Hey everyone! I’m using an alternate account. I can’t post this on a self help subreddit, for people who aren’t Orthodox Jewish wouldn’t understand.
My last shidduch date was in November 2016, and I don’t plan on going on another shidduch date ever again. People thought that they could harass and manipulate me just because I’m “weird” and “socially off,” and it still hurts me to this day.
I was 20 when I went on my first shidduch date. My parents became friends with these people on the premise that their children will marry each other. They came over to the house with their son, and I said no to a second date. I was guilt tripped for the next fourteen months and told that I’m a bad person because I hurt his feelings. I’m sorry, but I didn’t want to date him in the first place. I had no idea that rejecting him meant that I would be guilt tripped for the next fourteen months. And within the two months after the date, I was constantly told that I have to meet him again for I had apparently “ruined his life.” I was very nice to him on the date and he didn’t have to meet me in the first place. If anything, my parents and the shadchan were the ones who “ruined his life.”
With the second shidduch date I went on, my parents were like: “Oh this really nice boy is coming over to our house in three hours from now and he’s flying in from London. You can’t say no to him because his mother just died and he came all the way from England .” Before the date, they humiliated me and checked my face for hairs (just as they did with the first date). They told me that I have to go on two dates with him. I went on two dates with him, and I couldn’t be nice because I was miserable and grumpy the whole time; I felt as though I had lost control of my life. And people keep telling me that I “consented.” I only consented because I knew that I’d be accused of being “mean” for not dating him. I would have been miserable either way.
I was then asked to date someone else, and I agreed because it wasn’t as stressful being that I knew about him in advance. That is, my parents didn’t become friends with his parents on the premise that their children will marry someday, and it wasn’t a surprise either. The thing is, this guy was very strange and I really didn’t like him. When I told my mom that I don’t like him, she said: “Oh well you don’t know yourself very well. Other girls can reject shidduch dates but you can’t since you don’t know what’s good for you.” Whenever I would give reasons as to why I don’t want to date him, she would then list every single one of my flaws. She told me that none of the reasons I gave were “valid” and that I have to marry someone as long as he’s not a terrible person. On the fourth date with him, I came off as aloof and so he didn’t want to go out anymore. My mom then threw a fit. I told myself from then on that I would never shidduch date again. With all the shidduch dates, I was called names and humiliated and told that I can’t trust myself and that I have to marry the guys because I’m hurting them and myself if I don’t. I know this doesn’t sound that bad, but it really was.
Two months after I had promised myself not to date anyone ever again, a woman who has known my family since I was two called me, and she told me that she has someone for me. I said that I’m sorry but I am sick of shidduch dating and it truly has been an awful experience for me. She asked: “Are you a bad person? Only a bad person would not date someone who wants to date her.” I know that I’m not a bad person for not wanting to date someone, but I felt as though she insulted my intelligence by thinking she could manipulate me into dating someone that way. I yelled at her for a week to leave me alone. Eventually, she found another way to manipulate me into dating him, and so I met him at her house. All the guys I was forced to date were weird, but this guy was especially strange. His eyes didn’t match his facial expressions, he was twitching, and I was pretty much just interviewing him the whole time. I got home and told my dad about him, to which he said: “If you weren’t such a retard, this sort of thing wouldn’t happen to you.” I went into my room and cried for the rest of the night. I took off from work the next day because I couldn’t focus on anything. Whenever I would complain that I don’t like the guy whom I was set up with, they would ask me what I’m actually looking for. I would say, “Maybe someone a little bit more normal,” and then they would tell me that no one who’s normal would go for someone like me. I never demanded that I be set up with someone who is normal; I just wanted to be left alone.
A month later, my parents forced me on another date. I yelled at them for a week beforehand that I really don’t want to date anyone, but they said: “He’s coming over to our house whether you like it or not.” He came over, and he was the strangest guy in the world. My parents said that I didn’t have to meet him again, but they violated my boundaries and I am still hurt.
My dad would tell me that I’m “so lucky” that I’m getting redt all these shidduchim. He would tell me that I’m privileged because “normal girls” don’t get redt many shidduchim since they go unnoticed and there’s a surplus of “weird boys” who need shidduchim. I think that not getting redt shidduchim is much better than being forced on shidduch dates and having people trying to manipulate you into marrying someone against your will. In fact, the woman who forced me I to dating the fourth guy texted me: “You’re a horrible person for not wanting to date him again. Do you know how much money he spent to get here?”
People usually don’t try to manipulate people into marrying against their will where I’m from; they only thought that they could do this to me because they assumed that I’m too stupid to notice. In fact, that’s what they said when I pointed it out to them.
I feel as though my life isn’t the same since that happened. I had actually dropped out of college during that whole experience because I was so stressed out. I’m not worried about how I’ll get married, for I feel as though my life is over. I had no idea that anyone would manipulate and harass me like that just because they see me as “different.” I don’t even make an effort to be “different” at all. I had a bit of an inferiority complex before that had happened, but I was always able to comfort myself by saying that things are going to be okay. 2016 was the year that I realized that things aren’t going to be okay. People will abuse and manipulate you if they see you as “different.” I have so much more anxiety than I used to. I don’t know what to do.
Does anyone else know of similar shidduch stories? I just feel lonely because I’ve told some people about it and have yet to meet someone with a similar experience.