Another Frumster Files WWYD?

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?

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12 Comments

  1. Comment says:

    Lashon Hara – Ignore rumours. Find out for yourself.

  2. Z! says:

    I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. A annoying habit that someone else might not be able to handle, I might be able to. (The idea of matching baggage and patterns!) Personally, if the references cleared, I would meet the guy, and probably would advise the friend to do the same. Sometimes a rumor is just that, a rumor. It takes two to tango and maybe the otherside was bitter about it not working out and trying to ruin his rep.

  3. Chanief says:

    I would suggest she ask him outright. Go straight to the source, he might have a completely different tale to then and she can make a decision from there.

  4. batya from NJ says:

    i would have wanted to ask the person who mentioned about the girlfriend problem if she could possibly investigate a bit further to find out what kind of problem there was exactly b/c it could be something that wouldn’t bother me so much as it bothered the previous girlfriend but if it were some kind of abuse-physical or psychological etc i would want to know about it & steer clear…

  5. Mark says:

    And now that I think about it, what kinds of “friends” would pass rumors without stating clearly exactly what the issue is? I mean as in the following example:

    “He dated XYZ for 3 months, and was found to have done ABC action. I think that is horrible and you should reconsider dating him.”

    Why is it that people can’t be straight with each other, especially friends? Instead, it’s all innuendo, rumors, and whispers!

  6. Keith Brooks says:

    everyone has baggage, some just heavier than others. Only advice for online dating people is never go in a car with them before or after the first date.
    Always meet some place with people and if possible have one of your friends be “around” to see who it is.
    And let SOMEONE know where/when you will be.
    Better to be safe than sorry.

    • Mark says:

      Now this is truly good advice. When dating a random person that you don’t know yet, it is better to be safe than sorry. Yet another example in which the “old ways” were better – you dated people from your hometown that you grew up with, or from one town over that you’ve been acquainted with for years, or from elsewhere that family members were acquainted with. A simpler time it was.

      • Z! says:

        Which is why I feel that references are so vital nowadays.

        Letting others know who you are going out with and when is a great way to stay safe.

  7. Naftali says:

    I think this is a terrible problem for the second time daters who have been married before. Invariably, one side feels the need to besmirch the character of the “ex” and make it harder for them to get remarried. Indeed, willful character assassination is quite insiduous and must be stopped. I have also found that once people investigate and confirm that the rumors are completely false, they refuse to tell the “victim” what was said and by whom, which makes it nearly impossible to address the matter going forward. While people say that this pain comes from Hashem and that no one can ruin a Shidduch if Hashem does not permit it, I believe that there is a special place in the World to Come for people who intentionally disseminate this type of Motzei Shem Rah and prevent Jewish people from rebuilding their homes.

  8. frumgoth says:

    She should run in the opposite direction, as fast as she can. nuff said!

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