After the match has been proposed, the prospective partners meet a number of times to gain a sense of whether they are right for one another.
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.
In frum circles, especially among Hassidim, eighteen is the age when shidduchim start and shadchanim take notice.
The prospective partners either date each other or in stricter communities they go to a "bashow" or sit in.
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.
Even so, Isaac gained his own impression of her before agreeing to marry her (Rashi, commentary to Genesis ).
However, when Eliezer proposes to take Rebekah back to Isaac in Canaan, he is told by Rebekah's family: "Let us ask the maiden" (i.e., Rebekah).
Some use this opportunity to actually ask each other pertinent questions, while some just want to see if they like each other, relying more on the information they got from the shadchen or from other people.Also, the decision as to whether or not the mate is good can be made with the emotional boundary of the shadchan who, if so desired by the couple, can call and talk to either side in the beginning stages of the dating to iron out issues that can crop up during the dating process.Usually as the couple see more of each other the shadchan backs away and lets the couple manage it themselves.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.It may also be helpful in small Jewish communities where meeting prospective marriage partners is limited, and this gives them access to a broader spectrum of potential candidates.