Ever since I've been in the parsha, I've always been told 'never give single friends as references' and the truth was, the first few years, I thought that the people advising me were just insane. Then I thought maybe they were paranoid, but I honestly didn't really understand what the big deal was. I mean, my best friends were single, we spoke every day, we hung out together, they knew me better than any high school mechanechet, or family friend who we went to the country with back when we were toddlers.
As time went by, I got to understand the reasoning behind this warning. I heard horror stories, I read about friends 'stealing' a shidduch prospect after hearing about the boy, I've even heard that with cousins. I really began to understand when it hit home one evening.
I received a call for shidduch information for a good friend of mine. I spoke for what seemed like 20 minutes, singing her praises, telling stories of her chassadim and how wonderful she is to others, etc. For some reason, this shidduch call took longer than the usual calls I received. The caller asked me many questions about my friend, and then began to question my relationship with the girl, how long I knew her, how I got to know her, do I work with her, what do I do, etc. and before I knew it, the conversation slowly moved from her to me. I found it a bit odd and uncomfortable and eventually found some kind of excuse to hang up. I remember thinking the whole night how it was such an odd call and lasted the longest from most calls, but I brushed it aside and continued on. The next day I received a call, again from the same caller the night before=the guy who called about my friend. He had a few more questions to ask about her (again-I've never received another call from the same caller in reference to a shidduch....) and I was glad to comply with the answers he required. A few weeks down the line a boy was suggested to me. When I was taking down his information from the shadchan she began to laugh nervously and told me 'actually, you may have spoken with this boy before'. I didn't understand what she was talking about. Then she told me he actually called me as a reference for a friend of mine, but after speaking to me about the friend, he realized I sounded more like the type of girl he was looking for.
I apologized to the Shadchan and explained it was unfair for me to proceed. I then immediately called up the friend to inform her of what happened and asked her to remove me as a reference, explaining that now I understood why single girls, no matter how close, should not be listed as a reference. She thanked me profusely and that was the end of that. It came down hard-but I totally and finally got it.
Back to the point of this post: like I said above, I've always been warned not to use single friends as references. I never thought that married friends would or could ruin any prospects. There would be no motive, as they are already married, so what could be so wrong? Yet, recently I was suggested to a boy and after a week went by, the Shadchan was biting her nails and explained that the boy had relatives who were friends of mine, who knew me well and these relatives were nixing the whole shidduch idea. The Shadchan was utterly disappointed. I explained that although it was surprising that my own friends, who were married for a while already would go so far as to advising the family that it's 'not shayach', but whatever is bashert will be. The Shadchan called the boy, but again, the friend got involved and told them it's 'not the type', etc.
Let me just say that I know the boy (no, I did not date him, but I know him from this friend and from other girls who dated him..). From what I know, it sounds like what I'm looking for and going out wouldn't hurt anyone. As most people say 'you never know', and if its friends/relatives who know us both well, why would they want to chas vshalom HARM or RUIN a shidduch, especially with no specific reason, other than 'they just don't see it'?!
So, I'm down on singles to be listed as references, and now I'm knockin off the marrieds....any other reference suggestions?