Honesty In 'Redding Shiduchim' RE: Weight

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    I must have a death wish to be starting this.

    So, a while ago, I was set up with a girl. The shadchan mentioned nothing about her appearance. I would never ask a reference such a question either. I had a great time on the date and she seemed to as well. Then I told the shadchan I would not meet her again.

    I don’t wish to discuss whether I should be willing to marry an overweight girl. I certainly don’t want to discuss what is considered overweight. Those topics can be discussed at http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/girls-and-size-zeros as well as half the other threads on this forum.

    I want to know: shouldn’t the shadchan have said something? What was the purpose of dragging both of us through the emotions of a date: agreeing to a date, the excitement, preparing for it, getting dressed up, polishing my shoes, (whatever girls do), etc?

    I’m sure she knows why I didn’t agree to a second date. This was probably not the first time this has happened to her. Wouldn’t she have rathered I be told the truth beforehand and only date her if I was willing to be flexible regarding weight?

    It wasn’t easy for me either. I don’t like insulting people. I even considered agreeing to a second date so that we could pretend it was a personality issue.

    I’m not saying it never works out, but I imagine the guys with whom it works out are those who would have been willing to give it a try anyway. I knew there would be no second date before she got to the bottom of the staircase. I still took her somewhere nice, and enjoyed her company for an appropriate “first date” amount of time. (I didn’t tell the shadchan: “when you said she was 24, I thought you meant her age.”) But a lot of heartache could have been saved with a little bit of honesty and forthrightness.

    To all of you who think you are the girl in my story: I am sorry for the unavoidable pain I caused you. Please understand that I did not mean to reject you as a person. I think you are smart, funny, and pleasant to be with. I think you would be quite flattered to hear what your references rightly say about you. I have seen other girls who are somewhat heavy get married to excellent guys. I am sure your guy is waiting for you, and hope you will soon meet him and feel that the wait was worth it.


    Ok, so being from the girls perspective I will not jump at you for the fact that I disagree with you.

    but, it depends on how overweight- if someone is obese- like AT LEAST size 16/18 or bigger it makes sense for others to tell. If someone is a size 10/12 (which I have no idea if that is what you are considering then there is nothing that they should say beforehand. You also have to ask the right questions if you want to get answers- i.e. what does she look like, etc.

    Additionally, there are many shadchanim who believe that they don’t need to say something which a boy/girl will be able to see for themself on the first date. Why should a girl/boy not be given a chance at all because of being overweight. Someone can still be pretty and have all maalos.

    Many ppl will not give it a chance lechatchila but once they see and get to know the girl, will reconsider.

    the shadchan should know you and what you are looking for so that if weight is a priority for you she will know for next time.


    I’m pretty sure that it is assur according to halacha to say that the girl/boy is heavy because it’s something that you can see for urself when meeting.


    Being that I am a girl who is not a size 10/12, here’s what I have to say. I think it’s important for the shadchan to know both the girl and the boy so she can figure a way to tell each of them about the other. From a girl’s perspective, don’t think we like going out with boys when we dont know how “big” they are either. Not everything is about what the BOY wants, and how the BOY likes it… Think about the girl once in a while.


    I agree with everything said. The girls who are overweight should also be given their chance. Sometimes boys who are anti someone overweight will reconsider once meeting her and seeing that she’s so nice…


    No. If a size two is something important to you (as opposed to a general “good appearance”) than you should/would have made it a point to ask the references. If you were to meet someone for (say) a business reason would you hear in advance something that may affect the business deal? Probably not. (and no, I’m not equating shidduchim with a business deal even though thats what many people think of it as) If you had an outstanding feature that was the first thing people notice when looking at you, would you want a shadchan telling someone in advance?

    More than the fact that you would have said no had you heard her size, (not gonna harp on that) but the way you say you had already decided there wouldn’t be a second date before she was down the steps seems much worse. Saying no in advance is one thing. But buddy, once you saw her and were out on a date with her, and still didnt give her a chance, thats just plain not fair.



    yeshivaguy222 i like that last line “You will soon meet him and feel that the wait (weight) was worth it.” lol


    Keep in mind that a person has control over their weight. Marry someone because they are thin, and guess what, after marriage he/she can put on a lot of weight. Likewise, a person rejected as overweight today can lose that weight.

    Other traits such as arrogance, insensitivity, and selfishness

    are a lot harder to change and a lot less visible.


    yeshivaguy222, I feel for you cuz I hated dating for “nothing”, its headache, heartache and waste of time. Many shadchanim like to “get a date”. I want you to know though, that there are many times when a shidduch happens and a couple gets engaged, that the boy or girl would say – had I known _______ before I never would’ve agreed to meet him. Sometimes, yes, a boy can be attracted to a girl for her personality, maturity, sense of humor even though she has is not exactly what he pictures or invisioned in a girl.

    I have a relitive that did not want a boy with a beard. She insisted the boy be cleanshaven. It is something she asked in info and if she heard he had a beard then she didnt meet the guy no matter what else she heard about him. Well she was set up with a boy that had a beard even though she was told he didn’t. She was very upset when he walked through the door. Guess what they are married. Pple were in shock by the L’chaim cuz EVERYONE knew this was something she really put her foot down about.


    I understand that attraction is an important component of a relationship. That being said, there is overweight and there is OVERWEIGHT. If a girl is more generous of figure than a size 2 (which I personally do NOT get why a guy would find to be attractive in a girl, because they look like sticks), then that does not make her overweight. If she is in fact a size 24, then yes, she is severely overweight. I have seen tall young women who were size 16 and did NOT look heavy. It is all relative. Size is a number, it is not a person. And people tend to gain weight after they are married, and can also lose weight. Men gain weight, too. But the sloppy guys who only want models, never seem to own a mirror. (Not saying Yeshivahguy is a slob, personally, I think you have a more sensitive approach, though I wish you would have given that girl the second chance that you contemplated, to save face for her — you might have liked her better the second time, since she had other maalos).


    I think its reasonable to say no to a shidduch if the girl or boy is dangerously overweight because that can cause major health problem. If s/he didn’t manage to lose anything by then and they know they are very overweight, who said they’ll want to later on and it can be a very big health risk. However, for someone who is slightly overweight, they should be given a chance.


    A shadchan should not offer information of that sort freely. If you choose to ask about weight you are entitled to an accurate answer, but you should have no claim against the shadchan if info about weight was not provided due to the fact that you yourself did not inquire.


    I agree with FrummyMcFrum. If weight is something that bothers you, it’s your responsibility to ask about it before going out. And there are ways you can ask so that it’s not done in a mean way.


    Well, what about those of us who do care about size and do ask, but the shadchan, thinking she knows better, lies? I was set up with a guy and I asked about his weight. I had already said yes to the guy, I was going out with him, and I just wanted to know if he was overweight. So I asked. The shadchan said, “No, he’s not, he looks very good.” He came to my house, and like I think oomis said, there’s overweight and there’s OVERWEIGHT. He was OVERWEIGHT. I was so angry at the shadchan for lying to me. I had a very hard time getting over it and looking past his weight. (Btw, I went out with him three times and no, it was just not for me.)



    If someone is REALLY overweight – meaning it can be unhealthy i understand 100% however nowadays… what pple consider overweight… is it’s own story. your allowed to be healthy. not everyone is built so tiny!


    Dear mr. yeshivaguy222, i have a question for you. what would you have done if the shadchan had told you that the girl was overweight. I am sure that you would have given an immediate no despite all the wonderful info you have found out. maybe the shadchan knows the girl well and her heart cries for her and her lack of dates despite having ala meilos except for being overweight which has become the biggest crime of the century. maaybe she thought that if you met the girl you might like her despite the weight and have a second thought about a second date. i’d be willing to bet this girl does not get a second date very often. It is hard to be a girl in the shidduch scene and being overweight makes it pretty much impossible. My heart cries for the poor girl! I truly hope she finds a much better person than you to marry!!!!


    Yeshivaguy222, I know you are frustrated. I really feel for you. And I will try to not repeat all that has already been said. But I beg you to imagine, for one second, that you are the girl. A girl who might be a size 8/10, but for some reason you are considered overweight, although you should be considered average. A girl who has spent the past 24 years working on who you are as a person – your middos, yiras shamayim, emunah, chesed, etc… (and yes, you also spent hours and hundreds of dollars on just the right outfit, getting your hair blown and nails done, etc.). As you walk down the staircase, you watch the boy’s face…and you already know he is going to say no. How you wish you could turn around and run back upstairs. The boy does not know a thing about you (except what the references said) besides your looks – and you have already been rejected. You try to ignore what is already obvious to you, and do your best to be engaging and dynamic throughout the date. It goes well, you both enjoy each other’s company, and yet, as you feared, he says no. And you begin to wonder why he bothered asking your references about your middos, personality, etc….when all he really cared about was your size. You feel degraded, realizing that your size has become more important than everything else you have to offer. As you cry yourself to sleep that night and the next, you cannot help but wonder how the boy you just dated is considered, according to everyone’s standards, to be a baal middos, a mentsch, and a ben torah.


    Halachically, things that are physically visible there is no need to mention, and that’s where common sense comes in. If it’s reasonably possible that after meeting her you may have changed your mind about that issue then they shouldn’t tell, otherwise they should.


    baisyaakovgirl123, I highly doubt yehivaguy222 meant the girl was a size 8-10.

    Aditionaly, please excuse my idignation, but hundreds of dollars for just the right outfit? Gut in himmel!

    And remember, one can only feel as degraded as they let themselves. Why should someone feel degraded just because they didn’t gefel another person?


    I was just reminded of my own experience when I was set up (maybe 35 years ago or more) with a very nice young man who was extremely overweight, I went out with him as a favor to a relative of his, knowing he was obese. I knew immediately that I would not be attracted to him at all, but I was a pleasant date and we had a really nice evening. He also was a very pleasant date, though hashkafically very different from me (and that is something my friend, his relative, should have told me in advance). I did not go out with him a second time for that reason, but nothing I did or said on that date would have led him to think that it was because of his weight. And I think that is at the core of this. Treating people with sensitivity is not always easy, but it is a fundamental principle of Torah. To react negatively to someone’s looks, to the point that he/she realizes it, says something more about the looker than the lookee.


    Yeshivaguy222 i understand what you are saying but let me ask yout his-would you have rather have gone out w/ a slim girl and not have a good time? At least you had a pleasant time w/ her.


    Jews don’t date to “have a good time.” For one thing that wouldn’t be in line with tznius behavior. We Jews date for tachlis i.e. getting married.


    Yeshivaguy, thank you so much for your honesty. I am a “single” girl in shidduchim and am what many would consider overweight, like a size 18. I ALWAYS made sure the guy knew beforehand that I wasnt a size 2 or a size 10, because it’s NOT fun for the girl either. Throughout the years I’ve been dating, I always believed that the “right one” wouldn’t care and he would think that I am beautiful despite my weight and BH I am now dating an amazing guy who is very happy with me and my weight. I think its important that if weight is “hands down” an issue for you, then you should ask because coming from the girls side, we don’t want to date boys who are adamant about it either. But, just from a hashkafic perspective, physical attraction is one of Hashem’s ways of letting us know that its right… I don’t think people should force it, it’s not fair to either party. So if weight is an issue for you then it’s one extra way of knowing a girl is not for you.

    With regards to the shadchan, I don’t think its her responsiblity since it might make the other party reconsider the shidduch when weight wasn’t the biggest issue for them in the first place. It’s up to the boy to ask and the girl (who realizes that her shidduchim come from Hashem) to request that the boy know beforehand.

    Anonymous A

    I got married heavy. I’m married almost 10 years and now thin. Lost 30 pounds healthfully since saying “I do. “It does happen to some.


    clearheaded-are you a girl? If you are then I don’t get why you don’t understand that girls spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on their beauty. Not only is it the money but the pain too!


    “Jews don’t date to “have a good time.”

    They should. They should date for tachlis, but the tachlis should also include having an enjoyable time on that date. If two people cannot enjoy each other’s company (which is the very definition of having a good time), then how can they enjoy sitting across from a table from each other for fifty or so years, G0d willing?

    What you said is like saying people don’t eat to have a good meal.

    It’s true we need to eat to continue living, and we need to date in order to meet our basherten, but that does not and should not preclude our enjoying the meal (in fact there is a halacha that a man can divorce his wife if she burns his food, is there not?). Hashem does not want us to live our lives without fun and simcha. If we do, He wants to know after 120 years, why we didn’t enjoy the world He gave us. Dating for frum Jews IS for the purpose of finding our life’s partner, but that does not mean we should not enjoy the process.



    yes girls spend 100’s on their looks, and clothing costs A LOT nowadays! so if you have a whole wardrobe clearheaded (if your a girl) for good prices – let me know where you shop!


    I think you are missing the point. The point isn’t to “have a good time.” If that was the point, then it would mean it is okay to go on a date where you pretty much know even beforehand it is not marriage material (for whatever reason), but you want to date that person “to have a good time.” That clearly is wrong.


    outoftowner123, your approach is correct and I like your attitude.

    mischiefmaker and sofdavarhakol hundreds of dollars for the “perfect outfit” is not hundreds of dollars for a wardrobe.

    And hundreds upon hundreds is also not the right amount of money to spend on a wardrobe. Hundreds of dollars is more like it. (Mischeif maker, painful stuff is not included in the wardrobe)

    sofdavar, I’m not a girl, but I am married woman and I like fashionable good quality clothes. Here’s where I shop – Talbots, Macy’s, Lord and Taylor for clothing. Shoes – Cole Haan (they’re comfortable as well as fashionable) Except for makeup (I buy MAC in Bloomingdales and some Macy’s stores also carry this brand) which never goes on sale, I never, and I mean, never pay full price. And I usually shop with coupons.

    Just a fashion reminder – if you’re 5’4 and under in height only buy petite!

    P.S. maybe we should open a thread for shopping and fashion


    “I think you are missing the point. The point isn’t to “have a good time.”

    I respectfully disagree. The point of a first date is NOT to make wedding plans – it is to see if two people are sufficiently comfortable with each other to enjoy spending an amount of time together (e.g. have a good time together). I think you and I are not semantically on the same page. Perhaps what you mean by “good time” and what I do, are two very different things. Why on earth would ANYONE want to go out with someone more than once, if they had a bad time? First meetings are crucial in that two people have a chance to see the potential for them to want to spend more time together. If that first time ends really badly for one or both of them, a second meeting will probably not ensue. That IS tachlis.


    Sounds like a semantics focus. I don’t disagree with your last comment. Of course having a good time is a necessary ingredient of a date. My main point was though that someone shouldn’t go on dates to have a good time if they know marriage is not at least a possible outcome. IOW, they shouldn’t go out on dates to have fun with no intention of pursuing possible consideration of marrying their date.


    Clearheaded- I love that idea for a thread! Mybe we shld open separate ones for men/woman! I really think we can all share some nice ideas!


    clearheaded-what I said was that a girl can spend hundreds on her beauty, not just her wardrobe. There’s other stuff too: nail polish, treatments for smooth and pretty skin, and some other stuff I don’t think are appropriate to be mentioning.

    The way a girl looks pretty doesn’t only revolve around clothing.

    Yeah, the pain is for the other stuff but that also is included in preparing for a date.

    Also, I’m going over and opening a thread for shopping.


    Clearheaded – thanks it would be a good idea want to start it?

    mt mehdi

    Real obesity, like any serious health issue, should be mentioned by the Shadchan prior to the date. Otherwise, the shadchan is waisting everyones time.


    Yeshivaguy222 –

    As someone who does not struugle with a weight problem, its hard for me to take sides here.

    But as someone who is a human being, and the parent of several yeshiva boys, you have some serious soul searching to do if you are not ashamed to put these feelings in print. Its one thing to feel this way (that’s human, and we all are) but to spell it out? To make it policy? Thats deplorable.

    Yeshiva? Sigh, how we have fallen.


    Am I the only one who seems to have trouble with the whole concept of lying at the start of a relationship?

    Marriages are built on trust. If one party is going to start out the relationship with a lie (i.e. about their age, weight, etc.) then how can trust ever be built?

    I know that if I were redt a shidduch to someone who lied about something such as age/weight, etc., I would constantly have in the back of my head “what else is she hiding?”

    The Wolf


    Wolfishmusings-who said you have to lie? You just don’t have to publicize what’s not asked. If they ask a question about the girl’s weight, then of course it’s wrong to lie! Besides, obesity can be a health issue too. But, if they didn’t mention anything, it’s totally fine to say she looks good even if she’s overweight because most girls in shidduchim do look good even if they are a bit heavy.


    The challenge for the shadchan is trying to gauge what a person finds “attractive”. Even if the shadchan personally considers a client overweight, it doesn’t mean that the person going out with this client will agree with that assessment.

    Of course, as others have said, morbidly obese may be a whole different issue. The shadchan would most likely notify the obese client that this information will be revealed beforehand to prospective dates. It’s then up to that client whether to proceed under those conditions.


    I don’t really think we can criticize yeshivaguy for not asking. The common yeshivaworld-coffee room wisdom is that asking how thin-or-not she is, is wrong.

    I heard a story about a girl who was misled about the guy’s age (he was younger than her). She found out after the engagement and almost broke it off. Not because of the age, because she was misled.

    In general, if you don’t think someone will mind, you don’t have to mislead them.

    yeshivaguy: I like the 24 joke

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