I am a 24-year-old Bais Yaakov–type girl. Dating does not come easy for me. Shadchanim give my name to guys and their mothers, and the usual responses from them are that they have a long list of names. So, I have spent the last few years being on the bottom of the list.
A former teacher from high school, who is also friends with my mother, recently gave my name to a top boy whom it is very hard for shadchanim to get to. This teacher is his aunt and, trusting her suggestion, he said yes to going out with me.
At first I was excited that such a boy would agree to go out with me, being that he has such long lists of girls. Of course, I said yes right away.
A few hours later, my former teacher told me that this boy was supposed to go out for the fifth time with another girl, but when she told him all about me, he decided he wanted to go out with me anyway. And then it clicked in my head: My best friend is dating him!
I don’t know what to do now. My friend would be heartbroken if she knew that I am planning to go out with this boy. What if it works out, and this boy and I continue to date? Wouldn’t that be considered deceiving my friend? Should I tell my former teacher that I know he is going out with my friend, and that I want to wait and see what happens?
By Baila Sebrow
Shopping, travel-packing, inventory, and task lists are the commonly devised lists that people regularly formulate. With that handy list next to you, accompanied by a marker in the color of your choice, items completed can easily be crossed off. The purpose of such lists is to keep from feeling overwhelmed and to help manage situations so they are less chaotic. Ironically, the shidduch world has in the last several years incorporated a similar strategy when it comes to dating.
When a girl enters the milestone of shidduch dating, it customarily follows the pattern in her being suggested to eligible boys. There are many boys, who, based on their preferences and what they are seeking in a potential shidduch, then determine whether the girl being redt is shayach enough to be placed on their list.
Not to blame the boys, as there does appear to be a higher girl-to-boy ratio amongst young daters. However, it is extremely disheartening and appallingly demoralizing for a girl to be told that she is at the bottom of a long list. Furthermore, the standards and methods in dating today tend to produce much backbiting that oftentimes leaves behind hurt for all concerned.
You have been through quite a bit of disappointment at your young age, as has unfortunately become the acceptable byproduct of shidduch dating today. You therefore need to view the dilemma you are in from a fair angle that will ultimately be beneficial to you.
To say that your friend would be heartbroken is an understatement. She will most definitely believe that she was deceived by you. The reality is that somehow, you do know that your friend is dating this boy. They may not be at the most serious stage. But, since they are scheduled to go out on a fifth date, it naturally places in her mind the idea that she is dating him, and you are very well aware of that fact.
What bothers me most about this situation is the cavalier attitude this boy is taking with regard to the relationship he has with this girl, and dating in general. He is scheduled to go out on a fifth date with your friend, and along comes his aunt, your former teacher, and—with all due respect to you—because of what this woman says, he puts this girl on hold for that next date she is anticipating, or perhaps, he may drop her altogether. This is a “top boy” we are discussing here?
My concern is that this boy may be practicing a recurring scenario in his dating manner, and the next time it could be you who is placed in the same position as your friend.
The knowledge of being referred to as a number on a list of names for shidduchim must be frightening to you, and it can be very easy to lose sight of which boy is behaving within his rights and who is not. In my opinion, whether he realizes it or not, this boy appears to be taking advantage of a position in which he feels he possesses the upper hand.
Under the current circumstances, it would be most healthy and within your best interest to extract yourself from the scene. You need to speak to your teacher, the shadchan in this case, and explain to her that you have become aware that the boy you agreed to go out with is dating your friend, a situation that is causing you distress.
Whether he continues to date your friend should not be based on whether you are in the picture. Allow whatever happens to take a natural course where you will feel good about having made an ethical decision. You convey sensitivity of a lofty level, where the fulfillment of your happiness will be felt when you demonstrate and are reciprocated in nobility.
Baila Sebrow is president of Neshoma Advocates, communications and recruitment liaison for Sovri-Beth Israel, executive director of Teach Our Children, and a shadchanis. She can be reached at Bsebrow@aol.com. v
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