The Complex Business of ‘Make Me a Match’ and ‘Find Me a Find’

What would you do if you woke up to find that your marriage had been prearranged by your parents? You'd probably reject the idea, just as the three elder daughters did in "Fiddler on the Roof." Each daughter had insisted upon the importance of finding true love, and each wanted to seek a match of her own: the eldest with the town's humble tailor, the middle with a traveling revolutionary and the youngest with a non-Jewish farmer from another village.

The three sisters teach us that finding love and a life partner is not all that simple. Indeed, as prearranged marriages became less common, they were replaced by countless personal decisions regarding a potential mate's qualities and characteristics. Those qualities ran the gamut, from everything to religion and hobbies, height and hair color to moral systems and values.

Based on what you're looking for, you could end up with a tailor, revolutionary or anyone in between.

Chances are, however, that if you're reading this article, you're interested in meeting a Jewish person.

Mazel tov! You've just eliminated about 98 percent of the U.S. population from your potential dating pool.

But don't stop reading yet. In making the above statement, however, I hope to draw your attention to a rather unnerving statistic. Jews comprise less than 2 percent of the population in America. Finding your bashert (Yiddish for "destined partner") might require a significant effort on your part.

But don't fret too much; personal choice is much better than something prearranged. Besides, you've got me here to help you.

'Is He the One'?
Let me introduce myself.

I am a young, single female in search of a nice Jewish boy. Before I started dating seriously, I experienced my parents' divorce, and watched them start dating again. I have attended both of their second weddings. My mother has been remarried now for six years; my father remarried in August.

I have been in love, struggled through ending relationships, had my heart broken, been on dates I thought would never end and experienced drool on my face from a bad kiss. Between receding hairlines, men that are too hairy and completely selfish putzes, I have met my fair share of guys – and I've analyzed it all.

Questions such as, "Is he the one?" and "Is he going to be my future boyfriend or even my husband?" have crossed my mind as early as the first date. I'm in no rush – I'll take my time – but I won't settle, and I have a lot to accomplish before then.

In today's fast-paced world, you need to be prepared. And I plan on assisting you. If a particular event appeals to one demographic or another, I'll tell you.

I plan on providing information for both men and women of different ages, in Philadelphia and in the suburbs; I aim to be your eyes and ears out there on the meet-and-greet scene.

But before I send you off to singles events or through the maze of online dating, let me assure you that I understand you have your own criteria. Whether you're a college grad or a new grandparent, you have a list of specifics. The partner you seek might be someone to share an apple martini with at Loie, a slice of pizza at Lorenzo's or a cup of hot coffee at an Eagles game. Maybe your dream mate likes quiet nights at home with a book or a Sunday-morning jog before going to brunch and reading the paper.

You might be looking for someone who, like you, has been through a divorce, or is a widow or widower ready to try again.

You might want a companion for something as simple as cards, shopping, bowling or Bingo.

But whether you've simply thought about dating or already been meeting people, my advice is this: Get out there! Don't wait for somebody to come to you.

The next time you contemplate going to an event, joining an online dating service, or talking to that person you always see at the bank or local coffee spot, do it. The sting of rejection isn't nearly as bad as the possibility of missing out.

Just like the daughters in "Fiddler," you can find your match. It may take a while – it may even take some pretty awful dates – but putting yourself out there can only bring you closer to finding someone who makes you whole. Go ahead and rent the "Fiddler" film if you want, but don't watch it alone.

Until then, I'll help you keep your balance on that oh-so-precarious rooftop.

If you have any questions or comments, want to share your dating triumphs or woes, or know of a Jewish singles event to write about, e-mail: [email protected]



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