By the time I was 24 I was fed up with shidduchim.

All my close friends were already married, and I had gone out with more girls than I cared to have met.

That was one thing I had in common with Tzippy, who at 23, was similarly disgusted with the dating process. Other than this shared frustration, however, we didn’t connect particularly well, and our dates were marked by long silences. But neither of us had any specific issues with the other, so we continued dating. As the shadchan kept telling us, “If it’s not a no, it’s a yes.”

On the sixth date, in an attempt to break the silence, I blurted out, “It would be so nice to just get engaged and be finished with this whole parshah.”

“I’m ready,” Tzippy immediately responded.

It took me a few seconds to grasp that she had misconstrued my statement for a proposal. And that she had said yes.

If it’s not a no, it’s a yes, I told myself. Plastering a big smile on my face, I said, “Mazel tov!”

Both sets of parents expressed surprise when we called to tell them to prepare a l’chayim, but they were too relieved to ask what had made us decide to spring this engagement on them. Neither of us was quite the older single, but we weren’t far from there, either.

Throughout the engagement, I repeated to myself what I had heard countless times from older, more experienced adults: The connection will come later. Still, I was concerned that Tzippy showed no liking toward me and had zero interest in spending time with me. Whenever I called her, she sounded bored.

When Tzippy came to spend Shabbos at my parents’ home, she said she was tired after a long week, and immediately after the meal Friday night she headed off to bed. She did the same Shabbos afternoon after the meal, which meant that we spent no time at all together all Shabbos.

Sunday morning, my mother took her to choose a setting for her engagement ring, but she showed absolutely no interest in looking at the options the saleslady showed her. My parents, who had married off three sons before me, were deeply disturbed by Tzippy’s indifference. They didn’t say anything to me about it, however, until Tzippy left and I shared with them that I had found her behavior strange.

Upon hearing that I, too, had misgivings about the shidduch, my mother contacted the people she had called for information before we started dating and asked pointed questions about Tzippy’s social skills and emotional stability. Everyone assured her that Tzippy was outgoing and friendly, with no social or emotional deficits.

I myself went to speak with someone who had a lot of experience helping people with shidduchim and shalom bayis, and he told me that he had seen similar situations many times. “There’s nothing to worry about,” he assured me. “The feelings will come after the wedding.” (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 699)