Whenever you try to set people up and give advice, you take a risk. A risk of hurting them. And that's a big risk.
Several months after getting married, I tried to set up a close friend of mine. Let's call her Dana.
When she heard details about the suggestion, she got annoyed at me.
"But Dana, he has the qualities that really matter! Why don't you just give him a chance?"
Dana told me that I'm "becoming one of the married friends who forgets what it was like to be single."
I sympathized because I remembered such people and how much they would annoy me, but was I really becoming one of them?
I apologized to her and let it go.
BH that friend got married. And whatdya know? It was to a guy who was completely opposite of whom she pictured herself with.
I find that with most couples I know, the gal got married to someone completely different than what "everyone" pictured her with. Be it lookwise, hashkafahwise, personalitywise, etc.
FFWD to a few months ago.
A single friend came over for Shabbat. She lamented about how there are no guys to date, and how strongly she'd like to get married already.
I suggested a great guy who I know, and she seemed interested in all of the qualities that I mentioned. After hearing me out, she asked "did he go to college?"
To be honest, I wasn't sure. So I said so.
"well, in that case, no. I think I need a guy who has a masters."
I tried to convince this friend that a masters or college degree is not what makes someone a good spouse. In fact, far from it.
What matters is a person's middot, Yirat Shamayim, and mutual chemistry/attraction.
This friend reiterated the same line that my other friend did over a year ago:
"being married made you forget what it's like to be single!"
Silly Sefardi Gal tried to set up a guy. Now, this guy looks around 10 years younger than he really is and is looking for veeeeeerrrryy specific qualities in his wife to be.
He sincerely poured his heart out, hoping for my husband and I to have sympathy. We had sympathy. Well, perhaps my husband had more than I did, since he is also a man and has better middot than I do. :D
I told the guy "listen, if you want to get married. Cut down your list and stop looking for the shtuyot. Find a woman who has Yirat Shamayim, good middot, and is fine looking, and just GET MARRIED BEFORE YOU TURN 40 and have very few women available to date."
Once you turn into an older single, you lose the liberty to be so particular.
I should just tape my mouth shut.
I apologized profusely, hoping I didn't offend him.
Sometimes being married for 2 years makes me feel like a know it all. I know. Pathetic. I have a lot to learn.
But I so often hear singles demanding qualities in a spouse that just DON'T MATTER in a successful marriage, and the obsession of those qualities is what is holding them back from finding a proper mate.
I wish my single friends would just take the time to LISTEN to people who have experience, as opposed to solely listening to their single friends who are trapped in the same boat of uncertainty.
So please, all of the singles, stop looking for the shtuyot. Look for the real deal because your husband's master degree is not what will make your marriage fulfilling, and your wife's hair color is not what's going to bring the Shechina into the home.
May HaShem grant us all with what's good for us and what we need.