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Tips and Tactics for Generating Sustained Quality Shadchan Attention

(from NASI)

What can a single and her family do to maximize quality shadchan attention on her behalf?

The answer to that question can be best expressed by the following two concepts. 1. Help the shadchanim help you by making it easier for shadchanim to get a boy and his family interested in considering the shidduch. 2. Be someone whom the shadchanim wants to help. What follows is a bare-bones outline of some of the ideas that are included in these two concepts.

1) Help the shadchanim help you.

  • A) The following suggestion is mainly for out-of-town young women 

  • Make it a point to tell any shadchan you meet or know, that you will come in for shidduchim, no questions asked. Even better is to inform shadchanim that they can relay to prospective boys that the girl comes in "all the time" and that travel is no big deal. This way, the prospective boy doesn't feel like the girl is traveling in special for a date, as many boys would be uncomfortable with the notion of the girl travelling in special  just for him, and would therefore simply look elsewhere. But if she is/was going to be in town anyway, then they might as well.

  • With this information, a shadchan can more easily encourage the boy’s side to give a yes and the shadchan will be more inclined to work with you.  

  • Telling the shadchan that she has a job, or that she is coming in a few weeks for a wedding, asking if is it OK to wait until summer vacation, etc. will almost ensure that the boys and the shadchanim will invest their efforts elsewhere.

  •  To be clear, very often, in a situation where both sides give a yes, and the boy is interested in an out-of-town girl, the boy will be willing to travel, if not for the first two dates, then shortly afterwards. However, letting the shadchanim know up front that you will travel as much as necessary, no questions asked, and not just for the initial one or two dates, will make it exponentially easier for the shadchan to redd you shidduchim.

  •  I might be so bold as to suggest that when out-of-town communities make events for shadchanim to come in special and meet the local singles, the "cost" for the singles to get to meet the shadchanim is for the attendees to allow the organizers to guarantee the shadchanim that any single they meet at the event has agreed to do all the travel as necessary should a shidduch be redd.

  • B) The following suggestions are for in-town as well as out-of town young women.

  • Inform any shadchan you meet or know that you will get back to them very quickly any time they reach out to you with a shidduch suggestion, and then follow up on this commitment. Make sure to get back to the shadchan right away. It should almost never take more than 24-48 hours to give an answer for a first date once one side gives a yes. This is helpful in shadchanim generating interest on the boy’s side when deciding which of a few different suggestions he is considering pursuing. And in the event that a boy has given his yes, why run the risk of him losing his enthusiasm? A quick response keeps the boy interested, because remember that at the same time that you are doing your checking, it is likely that other people are running other ideas by him. In addition, this keeps the shadchan on your side. The longer you take to get back to the shadchan, the more likely it is that the shadchan will invest their time in someone who gets back to them faster

2) Be someone whom the shadchanim want to help.

  • Be very reachable to the shadchan. If the shadchan calls, pick up the phone or return the call promptly (it is completely irrelevant whether or not they do the same for you). Make it clear to the shadchan that the shidduch is an absolute priority and be easily reachable by the shadchan. Don't worry that you will seem over-anxious or desperate. Sadly, that's a common sentiment that does much harm in shidduchim, giving the shadchan the impression that the party is simply not that interested in the shidduch. It is very frustrating to a shadchan to try to reach a party in a specific shidduch for information, answers, feedback, etc. and not be able to get hold of that party.


  • If a reputable shadchan comes to you with a yes, so long as it's a half decent idea, give it a shot and give the shadchan a yes. Consider it an investment in the shadchan. Even if it turns out to be a bomb date, it was still a few hours well spent, as shadchanim are apt to set up people who they have set up in the past. In addition, it is the cheapest way to "purchase" the shadchan's attention. If shadchanim get a yes, they basically expect a yes back (whether we like it or not), and if we give a no, unless it is a completely atrocious idea, the shadchan will likely invest their time with people who take their suggestions more seriously. No hard feelings, but don't expect the shadchan to keep on redding you shidduchim.

3) Financial Incentives.

  • Here are some dos and don’ts regarding usage of finances to garner extra shadchan attention for singles who seem to have difficulty getting shadchan attention.

  • Don't give shadchanim money upfront to work on a specific single. It is very limiting (how many shadchanim can you pay in this fashion?) and it is very ineffective. Don't pay shadchanim to meet you unless you understand 100% that you have no right to expect anything from that shadchan other than the fact that your information will be entered into a very large database and the shadchan cannot possibly focus on each individual in their database. Don't offer mega- shadchanus in the event of a complete shidduch in the hopes of garnering extra attention. That is a very ineffective tactic to garner attention for a particular single, unless it is a single who was relatively easy to set up, in which case that offer wasn't necessary in the first place. (If someone wants to offer or give mega-shadchanus simply because they want the shadchan to be extremely well-rewarded, then, by all means, you should surely do so.)

  • Do let shadchanim know that you understand that they don't owe you anything, and you appreciate the time and effort that it takes to get shidduchim off the ground. As such, you should make fair offers in the event that the shadchan sets up a shidduch that reaches a date number two (i.e., it wasn't a complete bomb). The exact dollar amount of these offers obviously depends on the situation and the degree of difficulty in getting dates. Always err on the side of generous.

  • $500 for a date-two is certainly not an unreasonable amount on behalf of a single who has been in shidduchim for a few years and is seeing very little shadchan attention. I personally (not as part of NASI) have offered significantly higher dollar amounts on behalf of singles who were having great difficulty, with excellent results. As part of this tactic, the offer could have a time limit (I personally have not done this), so that the shadchan is motivated to get to work a.s.a.p. on behalf of that particular single. This date-two offer can be made to multiple shadchanim at the same time, as you only pay for those who produce results and shadchanim greatly appreciate being compensated for their time and effort as measured by dates set up. This is very fair on both ends, with no pressure and no expectation. It is all results based. Of course, a fair offer for date- two should in no way diminish the shadchanus at the end, which should very generous as well.

  • I have found that a very fair and generous date-two offer coupled with a bonus if the shidduch progresses to date-four (meaning that it was a quality shidduch idea) and generous shadchanus in the event of a completed shidduch has been a very fair arrangement that generates interest on the part of shadchanim, who appreciate knowing that their time and efforts are  valued. Of course, in the event that such offers are made by the inner circle of a particular single, it is crucial that the offer not be a factor in determining whether or not to continue a particular shidduch. When uncles, siblings and friends do it on behalf of singles, this hump is avoided, as they aren't involved in the decision process of whether to pursue, continue or discontinue a particular shidduch suggestion. However, even when parents do it on behalf of their children (of course there is no reason to inform your child about the offer), make sure to not allow the offer to color the decision process of whether to continue to a date two or four.

These are just roshei perakim of the various ideas that singles, their families and communities can consider to maximize shadchan attention. I am happy to share what we have learned over the last decade via input from tens of shadchanim, singles, dating mentors, and trial and error. Feel free to email to arrange a presentation.

NASI Project