The fact is that internet dating can be a draining, unpleasant, and even traumatic experience for some people.
However, when the general discomfort of small talk with a stranger or the fear of being stood up is combined with the possibility of contracting a virus in the middle of a pandemic, and the pressures of finding one’s predestined partner, or soul mate, the result can be existentially terrifying, according to some observers.
Even today, as the vaccination distribution continues throughout the country, many people are still suffering from the mental fatigue that comes with being alone with our phones for more than a year while the country is on lockdown.
Jessica Sweeney, 23, a law student at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, was unattached when she relocated to Baltimore at the height of the epidemic in 2003. She started out by using a few different dating apps, such as Hinge, to get to know individuals in the neighbourhood, making care to keep her mother informed along the process.
Ms. Sweeney finally decided to join JustKibbitz, a new dating site intended to help overswiped, overworked Jewish singles find love in a post-pandemic world in July, after her mother suggested she do so in June. Ms Sweeney agreed, and the rest, as they say, is history.
She suggested that her daughter’s profile be created with pictures from her camera roll and that she be assisted in finding “a good Jewish guy you should go on a date with,” while Ms. Sweeney concentrated her energies on work and the law, which she agreed to do.
Ms. Sweeney was taken aback by the concept, but found it amusing. According to her, she trusted her mother’s judgement enough to agree: “I simply laughed it off and let her go on with her own life.”
The idea of “dating by proxy” has deep origins in Jewish culture and has been around for centuries. As part of their shidduch, some Orthodox Jews begin on a process that involves their families working with a professional shadchan, or matchmaker, to locate the zivug, or life mate, who matches their values and beliefs.