Solely In Black and White: Top Fifteen Actual “Abnormal” Dating Questions

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Top Fifteen Actual “Abnormal” Dating Questions

As per BoSD’s Tuesday 10 Top Ten List Challenge, I have compiled a list of some interesting shidduch inquires for your entertainment. I know, the post only called for 10, but since I am a few days late I decided to up it to 15. Most of these were asked to references on various people’s resumes (i.e. not necessarily my own). I am sure there are more, but these are the ones that came to my head first. I have to say I am surprised I haven’t heard a lot more, though… ;-)   

15. Q: If you had to describe him in what word, what would it be? A: An individual?
14. Does he date/dump a lot of girls?
13. Why does(n’t) he want to live in Brooklyn?!
12. Why does(n't) he wear colored shirts? 
11. Why did(n’t) he go to Brisk?
10. What type and brand of shoes does he wear?
 9. Does he smoke? (Do you really think someone’s reference is going to tell you that?)
 8. What suit size is he?
 7. Does he play sports?
 6. Does his family eat strawberries?
 5. Is he really as tall as he says he is on his resume?
 4. Does his family use the eruv?
 3. This conversation:
  • Q: Is his family balbatish? A: You mean chassidish? Q: No, No, ”balbatish” A: Umm, like European? Q: This is a simple question: are they balbatish? A: Like heimish? I guess they’re… Q: I am sorry, what don’t you understand ARE THEY BALBATISH? A: Huh? I guess so? I really don’t know what you mean!

 2. Does he have any vices?! (Including blogging? Is running a casino also included?)
 1.  Can you send me your picture? (A shadchan’s request to a boy! Oh the audacity! :-/ )   


  1. While I find so much of what you wrote to be sadly true, I must take issue with:
    "Does He Smoke?"
    a) I think that is a TOTALLY VALID question
    b) I would hope that any reference would answer honestly. It's a straightforward question - not at all ambiguous...

  2. I agree with G6. Also, asking about the strawberries and the eiruv is asking where the family stands on certain halachik issues. Granted, the reference may or may not know, but they are legitimate questions. And about the suit size - girls' references are asked about dress size, why not the opposite?

  3. Wow. I don't think I've ever heard "baalbatish" being used as a general criteria. "Heimish" yes, "European" yes, "Chassidish" is a whole other kettle of fish, but "baalbatish"? That's a complete misuse of Yiddish.

  4. Love the strawberries and the balabatish dialogue... but why is it such a travesty to send your picture to the shadchan?

  5. @G6:
    You’re right, It’s a totally valid question, but do you really think that someone who knows such an important secret is going to expose it to a random stranger? Right or wrong, it comes down to loyalty. Most people will side with their friends. Besides, most smokers quit before getting married… umm, sometimes?

    @ MusingMaidel:
    Strawberries are a messy subject and probably a topic best discussed on a date. I think me and my references eat strawberries but I don't really know if they do. And that isn’t even getting into the specifics on how one should clean them! Just as an aside, do you eat strawberries?

    As for Eruvs, that is a different question. In certain communities the accepted practice is not to use the Eruv. Depending on the circumstances, asking a question like that can be paramount to asking if one is the maverick of the community. But you're right, in some communities, such as those where some do carry and some don't, that would be a valid question.

    I agree about the suite size being the equivalent of a dress size, but that is also something done which is frowned upon.

    Maybe we really do need to make a shidduch terminology dictionary.

    @ scala vestibuli:
    It’s not. And I have. (Read Class5/Picture Perfect post). It takes a lot of guts for a shadchan to do that; because: It’s just not done that way! ;-)

  6. I think you meant suit size?

    Q: Suite size? A: He plans on getting the honeymoon suite.


    I don't know what it means by you, but in Lubavitch baalebatish has pretty negative connotations.

  7. In my experience, smokers are rarely able to keep this habit a "secret".
    They usually smell like a dirty ashtray from top to boottom.
    I'd hope that references would tell the truth and save everybody a lot of time and trouble.

  8. I don't think my family eats strawberries in most situations. I think we find the cleaning process so bothersome that we don't even bother.

    As for the eiruv, I can't resist this because it fits in so perfectly -

    The fight between those who use the eiruv in Brooklyn and those who don't has become so intense that they won't marry into each others' families. To solve this problem, Dor Yeshorim is working out how to test for carriers.

    With the suit, you're right. I wouldn't want to be asked about my dress size, so it follows that I wouldn't ask a guy about his size. I do think it's ok to ask what he looks like though.

  9. I think all these questions are valid questions well, except for the balabatish one. What the heck is balabatish anyway. Obviously everyone has their own definition. Although these questions appear wrong/weird (or sound, whatever), they kind of feed into the whole shidduch thing. They go well together. Asking if a boy does or doesn't wear colored shirts is an important question right solely in black and WHITE?! I agree with you about the smoking-no one is going to tell you the truth about that. Shoes is an interesting question, and I seriously think you CAN tell a lot about shoes. Squared off shoes, rounded, pointed...this question is definitely insane though even if its a good one. With strawberries and eruv you can get a feel whether the person chassidish or litvish. "OH no, we would NEVERRRRRrr eat strawberries. The eruv? Best thing that was ever invented." (um, chassidish of course). Okay, the tall question is a great question although its usually not needed. Just subtract as many inches equivalent to the boy's ego (bigger ego, subtract more points). At this point I think its pointless to ask questions anyway. Whatever you think is showing up at your door, just realize it will be the complete opposite. So did I cover everything?

  10. @Feivel ben Mishael:
    Whoops, thanks. Just FYI, I’d prefer a villa to a suite, but don’t tell anyone that. :-P

    Really? I always thought it was sort of neutral. What does it connote?

    @G6 :
    Although this is a topic I am thankfully not well versed in, I believe there are methodologies which can be employed to promote secrecy… or let us say something like that… :-/

    But seriously, how can one doom their friend’s shidduch if he promises he will quit before he gets married? Isn’t that something that should be discussed directly between the boy and girl? The question I am wondering about (to which I don’t know): is saying that someone smokes a form of Loshen Hora?

    @ MusingMaidel:
    You realize there is a significant difference between saying “we don’t eat strawberries period” and “we do, but only if they are cleaned properly.” For a reference to know such minutiae, especially in the way you phrased it, is highly unlikely.

    Have you read my Dor Yeshorim Personality Post? I think you might appreciate it.

    Agreed. And I think it’s okay to ask what a girl looks like…

    @ (not) The Girl Next Door:
    I disagree. A person should not be judged based on their color (of their shirts). Doing so, would make you a racist. ;-) I wouldn’t want people to judge me solely in black and white… it’s the content that matters… :-D. While I understand your desire to judge people based on how they dress, shoes included, that is very narrow minded and a blatantly wrong approach.

    How would you feel if someone were to judge you based on your appearance? (Brands and styles included.) Would that provide someone with an accurate description of who you are and what you’re looking for?!

    Do boys get to subtract height points from girls with big egos as well? :-p

    Yeah, you forgot to write what questions you think are good normal non-weird questions that you recommend should be asked.


You can use some basic HTML tags as well as these emoticons. If you wish to comment anonymously, please use the Name/URL option and give yourself a unique title. You can leave the URL field blank if you wish. Thanks for your comment. Enjoy.