Monday, February 26, 2007
Lying Shadchanim And The Lies They Tell, Part III
My latest crusade has been against lying shadchanim. See here, and here. Here are my main thoughts on the matter.
A couple of justifications are generally given for stretching the truth or simply outright lying. The most common one, which I somewhat understand, is that singles have all sort of silly hangups that prevent otherwise fine shidduchim from being set up. Age, weight, height, looks, occupation, everyone has at least one silly hangup (even me), and shadchanim feel free to dance around the edges a bit. Does it really matter if the girl is 5'4 and not 5'6? Does it really matter if the guy is 37 and not 35?
Sometimes it does matter and sometimes it doesn't. But lying isn't the answer. If someone has a hangup, deal with it. Tell the guy that most girls aren't supermodels. Tell the girl that not every guy in the age range she's dating still has a full head of hair. Trust me, it's better that they respect you for speaking the truth and perhaps making a match instead of conning them into a date where they learn the truth when they open the door.
As for the second justification for lying- the "You Never Know/ I Know This One Couple" excuse. It's brought out all the time when a shadchan makes a terrible suggestion, and lies like crazy to get the two people to go out. Somehow, all the lies are justified because the shadchan knows this one couple, who, if they knew the truth about how old each other was/ how short/ how tall/ how short/ etc, they would have never gone out, but they did, and therefore never have ended up happily married with three kids.
I believe, however happy the “This One Couple” is, there is no justification or excuse for lying. The problem with lying is that for every one of these "success" stories, there are hundreds of miserable, miserable dates. And there are repercussions of miserable dates. The weary, lied-to dater gets angry, depressed, annoyed, and it affects you on later dates. Every terrible date takes a little piece out of the disappointed dater. And this particular disappointment could have been completely avoided if the shadchan simply told the truth.
So if any shadchanim are reading this- please, just tell the truth. Tell everyone at your next shidduch meeting. Consider it an easy step in easing the shidduch crisis.