Shadchan Responsibility – heinous or harmless

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?

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  1. The Law says:

    maybe its time to play role reversal. how many girls date a guy thinking, its a free dinner so what do i care. then dump him right away.

    when the shoe is on the other foot it doesnt fit so nicely….

    time to start going “dutch” for these shidduch “dates”

  2. Kathrin says:

    Well, if I reverse roles, like The Law suggested, I would still think it’s more heinous than harmless. I would never go out with someone I wouldn’t consider “serious dating/relationship material”. So from my POV, I’d still say it’s more heinous than harmless.

  3. Mark says:


    Also heinous when a girl weasels a free meal with no intention from the start to continue.

  4. batya from NJ says:

    i think the shadchan needs to have a chat with this “great catch” & inform him that he can’t keep “forgetting” his wallet like that b/c he will lose his stellar reputation among the young women out there & also with the shadchan herself. that is despicable behavior especially when it is the norm for the guy to pay for the date (especially in the shidduch-dating scenarios) so he needs to be a man & not be so darn forgetful with his wallet in the future. she should let the guy know that this does not enhance his rep at all & the word will get around quickly on the “yentanet!”& his stellar rep will be gone quickly if he doesn’t shape up & demonstrate some middos.

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  6. j. mand says:

    I think it’s not the end of the world if, for once, she has to pay for the “expensive dinner” instead of him.

    Even if it is a “once and never again”-date, he has to do this “investment for his future” so why, for heaven’s sake, shouldn’t she pay one time?

    • batya from NJ says:

      it’s about expectations! it’s expected in the shidduch dating world for the man to pay for the dates (which was always just fine with me as a woman ;)! if they would have agreed about it from the outset that she would be paying, that is one thing but it was deceptive of this guy to do this kinda thing especially since it wasn’t the first time that this happened to him (“OMG, i forgot my wallet”). if it was a one time occurrence, then ok, maybe i would be willing to cut him some slack but with this guy it seems to be his pattern which is problematic.

  7. G6 says:

    While most commenters up until now have weighed in on whether what the guy did was heinous or harmless (I vote heinous, btw…) but my impression was that your question was rather whether the shadchan’s actions were H or H….
    I say that a shadchan should truly BELIEVE in any boy or girl she sets up. If this boy has such a flaw, she needs to either stop setting him up or sit down with him and help him CHANGE THIS with the underlying understanding being that if he doesn’t, she won’t set him up any more.
    So I guess that makes my vote heinous all around ….

  8. Rebecca says:

    While I am not familar with the shidduch world, doesn’t the shadchan get a fee if there is a match. It would seem to me, but then what do I know, that the shadchan should be responsible for the $ because she was well aware that this joker has pulled this before. If arrangements are made beforehand that they go dutch, then fine but she was not expecting it and in the dating world, most men pay for dinner, etc. unless the couple agrees upon a different arrangement.

    • batya from NJ says:

      rebecca, the shadchan/matchmaker will only get a fee IF it’s a match b/c the matchmaker is like a broker (eg real estate, etc) & doesn’t get anything if the match doesn’t go thru. truth is, there are many unofficial matchmakers (like myself) who try to set ppl up out of the goodness of their hearts & they are not guaranteed any kind of fee b/c they are not “professional shadchanim” (like yenta the matchmaker in crossing delancey ;)! in fact, i set up my own brother with a sweetheart who is now my sister-in-law (who i met & “fell in love” on a plane trip to israel but that’s a story for another time :)! my point is that not all shadchanim get a specified fee. often times, the parents of the couple might give a gift of cash or silver to the person who arranged the match but it is not a given. in fact, i set up another couple rather blindly & it worked out thankfully for them & me! as a token of their appreciation they gave me $500 & a crystal dish but i was not expecting anything from them for my efforts (except for maybe a nice thank you card!). in short, if i were the one setting up the joker above, you can be sure that i would make it very clear to him that this is NOT acceptable behavior & if he’d like me to continue setting him up (which i would be hesitant to do b/c of his prior actions) he would really have to make a concerted effort to change his ways & start acting like the “mentsch” (good man) that he supposedly is.

  9. Z! says:

    This was unfair of the guy. It is one thing to walk into the dinner expecting to pay, completely another to have the entire responsibility foisted on you. And if the shadchan is familiar with this behaviour then she has no business setting this guy up.
    I know that dating can get really expensive. Taking dates out to dinner multiple times a week can be a real strain. My hubby and his friends got into the habit of meeting for the first time for coffee. It’s less stressful and formal and also less damaging to the wallet.

    • batya from NJ says:

      yeah but Z!, this joker would much rather have the girl take HIM out to a fancy restaurant rather than for him to have to splurge on the coffee. ya gotta understand the mindset :)!

  10. Eddie says:

    nobody forgets a wallet, when one knows he has responsibility to pay for the date, in same way as he doesnt forget his shirt, jacket etc. The shadchan should be dropped as they are clearly incompetent, they aren’t letting a flat. if they know their clients have suspect middos they need to be on top of the case and disclose everything they know to the respective parties. I doubt this would happen here in england, word would go round the guys a schnorer and mean. the gentlemanly way would have been to take her out a second time and pay and then break it to her…… Iwould call him a serial freeloader and Shadchan should reimburse the lady for her losses.

  11. M.S. says:

    Everyone’s assuming the guy’s just being mean. I wonder whether he had money problems he couldn’t bring himself to admit – because when I was single, I had something like this happen to me.

    I was set up by a ‘professional’ shadchanit with a guy in Jerusalem who she personally vouched for, had a good degree, was in a ‘good’ yeshivah etc. We went to a nice restaurant but he only ordered tea – and so I felt awkward about ordering anything ‘real’ and took myself for a pizza at the end of the date….

    That would have been the end of it – I didn’t want a second date regardless – but about a year later, I was volunteering in a soup kitchen when this guy walked in – as a customer. Turns out he had been eating there for years.

    I really agonized over whether to tell the shadchan – after all, money problems do not make you a terrible person. In the end I told her because I felt that were I dating / considering dating this guy seriously, I would really want this information. (Also, I wasn’t clear on whether the issue was just money, or whether there was something else going on there.)

    • batya from NJ says:

      but M.S. if he doesn’t have money then he needs to go somewhere within his budget. there are many low cost places to go out to that are much more affordable than fancy restaurants such as a coffee shop, cafe, bookstore (like eichler’s or barnes & nobles) or to a lounge to buy drinks etc. if it’s not in his budget, then he shouldn’t take the girl there with the underlying assumption that he will be covering the tab. it’s just not right no matter how much money he does or does not have…

  12. MS says:

    Oh, absolutely. I wasn’t making excuses for him – just trying to understand what was going on in his head.

  13. Great read and funny, thank you xxx

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