When people think of Jewish matchmaking the image that comes to mind is of Yenta in Fiddler on the Roof.
The reality for us today at We Go Together, a free Jewish matchmaking service, is very different.
One thing that does remain constant however – whether in London in 2020 or Anatevka in 1905 – is that everyone is striving for that ‘perfect’ match.
In the three years and hundreds of couplings since We Go Together started, I have gained an insight into what works and what doesn’t. Here is what I’ve learned…
People may say that opposites attract, but not in our community. I’ve found that people who are alike tend to be more compatible, especially people who have similar lifestyles. There may be a singular value where someone needs their opposite – e.g. organised, because they are not, or calm, because they are not – but otherwise the more they align the better.
Then there are the four pillars which almost everyone says they are looking for in a partner when we first speak. Trust is usually always first, followed by caring, humour and finally someone that takes of their body.
But there’s also much more to it than that. We are a values-based service and match energy, aura and lifestyle as well as values, interests, hobbies and Jewish practice.
Our interviews now being conducted by Zoom or FaceTime has made this process more challenging as, while you can still gauge people’s openness and whether they have a smiley disposition via a video call, you can’t feel their energy and aura in the same way.
However, this is offset by more and more by people’s willingness to be matched. Lockdown has seen our numbers registering rise as singles are more willing take risks and meet new people to find Mr or Mrs Right.
Another thing I’ve found is that often people need encouragement to talk about themselves and what they are ideally looking for in a partner. For many this is the first time they have had this kind of conversation, often never having spent 45 mins talking about themselves and what kind of partner they’d like to meet. We help them articulate this.
Of course, there is also that one kind of person we cannot help – the superficial. The type of man, and sadly it is usually men, who will judge a potential match on a picture alone and disregard everything else. If someone cannot see beyond a photo then they need to stick with the swipes and not waste our time.
Dates are still the best way to get to know if a couple will click. Even when they don’t go as well as we or our clients had hoped, it still affords us the opportunity to get important feedback, which in turn helps us finesse our matching for both parties.
Finally, there is that one intangible that no matchmaker can ever guarantee, not even Yenta, and that’s chemistry.
And when your values and interests are aligned and chemistry follows… then you’re on your way to a great Jewish match!