Internet Dating in the Religious Zionist Community

This is the sixth part in a series on dating and marriage in the religious-Zionist world.

I: Dating Readiness, II: Meeting the One, III: Genetic Testing IV: Dating Venues, and V: Shidduch Crisis?, VII: Paying the Shadchan, or Not, VIII: Wedding Costs, IX: Planning Tips

I hear of more and more couples who met through the internet.  DossiDate seems to be the most popular site for religious Israelis, and has an English version too. It is open to all Sabbath-observant, Jewish singles.

I can think of a lot of advantages to meeting via the internet:

  • Relatively cheap, compared to a professional matchmaker. (NIS 54 a month)
  • Easier to make connections than with multitudes of phone calls.
  • Open to anyone, even without “connections.”
  • You get to know a person in a low-pressure situation (chat or email) before committing to meet.
  • Shy people or those who don’t make a good first impression have an easier time.
  • Internet prospects can be checked out just as easily as those recommended by friends. Assuming you have the name of the high school or yeshiva, someone will know someone who knew the person. It’s harder if someone is new to the community, but that is true regardless of how people meet.
  • If you reject someone you don’t have to involve the matchmaker, your parents and the whole world.

Of course there are many advantages to a human matchmaker, who may have a broader perspective and helps ensure that the relationship doesn’t get derailed in the early stages.

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Comments

  1. It is not a cheap matchmaker. The role of the matchmaker, is to find the chemistry and contribute to the missing positive thinking that is lacking to match both. Although the number of online couples is rising, the model is very risky.

  2. My husband and I met through a dating website. I’m a BT so there weren’t really too many options for me to meet people. He is shy so websites were a preferred option for him as well.

  3. There are pros and cons to online matchmaking as with anything. Having had 2 daughters trying to find their bershert online I can comment on the good outcome and the bad! My first daughter had some very unpleasant experiences through “meeting” online and i was thankful that she had the sense to check with me before taking steps to meet the boys in “reality”. One turned out to be extremely unsuitable in many ways, even though his e-mails and chats seemed “wonderful”. Her 2nd experience involved a fellow from the other side of the world and even though I made enquiries and even spoke at length to his mother and a good friend of his, when they finally met, it was clear that they had left out some vital information in order to ease the way for him…ok.. these things can happen even going through a shadchanit. My 2nd daughter did meet her husband via dossidate and they are very well suited and very happy together B”H. Bottom line… whoever your child is about to meet in the “real world”, background checking is essential.

  4. twentyfoursix.com is free and indirectly how I met my husband. I was on dosidate when it was free. I actually dated its original founder, though we met on Jdate (go fig).

    It’s a very mixed bag. People can lie about everything. Age was the most common lie I found – men frequently said they were 28 when they were over 30 and I was 24…

    Shadchanim sometimes can be helpful, but in my case, they would never ever have set me up with my husband. He’s good looking and labels as charedi and I’m overweight and wear (wore 🙁 ) pants.

    My husband’s best friend, on the other hand, used my husband’s very loose criteria of “she’s religious and juggles” and decided it was worth trying, and 4 years and 2 kids into the relationship, I have to say I agree. We certainly have our hashkafic issues, but they’re less than you’d imagine.

    Neither of us did much background checking. Both of us were honest very early on about a variety of things which might have scared some possible shidduchim away.

    As an aside, I had (because of the roommate situation in modiin at the time and a whole bunch of strange reasons that I won’t go into, but suffice it to say, it was out of necessity, not out of choice) shared an apartment with a non-religious man for two years when I was single, and as soon as I moved out, my mother told me to “never ever tell anyone I dated that I’d ever shared an apartment with a man”

    This guy ended up living a few doors down from my adopted sister, and becoming a close friend of hers and her husband’s. If my husband hadn’t known about it beforehand, it could have blown up in my face. Since I’d always been honest, his response was “oh, that guy was your flatmate?” and I said “yes” and he said “oh, I can see why you guys never dated.” It’s never come up again.

  5. All those rules and fears about what people might think make me crazy. I have learned the halacha behind so much of it. I have an easier time following the reasoning than so many of the minhagim.

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