B4S Sees You On Sinai

I signed up.

I don’t know why.

It all started when a match appeared in my inbox. The email explained that a friend had suggested the guy for me. In order to see his info I needed to set up a basic account and fill out a profile. It was only after I put in all that effort that I discovered that I couldn’t accept or decline the match without a paid membership. Sheesh.

Of course, once I had the basic membership, matches started bonking into my inbox like spam into a Yahoo account. I read them with mild amusement. There was the happy chossid, the guy whose picture showed him in a black t-shirt and sunglasses, and one fellow whose list of his ideal wife was so long and so far superior to me (“chein, temimus, sweet, kind, sparkling”) that I wanted to hit “accept” just because I enjoy a good challenge. My favorite was the guy who looked quite portly in his picture but described himself as slim. Probably I set my tolerance parameters too wide.

I described my experiences to the friend who catalyzed the entire reaction. She was shocked.

“You don’t have a SYAS account?”

As if, at my age and stage, it was requisite. As if I’d admitted to not having a bank account. Trusting my life to friends, relatives, and a plastic pig with a slot in the top.

Well, she might have a point there.

It’s been observed that I need to broaden my circles a bit, so…

I checked the rates and did the math. I shook my head and did it again, and then I multiplied the monthly rate by the 33,000 singles supposed to be using the site. I was immediately overcome with envy for the site founder. Add advertising revenue… someone is sitting on a Caribbean island somewhere sipping Shirley Temples and checking their matches.

I bit the bullet and punched in my credit card number. First thing I went straight to the guy with the demanding shopping list and hit “accept.”

He rejected me.

Oh well. No shocker there.

Next I informed my shadchan that if a guy puts down “TV, weightlifting, and billiards” as his hobbies then he’s not for me.

Then I went to the home page and divided the 1,000 matches made by the 33,000 single members. I got a 3% success rate. Of course, if you consider that each match takes care of 2 members, I guess it’s more like 6%. I wonder if that’s a statistically significant number.

I mean, as far as I can tell from my experience so far, SYAS is the names-on-a-dartboard game on a grand scale. The shadchanim throw suggestions at you, you catch or parry them and wait for the other party to do the same. At some point two people actually like the sound of each other and agree to go out.

I’m still waiting for that one.

For the readership: how often does it happen? Give the rate on a per month basis please.

Oh, and the original suggestion that started it all? I have no idea who he is. He timed out before I forked over the cash.

Cartoon credit to Stupid Inventor

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15 thoughts on “B4S Sees You On Sinai

  1. SYAS is just like you described. Complete dartboard. I calculated that I got 284 match suggestions over the last three years, and I accepted 15 of those. Of those 15, how many did I actually go out with, that didn’t either time out, or reject me? ONE. And she was crazy enough I knew it was DOA after a grand total of 3.72 minutes.

    Hope you have better luck.

  2. I also signed up for SYAS about a month ago, so far your assessment seems accurate to me. Lots of suggestions, but most of them are just random, no logic behind them suggestions. I figured that so far 25% of the matches made sense, which is not so bad considering how many matches they send. Most of them say no, usually right before it would time out. I wish they would give you a report every month that would tell you how many matches declined you and for what reason. I think I would like the system better if I lived in NY, I would just approve any match that looked ok, but considering that I have to travel, I need to know more info than they provide.

  3. The more accurate/unique your profile and expectations of a chosson are, the easier it would be for the shadchan to suggest people for you. If you’re a “kind-hearted, intelligent, fun-loving girl” looking for [some similar generic description] guy, then the suggestions will be more random. Also, you need to find a good shadchan.

  4. I shook my head and did it again, and then I multiplied the monthly rate by the 33,000 singles supposed to be using the site. I was immediately overcome with envy for the site founder.

    Then I went to the home page and divided the 1,000 matches made by the 33,000 single members. I got a 3% success rate. Of course, if you consider that each match takes care of 2 members, I guess it’s more like 6%. I wonder if that’s a statistically significant number.

    Shoot. I’ve totally been pursuing the wrong line of work…!

  5. Although I am sure that SYAS does work for some people simply by their signing up, if you want it to really work, you need to get on the radar of a shadchan who will use their position and search capabilities to try and help you personally. Otherwise, the experience is pure random.

  6. I peronsally know a couple who met on SYAS and know of others who did as well. The main problem for girls on SYAS is that there are way more girls on the site than guys, so guys get more suggestions and have to say no to some of them. Like others said, you have to find a good shadchan which is hard. There are not enough shadchanim so each shadchan has a lot of members and can’t spend as much time as they might like searching for matches for each one. I had shadchanim who would make the most random suggestions that made no sense, and then I switched and found better ones. But usually the good shadchans are full and won’t let you into their network. I have gone out with a few guys from the site, and although they did not work out, they were not too far off base, either.

  7. How does one “get on the radar of a shadchan” exactly?
    I tried signing up for one that had been around for a while (it seemed a good sign) and was told she had a waiting list. Right. Next idea?

  8. You can always message a shadchan, and introduce yourself. When I was on there briefly, it helped just get some of the shadchanim aware of my existence and got me on the forefront of their mind, which led to more suitable matches as opposed to the random “he’s a guy, she’s a girl, let’s suggest it!”

  9. I was on there briefly, once- not how I met my fiance, but I had a couple of interesting dates, and a few phone conversations that were productive. There were a couple of absurd suggestions, but also some that were pretty reasonable. I found it useful, for a while.

  10. I agree with the sentiment that you need to get a good shadchan. I happened to get several good suggestions from one particular shadchan who I then made *my* shadchan. Also, I don’t know if this exists elsewhere, but at YU, they have had several “Meet the Connector” nights for YU Connects (the YU version of SYAS). Although I didn’t meet ASOG through YUCon/SYAS, I had very positive experiences with the girls I went out with. I also know of several YU guys who married SYAS girls – all YU/Stern students can get a free gold membership, and the option exists to receive suggestions from just YUCon or YUCon and SYAS. At least you don’t have to worry about weirdos stalking your profile and asking for pictures with SYAS. I did receive a few off the mark suggestions, but I would always respond with a constructive comment to better the shadchan’s next attempt in sending a profile my way. After speaking with several connectors at the Meet the Connector night, they al said they appreciated this rather than simply saying no for looks, etc without a further explanation.

  11. I agree that you need a good shadchan to have a good experience. Like I used a shadchan who also got married in her 30s, and she was full, but I emailed and introduced myself and explained why I thought she would be a good shadchan for me, and she let me add her. And with her, I got some really good suggestions. But then there are all the suggestions from other people where the sole basis is that I wear pants and he doesn’t mind if a woman wears pants. One of the men who didn’t mind a woman who wears pants wanted his wife to wear a sheitl, though, which is a weird combination.

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