So you finally found someone that you want to date, and shockingly he wants to date you too. Awesome. But you know you have baggage. You know all about your own baggage and there is no way you would want to take on your baggage, so you think Mr Hopeful won’t want to take on your baggage. Guess what? Mr Hopeful has baggage too. The hope is that you have matching luggage sets. But when is it right to disclose said baggage? Does every past indiscretion / secret / jail term have to be discussed?
There are the obvious things, like divorces, children (did I just call kids baggage? I didn’t mean it in that way….), axe-murderer raps etc. those things are generally disclosed up front before the shidduch is even made. According to several maternal types who inhabit my life every man is a potential axe murderer until proved different.
But what about deeply personal things like body art, piercings, children out of wedlock (hey it can happen apparently, just don’t tell my kids), emotional issues, medical issues, artifical body parts etc? When are you supposed to talk about that? You talk about it too soon, and you kill the shidduch dead, you leave it too long and you can be accused of holding back. I mean, when are you supposed to tell Mr Hopeful about the abject fear you have of mushrooms? How you feel they hate you and they look at you funny? It’s important!!
I have been told that Rabbi Mattisyahu Solomon actually ruled on this question, because it is such an important one. He paskened that the third date is the heavy discussion one. Apparently by the third date you are not yet involved enough that you can’t walk away but you are also in “like” enough that you may be able to listen to what the other person has to say with a bit more understanding than you would have on the first date.
This is all well and good. I am a very upfront person. I tend to lay all my cards out on the table, warts and all. I have actually been accused of wearing my heart on my sleeve. Shocking I know!! It doesn’t always serve me well, but at least I don’t feel I am hiding anything, nor waiting till the third date for the guy to walk.
What is your opinion / modus operandi? And do you lie? When asked about your baggage how do you answer? Is it ever ok to tell half truths to protect your shidduch, if you plan on telling the full truth when things are going great and you know he won’t hold it against you?