Marriage Without Avenues- The Latest Action Film
Young people have to spend a lot of time forming their lives, finding themselves. And then as if that’s not hard enough they have to find someone else, too.
In the days of the more liberal Orthodoxy, mixed dance parties and wedding receptions offered casual environments where singles could openly interact. Now due to the segregated environment within the Orthodox community, the genders are growing more divided and losing potential dating opportunities. Couples can’t meet as easily, get to know one another, or comfortably make introductions. This predicament is being commonly referred to as, “The shidduch crisis.”
Online dating has become a common avenue for members of the Orthodox community seeking their bashert, but mainstream online dating websites such as JDate and Match.com create another problem in the dating realm:
Everyone is looking for ‘the perfect person.'
…But nobody knows exactly who that is. In online profiles the only thing you have to go off of is a few good pictures, some words about ‘the ideal relationship’ (whatever that is), some generic adjectives describing their personality (i.e. “Funny, intelligent, nice”…as if anyone would ever put, “stubborn, needy, and racist”) and favorite activities, which predictably will include “Having dinner” and “Going to the movies.”
So if you prefer someone who is not funny, dumb, and kind of mean; perhaps an individual who hates going to the movies and never eats dinner…Then online dating is not for you. But if you like all these qualities in a person (and who doesn’t?) then you should be compatible with practically everybody…Right?
Wrong. Online profiles have become so generic that they hardly allow you to glean any real information about anybody. People aren’t writing about themselves on their profiles, but rather are more likely to project their ‘ideal’ self; the person they want to be rather than the person they are. Though a great innovation, online dating is unfortunately all too prone to exaggeration and misrepresentation. Dan Ariely, a behavioral economics professor at Duke University, has done studies on online dating which reveal that if you take people you like and don’t like in real life, and then read their online profiles, you can rarely differentiate the two. It’s almost inevitable that the most important part of someone’s profile will become their picture. And so the dating process becomes based on something completely superficial.
Attraction is important of course, but we neglect to realize that attraction, like love, is something that can grow and develop over time. In a study done by psychologists Richard Moreland and Scott Beach of the University of Pittsburgh, a girl was hired to attend a class every week. She would not communicate with the students, but merely sit there in the same room with them. At the end of the semester, the students in the class were shown her picture and asked to rate her attractiveness. Students of another class she did not attend were asked to do the same. The class she attended had subconsciously recognized her and rated her much higher in attractiveness. In psychology terms, this is called the Exposure Effect. Familiarity breeds attraction, and so do many other factors (personality, achievement, circumstance, voice) that no profile picture could ever accurately convey.
Online profiles, at times, can provide us with pictures without personality. And without personality, our physical attractions revert to the mainstream interpretation: Skinny women, and strong-jawed men with an impressive educational background.
In 2004 Marc Goldman set out to bring the humanizing effect back to online dating with his Jewish matchmaking site, SawYouAtSinai.com . SawYouAtSinai is a website at the forefront of revolutionizing the online dating scene by providing members with a matchmaker that suggests matches based on information from face to face interviews, personal phone conversations, and e-mails with the members. The site intertwines telling social interaction with an easily accessible online platform, enabling connections to be made that might never have taken place previously. Providing a middleman, in this case the shadchan, allows members to feel free to be brutally honest about their personality traits and what they’re looking for in another person. They are willing to be more revealing with their matchmaker than they would on a public profile viewable by countless others, and therefore are more likely to receive a match that is accurate and compatible.
In an effort to assist the end of the Shidduch crisis, the Orthodox Union has partnered up with SawYouAtSinai to spread word of this unique, effective, and tzniut approach to dating for the Orthodox community. The more personal approach of a live matchmaker, the tzniut process that ensures privacy, the proven success formula that has led to over 1,000 married, and the close adherence to strict Orthodox Halacha were all critical factors in the OU’s decision to form this partnership.
“We are very excited about the new partnership,” says SawYouAtSinai founder Marc Goldmann. “The OU is one the most respected and followed organizations in the Orthodox community. Through our partnership with the Orthodox Union we hope to build on our success of over 1,000 members married, and to facilitate the creation of many more happy shidduchim in the near future!”
Click here to join www.SawYouAtSinai.com