Secrets and Lies

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?

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  1. Leora says:

    Dating seems so long ago (another thing I would love to blank out), but I will say it helps if your baggage matches your spouses baggage. For example, if one is in a wheelchair and the other is deaf, that might be a good match. I’m using that as a safe example. But really the key is trust and intimacy. You really have to trust the other person to be intimate. So you’re going to have to open up in one fashion or another. I would prefer to take my time doing so.

  2. Jacob da Jew says:

    Slowly yet surely. Don’t drop mad bombs in one shot.

  3. rena says:

    I too had the “what to tell and when” dilemma once I started dating after my divorce. I agonized over it way too much. In the end, it depended on the guy I was dating and how open he was with me and how comfortable I felt. Most guys never ended up privy to my secrets, but a couple did. Both appreciated my honesty and shared their secrets as well. In fact I spilled my guts to my now boyfriend on our very first date. I felt very comfortable with him right from the start and was happy to get it out of the way and over with. Also I felt that if he couldn’t deal with my baggage, I wanted to know right away so I wouldn’t get hurt later on when it would inevitably come out.

  4. Z! says:

    Understanding that you travel for dates, and that your time on these dates can be limited, and since you are travelling, do not want to “waste anyone’s time”, you want to know as quickly as possible if “this is gonna work out or not”. There is an urgency.
    Most of the larger pieces of baggage need to be delivered in person.
    If there is a range of baggage to deliver, then giving it over in small installments seems like the nicest and easiest way to digest it, but the reality is that because of the distance you need to figure out pretty fast where the other stands, and how much luggage you have together and if it all fits in the boat.

    That being said- I truly have NO IDEA how to deliver your baggage, I will continue to ruminate on it and try to get back to you.

  5. shoshi says:

    I don’t like the concept of marrying the deaf to the blind. I find it callous.

  6. shoshi says:

    And I don’t like the idea of urgency in Shidduch either.

    I think urgency spoils shidduchim…

  7. Me says:

    It has to be taken completely a case by case basis. I have met men where it came out slowly, if at all, and men where I just took the attitude “screw it, I am laying it out there and either he can deal or he can’t.” The latter approach is what I did the last time and, WOW, it worked. Turns out his luggage matched mine better than I could ever have dreamed. I think the bottom line is that the right person is going to be the right person no matter what.

  8. It is nice to go slowly but in my case a precept must know about a disabillity which is not one that can be passed down, but it still needs to be known.

  9. and I am an honest peron who feels time should not be wasted.

  10. Pure Evyl says:

    Never lie about baggage. Sooner or later it gets kicked out from behind the couch and if you lied about it then you are sunk.

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