Another Frumster Files WWYD?

 

The dating world in North American Orthodox Jewry is seemingly very small. With every shidduch (match) suggested you are bound to know someone who knows the family or the person.

 

Add Frumster (an online dating service)   to the equation – many of your single girlfriends have dated the same guys as you, or have at least chatted with them. If you are a little different you become even more memorable. Like me – a divorced mom with 4 boys in Montreal. Kinda hard to forget – but I was not the only one, which  apparently led to some confusion once.

 

So when a still single girlfriend asks you about a dude she met on Frumster that she knows you spoke with and / or dated – and keeping in mind the laws of Lashon Hara –  gossip – what are you supposed to say? If you know for sure 100% that it wouldn’t work, that’s great, you can just say it wouldn’t work out. But if your friend asks you why it didn’t work out for you and him what are you supposed to say? If you dated him and he was perfect you would have married him – like I did with my KoD. (yes hon, you are perfect, perfect for me). What if what you have to say doesn’t jive with what he had to say.

 

I was recently asked about someone who was a great charmer, and came across as everything a woman could dream of. (I dated a few of them….) I told my friend that this guy was not for her. I put it that succinctly. Truth be told he wasn’t for anyone that I care about or wish good things for. I had a negative experience with him – but does that necessarily mean that she would? Maybe they would be a good match. Maybe my negative experience coloured the way I see him. There is such a responsibility in this.

 

There are a few guys that I dated that were close to being The One. Close, but not quite, and those guys I would not hesitate in recommending to my girlfriends. (Except for the one that just got married!!).

 

I have friends that are shadchanim (matchmakers) and I don’t know how they do it – without Lashon Hara and without stress.

 

So here’s the WWYD question. You dated Mr X and he turned out to be a real piece of work. You went your separate ways. A year or two later he is suggested to your friend Ms Y as a potential shidduch. They email, he mentions he dated you and thinks the world of you so your friend asks you about him. Do you tell the truth? Or temporize? Just say “not for you, trust me”? Or do you let her meet him and make up her own mind with the potential that she might get hurt?

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11 Comments

  1. anonymous says:

    laws of lashon hora do not apply to shiduch. If it is as serious as preventing a person from marrying a Mr Wrong, you can say whatever you know about him

  2. G6 says:

    Every pot has a cover.
    Not every lid fits every pot.
    I’m assuming this “thing” was *big*.
    People do have the capacity to learn from their mistakes and change. Could this be one of those situations?
    This is an important question to ask yourself before proceeding and I don’t think your readership can have valuable input with the limited information provided.

  3. Naftali says:

    I face this dilemma from the receiving end. I have a best friend who knows some of the women that are suggested to me. He refuses to discuss whether they are or are not appropriate for me and just tells me, “She is not for you.” He is a very good friend and I respect his judgment most of the time. However, I think it would be better if he told me something because sometimes I wonder if I should have pursued some of the Shidduchim that he rejected outright for me with no stated reason. I also think it is extremely paternalistic (or in your case, maternalistic) to simply tell someone that X is not for them without giving a reason. I also agree with the anonymous first poster that, if it is a serious character flaw or issue — and you are saying it for Toeles and not for malice — then the laws of Loshon Hora do not prevent you from informing the inquiring person so that they can make an informed decision. So I would recommend that you reconsider your decision to not divulge anything to your friend concerning Mr. X.

    P.S. I have gotten confused before on Frumster when I thought I was reading a profile of a prospective match from the same community and she was not the one. In at least one case, she was much better than her compatriot. :–)

  4. hadassahsabo says:

    OK then, but how far do you go if the LH is being said for Toeles?

    DO you say he is not for you because he isn’t faithful / stable / ready / religious enough / modern enough etc – and leave it at that, or do you go into more detail?

  5. Naftali says:

    I think you have to be guided by the person you are informing, while recognizing that there is no need to transmit all of the gory details. There is some judgment involved and there is no “one suit” fits all…. For tricky and uncomfortable situtations, it may be advisable to consult a Rebetzin whom you can turn to for guidance.

  6. hadassahsabo says:

    but then aren’t you telling the rebbetzin LH too?

  7. Naftali says:

    Life is not simple… But you don’t have to identify the person you are speaking about to the Rebetzin. You can tell her all of the salacious or disparaging details without revealing his identity…..

  8. hadassahsabo says:

    or one could just write a tell all book and have Ms Y read a specific chapter to understand why not to date him!!! (all names would be changed to protect peoples reputations or lack thereof)

    seriously, wouldnt it be great if there were a list somewhere that you could look up a guy (or gal) – see what his other dates rated him, and contact the dates for feedback if you wanted to….

    with categories like “did he open doors?”. “table manners” – “respectful of personal boundaries”, “Use of PDA while on a date”, “personal hygiene” – stuff like that.

    Everyone has their own checklist, it differs from person to person. It could save a lot of people a lot of trouble.

  9. Naftali says:

    Or it could make more trouble…. Do I sense a potential lawsuit….? At bottom, we have to recognize that Hashem runs the world and if two people are meant to be together, G-d can (and will) make it happen (despite whatever LH people say). By the way, you may want to address the reverse situation: When people say Motzei Shem Rah about someone and there is no forum for a person to clear their name. I think is more prevalent (and more damaging) than the LH situation.

  10. beenthere says:

    regarding the comment from G6 – “every pot has a cover. not every lid fits every pot ” if the pot has a blemish that is not seen at first(dent,hairline crack)the perfect lid will never rest comfortably. it is best to toss the damaged pot, and continue your search for the best possible pot, with the least amount of damage.
    your friend needs to seek out the members of the potential dates community. i have found the ” Village has a Voice ” generally speaking where there is smoke there is fire. see if there is a decent relationship with the ex, if there are children involved. Unless you have known the individual for many years, you are not a fair reference. i usually, answer the question, with, ” if it were for my sister or daughter ” would i suggest the match? the answer says it all.

  11. Man in the Mirror says:

    This is such a dangerous area Hadassah. There are probably people who could have said negative things about your husband, and there are probably people who could have told him negative things about you. And then where would you have been?

    If there is a real situation where something is being misrepresented (age, marital situation, etc.), something FACTUAL and not just a bad combination of experiences between two people not meant for each other…thats one thing. But if its BEHAVIOR that you are basing your “he/she’s not for you” on, then I think thats a huge mistake. Thats purely subjective, and completely a product of the combination of ingredients.

    In that case, I’d say stay out of it.

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