If you have an idea for a shiduch, who should you approach first – the family or advocate of the young man or woman? It depends. There are some points to consider.
You might tell both sides that it is just a suggestion and that they can each make 1-2 calls in the next day or so to see if it something they would like to pursue. Then touch base with both to see if they are interested in pursuing further. If they both are satisfied with what they found out during these first calls, they can do more research if they’d like and proceed from there. However, if one side is not interested in pursuing further, it is important to let the other family know that, in a tactful and gentle way. In this way, neither side has expended too much energy in the research.
Different families have different preferences if they’d like to be approached first or second, and at what point in the process. Ideally, you’d ask them what they’d like. (Personally, our family doesn’t mind if others research about us and our children; we don’t want to research about others until the other family feels that there really may be something to talk about.)
To the family or advocate: If someone reaches out to you about a shiduch, you can tell them your preference. “Please come to us, once the other side has done some research first and thinks this might be a good idea.”, “We prefer that you approach us first before sharing about our child to others.”, “We think it is best to tell both sides at the same time and then we touch base with you if we think it is something we would like to pursue further.”