Hence, many people use a shadchan or shadchanit (matchmaker) to get dates.Here is the rub: How does one explain to one’s shadchan what it is one is looking for?
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Each person is an amalgamation of traits and each person is attracted to a certain overall blend of traits in a potential mate.
I would venture to guess that most people could not actually articulate what it is about a person that attracts them such that this person would be distinguishable from hundreds of others that to fit that description, but don’t actually attract them.
To take Halberstam’s vignette as an illustration: She speaks about a get-together she attended with single young women and the mothers of single young men.
Halberstam was shocked that these girls were not dressed-to-kill to impress the mothers. My guess is that of course they knew, and if the get-together had included the young men they would have dressed differently.
Speaking as an outsider who has never shidduch dated, I will offer my tentative thoughts.