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The number of dates prior to announcing an engagement may vary by community. In stricter communities, the couple may decide a few days after originally meeting with each other.
Also the age when shidduchim start may vary by community.
A typical bashow scene is that the young man with his parents goes to see the young woman in her house to see if the prospective couple are compatible.
Both sets of parents talk to each other, and then when the setting is more relaxed, they go into another room, leaving the man and woman in the living room to speak among themselves.
Usually a professional matchmaker is called a shadchan, but anyone who makes a shidduch is considered the shadchan for it.
It can also be used to express the seeming fate or destiny of an auspicious or important event, friendship, or happening.
After a short prayer to God for guidance, describing how a virtuous woman might act toward a traveling stranger at the well, Rebekah appeared on the scene and did everything described in Eliezer's prayer.
Eliezer then went with Rebekah to her family and appealed to them for permission to take Rebekah back with him to be Isaac's wife.
In frum circles, especially among Hassidim, eighteen is the age when shidduchim start and shadchanim take notice.
Those who support marriage by shidduch believe that it complies with traditional Judaism's outlook on Tzeniut, modest behaviour in relations between men and women, and prevents promiscuity.