great. I’ve given up on dating and guys. I just can’t handle all the misery, backstabbing, stress they cause me.
I do my fair share of complaining about the state of my romantic life. But I haven’t personally experienced the kind of treachery that this commenter seems to have had in affairs of the heart, and for that I am most grateful, even as I empathize with her.
In today’s global society, freedom of choice reigns over almost everything else. But (please indulge me my “Carrie Bradshaw moment” here) does having too many choices result in making no choice at all? Could today’s single Jews benefit from a little shtetlicious regression into a world of arranged marriages, wherein two marriageable people could meet once or twice, determine attraction and compatibility and then move ahead with their lives? Is freedom of choice perpetuating (if not causing) the so-called shidduch crisis?