Tuesday, May 11, 2010

References-make sure they KNOW you

Was chillin' yesterday with my friend Huvie, who didn't seem her usual cheerful self. After much nudging, and some chocolate(s) later, she explained why.
It seems that someone was looking into her and called the references which she provided on her 'resume', only to be told that she is not 'magazine cover model material'. Now, as Huvie explained, she doesn't believe herself to be gorgeous, stunning, or a model. Yes, she is a size 0-2, stickly skinny, pretty, brilliant, knowledgeable and funny, etc. But, she was bothered because she went through the time to put references whom she trusts. People who she considers her friends and close confidants. Now, I don't know about you, but I hope my friends aka 'references' would never say anything bad about me. I know I don't expect them to lie and use superlatives and exaggerate about my beauty or brains, etc. (that was me being humble-sarcasm), but I hope they atleast make me sound nice and emphasize the chesed I try and do on a weekly basis and confirm that I am a 'good Bais Yaakov girl', etc.
Now, Huvs, was even MORE bothered by the fact that this was the THIRD time she had changed her references.
The first time this happened, a friend of hers who she put as a reference told someone she was a 'serial dater'. Once she found out which friend said this, she was quickly replaced on the list of references with another girl.
Second time, a close friend of hers said something really rude, which I will not post here, and that was a big shock and this girl was really really good with Huvie. She, as well, was replaced on the list.
Third time, Huvie took a good long while to consider those who she really trusted and she made sure to use only MARRIED friends and acquantances as an extra precaution.
And look what happened-someone said something rude yet again!
So, while I totally understand her frustration and really feel bad about this, I have a question-Halachically-is she allowed to ask who this girl is who is saying this, or is the 'shadchan' allowed to tell her who this girl is, if it will save her from ruining future Shidduchim?


  1. Questioner: "Is she pretty?"
    Respondent: "Well, she's not cover-model material, but she is rather pretty."

    How is that so bad? Sounds like an over-reaction

  2. And what's wrong with, "Yes, she's pretty"?

    I never liked giving single friends as references because considering the premise for the shidduch system is to be as sensitive as possible, I don't think of that as sensitive. But sometimes you have a shadchan or mother-of-boy who insists on them.

    I usually use my adult women neighbors who're my mothers age for references. But I was surprised recently when I was told by a shadchan that this woman, who loves me, gave very iffy info (and she also told me she sang my praises). She didn't lie, but mentioned a quality I have that maybe some wouldn't like, which was not necessary.

    In my sister's dating era, about 15 years earlier, there was no resumes, or even references to such an extent. The askers aren't right either. Asking pointless questions about stupidities before a cup of coffee is taking the bashert-ness out of dating. Something has to be left to God.

    As for your friend - I don't know halacha, but if there's someone out there making me look bad, I'd want to know to make sure they no longer have the opportunity to do so. By simply taking them off a list, not in any other cryptic way (pistols at dawn?)

  3. It is within halacha to find out who is not giving a good report. I would ask your friend to try to make sure she gives like Data said, married friends, near parents age as references. My own references were my Rav, who has children my age, good friends in their thirties and fourties who've had happy and healthy marriages as well as Rabbonim and Mashpiot who think highly of me.

    The downside to it may that she may have some qualities yet to work out, that in the case of the specific boy would not mesh well.

    The other even bigger downside, is unfortunately girls get a lot of cruel no's, before a kind yes. She should meditate on the negativity briefly to decide if it is in fact a trait, but even our worst traits should be complemented by our spouses. (mine that I leave dirty clothes on the bathroom floor all the time, so does my husband.)

    But ashet Chayil! She's a princess of Hashem, and should look forward to the day when she will be married. Dating is a trying and sad time, where one must constantly rediscover themselves until they connect with their Soul Mates.

    I wish her the beset and only revealed good in the future!

  4. Maybe the person asked the reference, "In your opinion, is she magazine cover material?" and as a result she had to say that.


    Just today I heard two people discussing a shidduch and one woman said to the other, "She has to be really really really good looking. Is she?"

    While that may be superficial or whatever it is still plausable...