I have been pondering and pontificating of late, doing some serious navel gazing. Unfortunately nothing earth shattering has occurred to me. But I have been thinking about dating, a lot, (so what’s new there LOL!!) and I would like your input.
Most often in the dating world, especially in the religious dating world, the person that we date is close to the right one, not totally wrong, just not right, but each is one step closer to the true beshert. So if it doesn’t work out then usually we can either remain friends (something frowned upon in our community) or even think of a friend to recommend to him or her to date. These guys and gals are usually wonderful people, just not right for us.
We also have laws of Lashon Horah. We are not to speak badly about anyone. The laws for LH when it concerns a shidduch get complicated. What would you do if you dated someone who was really lovely but just had an “interesting” idiosyncrasy that you couldn’t deal with, but you think your friend who s/he is now dating could handle, but would need to be warned first. Do you tell your friend, or do you wait for her to find out in her own time? Or if you know your friend is dating someone totally wrong for her, do you speak up, or just help her pick up the pieces after?
What if you date someone who totally checked out, seemed legit, and after dating them for a while you realize that this person is not stable, that they have major issues that preclude any healthy relationship from happening, with you or anyone else, and you therefore discontinue the relationship? If you knew s/he was dating someone else who was totally unaware of these major concerns, do you have a duty to speak up, whether or not you know this person? If you felt that the person was in physical or emotional danger?
Thing is though, even if you spoke up and warned this person, where is the guarantee that your warning would be heeded? We all know that in the beginning of a relationship everyone is on their very best behaviour, and there is no way that the negative character traits would be apparent at this early stage. How could you get your friend or a stranger to listen to you, without transgressing the laws of LH, and without having him/her run to said person to say “you know what s/he said about you………..” and run the chance of ruining your own friendship with this person (if you had one) or opening yourself up to have your reputation trashed by unstable person? If you went through heartache because of someone, wouldn’t you want to help another person avoid the same pain? But is it playing G-d?
I would so love to know what you all think. This shidduch business is sooooo not easy. I just wish on Frumster there was some way of leaving feedback on all the people you date – great guy, but no chemistry; crazed lunatic but can party all night; ooh this guy is romantic and a great date but will never commit – if there was a rating system we could all save ourselves a lot of heartache.
just a little footnote, i came across this site that can so be abused, but it has the right idea.