Shamelessly taken off a messageboard:
A kallah [bride] asked me to post this and solicit your opinions.
The kallah is in her late 20s, and smoked 1/2 a pack a day from age 13 until just a few weeks ago. Does she have to tell the chosson [groom]? She thinks he might have noticed, but they have never discussed it.
(p.s. There is no “warning signs” to be seen here. She just wants to do the right thing. )
In recent conversations with a friend, who is in her twenties and married, she happened to mention that her husband had dated almost 50 girls before he met her, and she had dated almost 20 guys. I was kinda shocked. I mean, I dated too, but I didn’t count how many failures I had! It just seems like an awful lot, but apparently when you do shidduchim it’s common. Since that conversation I have been trying to work out how many guys I dated before each of my marriages. By dating I think I am supposed to count each first date. Not phone dates, or internet chats etc. Each person that I met in the flesh, as it were. Just bear in mind I did NOT shidduch date either time.
So here are my numbers. First time around I was 20 when I got engaged. I had dated 7 boys including the one I married. Second time around I was significantly older and wiser and well entrenched in my 30s. I did a lot of internet dating as most of the eligible guys were in NY. But I actually went out with 7 and married lucky number 7. To me that’s a lot in 18 months of serious dating.
Do people keep some kind of a log? I am sitting here counting on my fingers, wondering if someone was so forgettable that I….forgot him.
So, care to share your numbers?
Come on! Opening the door for your female shidduch date is not tznius, nor is pulling out her chair for her at a restaurant? You are not allowed to compliment your date on what they are wearing. In fact, apparently no compliments are allowed until the wedding ring is on, because it might be seen as forward behaviour! I wonder if one can compliment the date’s car, or if that isn’t allowed either as it might make him thing you are into material possessions. What ever happened to just acting yourself???
(Keep those emails coming… firstname.lastname@example.org)
Scenario : First date, young man takes young lady to dinner after their references have all been checked and found to be stellar. They have a lovely meal and are getting along well. It comes time to pay, and he freaks out because he left his wallet at home. The girl pays, thinking that there will be a second date, so its an investment in the future. She comes home and calls the shadchan (matchmaker) and tells her about the date and what happened. Shadchan isn’t surprised and admits that this scenario had happened before and, shrug, she thought the problem was over and in the past.
If the reference person has this kind of information surely it was incumbent on her to disclose this to the young lady. After all this kind of information really speaks to his character. She wouldn’t have had to waste an evening on him, not to mention an expensive dinner. The girl got her hopes up, was looking forward to a second date. Of course she dumped the guy immediately, but still, was bruised from this.
Was this heinous or harmless on the part of the shadchan?
Lifted from Hashkafa.com
I see a lot of articles about guys who are frustrated b/c they do not want to learn all day and can’t find girls interested in a guy who wants to have a job and be kovea itim (setting aside time daily to learn Torah).
What about guys who aren’t interested in being kovea itim either? I’m talking about guys who just want to go along, be Orthodox, maybe they’ll go to the shul rabbi’s shiur (lecture) once in a while, but are not interested in learning regularly. For whatever reason, it isn’t for them. They just don’t like it or find it stimulating or whatever. They’ll still go to davening and all the other stuff. They just aren’t interested in learning.
What happens to these guys? Do they have to lie about it and these are the people found in advice columns where the wife is upset her husband doesn’t learn more? Is there some kind of code word or phrase used in shidduchim to denote these kinds of people? Are they the ones who are “older singles?”
HSM: So dear readers, how would you respond to this letter?
I was recently discussing dating with a friend who is “in the parshah”, as they say. She had been seeing this bloke for a few months, and while theoretically he was an ideal match, she said she didn’t feel anything. She enjoys her time with him, but feels like the magic is missing. They have fun, there is always plenty to talk about, they share common interests and goals.
She isn’t a young flibbertigibbet in her late teens or early twenties. She is an accomplished professional in her chosen field, and has her head screwed on very well. She knows who she is. She wanted to know my thoughts on whether she should settle for someone who matched her well, or hold out for the zing, for the magic, for the violins and fireworks.
I wasn’t sure what to answer. For me and the KoD there was magic from the moment we met. But I know that many people don’t have that initial coup de foudre. It takes time to build a bond, a connection. Sometimes the magic doesn’t happen for a while.
She is scared that if she rejects this guy, that there won’t be anyone comparable to marry. That she was lucky to have found someone compatible – and maybe in time the magic will happen.
What are your thoughts?
This happened to a friend of mine. She was cruising the frum-o-sphere in search of her very own KoD and came across an interesting profile. The guy sounded sweet and sincere, and had many similarities to her ideal Mr Right. Hashkafically they seemed to be compatible too.
They chatted online and on the phone a few times until they agreed that they should finally meet. Luckily enough they were in the same city. (wow, that happens??)
As is the norm in this kind of religious world dating, she had her people do some investigating before the actual physical date. All their sources agreed at how nice this guy is, what a gentleman, lovely family, no one had a bad word to say about him. One person returned to her with a whisper, not even a rumour, that there had been some trouble with a previous girlfriend. Nothing major, no concrete evidence…. Upon further investigation she found more people whispering the same thing, but again no proof.
Now, she wanted to still go ahead and meet him, after all there was nothing to substantiate the rumours. Her friends were telling her that there is no smoke without fire, that she should just cancel and move on. Another friend told her to ask him outright before the date about the issues – his reaction would be telling. Yet another of her trusted advisors told her to go ahead, meet him, spend an evening with him, and then evaluate.
What would you have advised her to do? Do you agree that background checks are necessary? Should she have given him a chance to defend himself? Should she have ignored the friends and gone out with him to judge his moral character for herself?
I received this story by email not too long ago.
One day I received an email from a guy on Frumster who had a “password protected photo”, so I did not see his picture. We exchanged several nice emails, then he offered to give me the password so I could see his pic. I typed it in, and up comes a picture of this very good-looking guy, sitting in MY LIVING ROOM, on MY COUCH!!!! It turns out that he was a friend of my ex-husband who had come to us for shabbos, and asked me to take the pic for him, so he could submit it to Frumster. We had a good laugh over this, once he realized who I was. He didn’t recognize me in my Frumster pic b/c I do not cover my hair post divorce, and he had only seen me in a shaytel. Anyway, we live too far to date, but we speak on the phone every now and then.
You met online. You have been speaking to each other on the phone for a week. Every night. Hours on end. He tells you without meeting you that he loves you. Is he full of it or do you think his declaration has merit? Do you tell him to get lost or does this comment pull you in deeper? Do you think a person can fall in love without actually meeting the object of his / her affections?
I have heard lately of several stories where people have been encouraged, by shadchanim (matchmakers) and rabbis, to flat out lie when they talk to a potential shidduch (date) or fill out a shidduch resume or fill out an online dating profile.
Photographs that are 10 years old, shaving 5-10 years off one’s age, not admitting to being a grandparent (for those people dating second time around, perhaps as young as 40…) are among the few things I have heard. Don’t mention you were ever sick, don’t say you are or have been on medication, don’t mention the tattoos, don’t mention that you served time in jail or have been married more than once.
I don’t know if I agree. I know that in the second time around dating scene finding someone is that much harder, and once you have been around the block you are generally schlepping pretty hefty baggage with you anyway. If your hair is grayer, and you have put on weight, I can see wanting to use an older picture – but it’s misrepresenting yourself. Your date will meet you and realize straight away that he/she has been misled.
I know there are some sensitive topics that need to only be discussed once there is a real possibility that a relationship can be established – but age? Grandchildren? These are fundamentals.
How can you start off what can potentially be a life together, with a lie?