Creating mr. potato head

The shadchan says in that singsong voice, “So, tell me, what are you looking for?”
And out comes the laundry list.
“I need someone who is extroverted, funny, and outgoing.”
“I need a woman who is very frum, tolerant, and kind.”
“I need a bachur who is a take-charge type, strong but not headstrong.”
The lists are long, and the benchmarks are detailed and specific. This is what I need. This is what I would like. This is what I have to have. If he has this quality, we can be happily married. If he doesn’t, then forget it. It just won’t work.
It seems that before they date, most people take a sort of personal inventory. They say to themselves, “Let’s see… Since I have this type of personality, I need this type of guy. Of course, I would really like qualities A, B and C as well. But D and E? They are non-negotiable. I just can’t marry a guy who doesn’t have them. If he has F and G—all the better. But for me, it’s D and E. If a guy doesn’t have those two, forget it. I’m just not interested.”
Then, based on their understanding of what they need, what they want, and what they would like to have, they take that shopping list and head out into the “marketplace” to find the person who comes closest.
And, unwittingly, that is how many people make their first big mistake in dating. They aren’t looking for their bashert (predestined match); they have already formed him in their minds, and now they’re looking for the one that comes the closest to that image.

It’s almost like they are playing with Mr. Potato Head. Simply open the box and out come your choices. You can dress him up with brown eyes or blue. Big ears or small. Would you like long legs or short? What about eyebrows? Bushy or sparse? How about feet? Big or little? And don’t fret—if he doesn’t look exactly right, simply start over until you get him just the way you like.
This is the way people look for a spouse. They make their list, form their image of their ideal match, and with these convictions firmly in place, they begin their search.
Yet for some strange reason, it doesn’t work. They come back empty-handed, complaining, “I just can’t find the ‘right one.’”
The reason they can’t find the right one is that they aren’t looking for him! They are too busy looking for their Mr. Potato Head—the one they created and who only exists in their imagination.

The problem, however, really begins with a powerful assumption. The assumption is that the average person should know what he needs in a spouse. Naturally, then, his responsibility is to find the person who fits that profile.
As we will see, however, this is far from simple.