Does it feel like everyone is trying to set you up? From your old campus rabbi to your friend’s boyfriend's sister? Matchmaking is as much a part of Jewish culture as seders and lateks are.
It’s even in the second chapter of Genesis, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
It sounds so yesteryears, yet the art of matchmaking is not lost to the Western World.
In fact, it is a growing trend!
And it’s a serious investment too, with some New York matchmakers charging north of $10k for six-month memberships and six matches.
Looking to meet someone new? Let the expert help you.
Given our increasingly hectic lives, this should not really come as a surprise; We are perpetually busy and finding dates can feel like a full-time job.
But should you delegate it to a stranger or trust an algorithm?
Why not look closer to home and consider someone who knows you, has time to invest in your romantic future and will do so gladly, for free. Yes, your mom!
Think about it: You have nothing to lose; Worst case scenario, you’ll have another funny story to tell your grandkids one day.
If that is not convincing enough, in this article we’ll give you 10 indisputable reasons that prove that your mom is the best Jewish matchmaker you can find. So, take the red pill and prepare for the whole new-old world of dating:
1. Let’s Face It: Matchmaking Is The Oldest Form Of Dating In Jewish Culture
Matchmaking has been around for millennia.
And we are not only talking about shidduch or shadchans - families and friends have influenced our romantic choices across ages and cultures, assuming the role of matchmaker whether through strategic alliances, casual introductions or intense lobbying.
Matchmaking has stood the test of time for a reason: It works.
Our friends, parents and ancestors have all met someone through that one proactive acquaintance or family member.
So, we say: Go back to basics – do it like the generations before us did and meet people through family introductions.
There is always that one aunty who has “just the boy/girl for you!” Take her up on it! Or better yet, ask your mom.
2. Matchmaking Sites Focus On Shared Interests. Your Mom Focuses On Values. Science Is On Her Side.
You’ve probably often heard your mom bring up the importance of shared values in various contexts, especially romantic relationships.
Well, research confirms this.
For starters, overlooking shared values in favor of shared interests is where dating sites are failing.
Prof. Eli J Finkel and his Northwestern University research team run a study titled “Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science” in which they concluded that shared interests are superficial and inefficient matching principles.
“[..T]hese sites are in a poor position to know how the two partners will grow and mature over time, what life circumstances they will confront and coping responses they will exhibit in the future, and how the dynamics of their interaction will ultimately promote or undermine romantic attraction and long-term relationship well-being.”
A different study looked at the factors that influence relationships. Both the literature review and the subsequent research strongly correlate shared denominations and sense of purpose – among other values- with marital bliss:
“[..I] individuals with commonly shared values had higher marital satisfaction scores than those whose values were not shared as closely.”
In summary: Moms: 1 - Dating Sites: 0
3. She Knows You Better Than Any Professional Matchmaker Or Online Dating Algorithm
As Prof. Finkel’s research shows, online dating algorithms base matches on superficial criteria. This leaves you with the professional matchmakers – an increasingly popular alternative to dating sites.
While these professionals can offer you a much more personalized service, they too have limited insight into your personality and needs.
But guess who’s seen you through thick and thin?
That’s right: The one who still proudly displays your soccer participation trophies and pimply teen portraits on her living room shelves.
True, she can be headstrong, but no one knows you better than she does - you’ve probably said this yourself a few times already. At JustKibbitz, we lovingly refer to this knowledge as Maternal Intelligence.
And to sweeten the deal: This matchmaker works pro-bono.
She has seen you through all your phases and still thinks she can help.
4. She Knows People Better Than You Do
She’s been among them far longer than you have. Need we say more? Not to mention all the kibbitzing she engages in with her local community.
“You hear all sorts of things, darling!” – Sounds familiar?
Well, now it is actually useful. Your mom has accumulated expert-level insight into human behavior and interpersonal relationships. She’s seen it all.
5. You Can Have A Lot of Fun Together. A Lot! Just Look At This Guy 👇
Just like you, Clark of Buzzfeed was tired of fruitless swiping and matching. So, he decided to have some fun with it and asked his mom to manage his dating apps.
He handed over his online profiles and they laid down some ground rules:
Mom creates the bio and manages his photos
Bio to clearly state that his mom is using the platform for him
Clark to approve the match before mom messages them
The Clarkover: Mom turns Clark from a rave-boy with rainbow fingernails to a plaid-shirt-wearing, important-looking man
Meticulous profile analysis and swiping strategy recalibration
Near-sex-cam experience thanks to mom’s tech naivete
Hilarious text exchanges with matches
Mom bromances with a T-rex geologist (how do you say “bromance” for women, by the way? 🤔)
Clark meets the T-rex geologist… wait for it… IN her T-rex suit
And so on! For all the bromance, makeovers and observations, check out Clark’s story on Buzzfeed. The takeaway:
“Watching my mom carefully review each profile, making sure each girl was a fit for both her and me, was a little scary, pretty exciting, and definitely eye-opening. I learned a lot, but most importantly...
...I should always listen to my mother.”
6. What Says “I Am Looking To Commit” Better Than Meeting Your Parent(s) First
The standard sequence of romantic milestones goes as follows:
Possibly moving in together
…and introducing your partner to your parents only when you are steps away from tying the knot.
It takes a lot of steps and time to determine whether someone is relationship material, let alone if they are “meet the parents” material. But what if you flip this sequence and have them meet your parent(s) first… before they’ve even met you?!
Your date would already be parent-approved and relationship-ready. All you have to do is invest time in getting to know them and figuring out if you truly are a good match.
7. 72% Of Women Have Been Sent Abusive Messages On Dating Sites. Who Would Ever Be Mean To Your Mom?
Yes, this terrifying statistic is true; 72% of women on dating sites have blocked a user due to verbally abusive messages.
One of the reasons why abuse is so rampant on digital platforms is because it’s easy to avoid accountability in direct, yet physically removed encounters.
Insert a third-party into the conversation, one that commands respect almost intrinsically, and you’ll have a safety filter like no other.
8. 60% Of Women Have Been Sent An Unsolicited 🍆 Pic On Dating Sites. Let’s See If They Dare Now
Tying into the previous point, sexually abusive content is also prevalent on these platforms. More than half the female population on dating sites has received unsolicited sexually explicit images.
This is another consequence of the lack of accountability in online interactions; It opens the door to all kinds of profiles.
Luckily, moms are the natural psycho-repellants.
And the other way around, could you imagine a mother sending a picture of her son’s shvantz to another mother?! Never going to happen on JustKibbitz!
9. Matchmaking Would Make Her Very Happy. Don’t Trust Us; Trust The Social Psychological and Personality Science
Besides your mom’s desire, nay, need! to see you happy (and settled with a “nice Jewish boy/girl”), there is actual scientific research that correlates matchmaking with happiness.
One study that included 118 participants found that “matchmaking is intrinsically rewarding.” In their own words:
“Inducing people to make matches between strangers increased happiness in the moment […]”
Add to this your mom’s personal interest in seeing you happily settled, and imagine how blissful she would be to have participated in finding that happiness.
Matchmaking increases happiness in the moment.
10. She Can Make Friends
Here we turn to our own research and one comment that stood out in the process. We were conducting market interviews with Jewish moms, our matchmakers-to-be, and as we were describing how JustKibbitz works, one of them remarked:
“I can already see moms connecting with other moms!”
This is when we realized that our social relationships are rarely isolated. In fact, most give wing to new acquaintances and friendships.
Look at Clark’s mom - She bromanced with his matches. And JustKibbitz moms - they look forward to mingling with each other.
Having your mom match-make for you can mark the beginning of some beautiful friendships. 🥂
Has your mom ever set you up on a date? Does she think she's a modern-day Jewish matchmaker?
We love a good story! 🕵️♂️
Send your matchmaking insights to firstname.lastname@example.org.