Name the Comparison

What hasn’t shidduchim been compared to?

There was one commenter somewhere who soberly compared it to dog breeding: you check out the pedigree, you tally the blue ribbons won, and then you do genetic testing, before finally letting the dogs meet each other.

Then there was ProfK who compared matchmaking to matching socks (though she didn’t go into the fact that one sock nearly always disappears in the dryer, and therefore only the more versatile socks actually have matches afterward). (No idea where the post is, but if anyone wants to provide a link, feel free.)

The Gemara compares it to splitting the sea, and says splitting the sea is somewhat easier. (So why haven’t any successful shadchanim topped David Copperfield’s statue-disappearing act yet?)

Cattle markets, FBI background checks on alien residents, fitting legos together, racing the clock, congressional politics, marketing… there are many analogies drawn. I thought it would be fun to compile a collection – of old one’s you’ve heard, and of new ones you concoct.

For example, being single in the shidduch system is like being an unreacted substrate in the human body. You want to be reacted with another molecule to form something entirely new and more wonderful. However, you need to find the right enzyme to do it. And of course the enzyme has its own life going on, and if the pH gets too high or the temperature drops too low, the enzyme unravels and you’re left searching. It is possible to find the right molecule and undergo the reaction on your own, but it’s far more difficult and less likely to occur in the standard environment.

And then again, being single is like running for president. It’s all about achieving positive name recognition – you want your name spread around, and you want people to be able to say two or three good things about you when it comes up. And you want them to eventually pair you with your heart’s desire – be it a nice guy or the White House.

Don’t forget, being single is like being an oreo… oh wait, that’s just the yeshiva guys.

Well, it’s very much like being a container of orange juice. You’re separated from your significant other, and you need someone to shake you back together. …Er, well, maybe this one falls apart with too much scrutiny.

What else can shidduchim be compared to?


22 thoughts on “Name the Comparison

  1. Being single is like a half-glass of water – some people tell you it’s half empty, others half full, no one asks if you really wanted scotch

  2. Shidduchim is like a visit to the doctor’s office, the one where he says, “This won’t hurt a bit!” and you both know he is lying through his teeth. But you go ahead with the shot because the end result is worth the pain you go through to get that result. That doesn’t mean that you don’t yell “Ouch!” or obviously rub the sore area. The sympathy from others quotient cannot be underrated in this process.

  3. sometimes, you go out with a guy and realize right away that it’s not even the right GENERAL TYPE of guy you’re looking for. This is like walking into the completely wrong classroom on your first day of school. You wanted math and you walked in to shop class. There’s really no point in hanging around in shop class any longer than the two seconds in the doorway, since you like math much better, and it’s the class you NEED to graduate. So you quickly close the door, back away, and pretend it never happened – all as quickly as possible.

  4. A grocery store.

    You’re “on the market,” you have a “shelf life,” and the prettiest looking fruitcakes get the most potential buyers.

  5. except I thought it takes a special person to appriciate a fruitcake, and they often get passed around until they find one.

    I like fruitcake though… too bad its really hard to find kosher ones. (or at least it feels that way.)

    and besides… fruitcakes have no shelf life, you just have to find someone who wants one. 😉

    (nor have I ever met a bad fruitcake)

  6. There’s a very cute poem out there about a man on the phone with a shadchan and it sounds like he’s shopping in a grocery store. If a/o’s seen it…

  7. It’s like a chemistry experiment- first do some research to make sure it doesn’t explode. Make sure they can react with each other, aren’t polar opposites, and that they could bond. Wearing safety goggles, and standing at a suitable distance, gently add the hazardous chemicals together in a nice beaker and pray. You’ll know shortly if it’ll work or not. 🙂

  8. and then how have to theorize about exactly what it is you’ve got there, figure out its mass number, and all kinds of stuff. 🙂

    all before you know what you have and know if its what you were looking for.

    but thats alot of work and math.

  9. Shidduch dating is like taking your road test over and over…each time you try you say, ok this is it…all the time and effort will finally pay and off and i will drive away from this a free and independent person! and each time you fail you go home the same way you got there and have to start all over…still dependent on other people for everything, still stuck in childhood…

  10. “still stuck in childhood?”
    Well, I wouldn’t go that far!

    But, having that cool set of wheels is also a necessary factor- although it comes with gas expenses

  11. Pairing socks….hmm…not sure I love the dirty laundry connotations, but not bad.

    OK, let’s see. Here are a few analogies. They’re not all reciprocal, but then again, not all courtships start out that way either:

    – fishing

    – musical chairs

    – getting hungry only because you smell food, but you know it’s way too early to eat

    – maitre de won’t seat you

    – princess and the pea

    – goldilox (or goldiberg) & the three bears

  12. Chavrusa Tumult. Or, perhaps it’s more than just a comparison.

    I think chemistry is not a very good comparison. Chemical reactions (outside biological systems) are very predictable up to the nitty-grittiest details and are governed by a set of laws that never fail, whereas shidduchim is hit-or-miss (mostly miss), and pretty much anything flies. Which leads me to another comparison: the game of Darts. The bulls-eye is marriage, but it is infinitely small …

    (Hmmm, maybe Darts would make an interesting date activity?)

  13. waiting for the right bus… some ppl feel better when they see a lot of the wrong busses go by cuz at least you know the busses are still running… others would rather no busses come till the right one does. Just don’t get on the wrong bus, k?

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  15. Sorry I’m late, but just got a chance to catch up a bit;

    Shidduchim are like finding parking. You circle around a couple of times, go back and forth too, but by the time you need that spot all the good ones are taken and all thats left are the handicapped ones.

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  18. a fruit store. it’s gotta look pretty on the outside, but also be good on the inside, and it’s expiring soon, and then it’ll get moved to the discount area where only a few ppl are willing to even look 😛
    I hate feeling like an item for sale with an best before date!

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