Letter: My Daughter’s Life Is NOT Your Business

I’m writing this as I sit here in my kitchen horrified and dejected. My mind is in a jumble of angry thoughts and I am in shock and disbelief over what has been occurring over the past few days. 

My daughter, a student a prestigious seminary in Eretz Yisroel, was redd a very solid boy from a wonderful family and we were happy to go into the shidduch, our hopes high but our expectations tempered.

Well, apparently someone saw my daughter getting picked up by this boy and immediately shared it. Before even getting back from the date, my daughter’s cell phone was ringing off the hook with friends inquiring “how it went” and when she thinks the engagement will happen? What??? She went out one time!

When she came back from the date, she had to field over a dozen calls from girls, some she had not even spoken to since high school, explaining to them that she had only gone on one date and everyone should please leave her alone. Finally, at nearly 2 AM, my husband and I decided it was enough. We took her phone and shut it off.

But it didn’t end there. The very next morning I got a call from a jubilant neighbor inquiring about “the lucky boy” and when the lchaim would be. Excuse me???

And it gets even worse.

Looking to do more information, the mother of the boy had called another friend of my daughter in seminary. Listen to this. The girl responded, “oh, you want information on that girl?! She’s already getting engaged tonight, but I can give you information anyway!” Can you imagine?!

I’m furious. First of all, my daughter, and I’m sure every girl going out for the first time, was under serious stress. Dating is scary early on. Why do people think it’s okay to inquire about someone’s dating life, especially when they literally returned from seminary just weeks before? What is wrong with people? Secondly, and more importantly, how in the world did we get to a place where people think that gossiping about people’s dates is normal? How is it considered routine for girls to share information about another girl’s dating life? Girls that do that should be shunned, not accepted as healthy, functioning human beings.  Because they’re not.

Now, despite the first date having gone splendidly, my daughter doesn’t want to agree to a second date, not because of the boy, but because she feels like her friends will be snooping in and will be sharing anything that happens on the date with the whole world. So now we might be dealing with a dashed potential shidduch because some can’t keep the tiniest bit of information private.

Here’s what I have to say to every one of you sharing details about people on dates: shame on you. Shame on you for engaging in and promoting some of the most harmful behavior I’ve ever seen. Shame on you for treating other people’s lives as your personal Instagram page. Shame on you for having such a low attainment of mentchlichkeit despite knowing good and well that your actions can only be hurtful and damaging. Shame on you.

My daughter’s private life is not your business. If you’re so curious that you can’t contain yourself, consider having a doctor outfit you with a muzzle.

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  1. I’m assuming that the girl lives in a development. There are people in Jackson and Toms River that give out their homes for girls who live in developments to get picked up for dates.

  2. You would think with all of the rules gossiping about someone else would have been covered. Wonder what they were taught at school and at home.

  3. Mistake number 1: explaining to her friends that she went out on only 1 date. She shouldn’t be saying anything about her dating life at all.

  4. PSA if you live in a development don’t date out of your own home unless you want all your neighbors to know you are dating. (also i dont believe this story is true its either greatly exaggerated or the girl told all her friends she had a date)

  5. you seem very upset and rightfully so. it also seems that this just acurred being your tone is quite harsh. I agree. They are wrong 100%. but now that you know what may happen and to help your situation, she should definitely be going out from a different location. best of luck!

  6. Something is either being exaggerated here or some people involved are a bit socially off.

    Yes people do get curious and excited when they see things – and they may whisper it to a friend – but this story is very hard to believe is a regular occurrence in our community.

  7. What shocker!? Are you saying young, immature girls ages 18-19 are doing crazy things like gossiping?? I’m stunned.
    So shocking

    Get real. No one should be gossiping or talking loshon hara. Neither should you. But these girls are young, excited to be entering a new stage in life, and quite happy that one of their friends has finally had their “first date”. If you have a problem with the immaturity aspect of it, I would suggest telling your daughter and her friends to maybe a wait a few months or even a year to figure their life out first, and not rush to get married, as you said, only *weeks* from being home from seminary

    • Here I am wondering how some peoples breach of privacy, (which is assur in case you care, its called “megaleh sod”) became a referendum on THIS girls eligibility to be wed.
      Maybe you need some time to figure out life or something…

  8. Sge is 100% right. I live in a development it was very hard to figure out an appropriate tine that no obe would be outside. Or sometimes going out from someone else’s house. People have to mind there own business. This was before the social media era.

  9. i understand your frustrated with what happened but one sentence is really alarming. you might stop the shidduch because everyone knows she went on a date? seriously? please rethink….

  10. It reminds of the story of a shidduch date in an out of town food store, and it just so happened to be that the entire class of the girl (or perhaps a younger class) piled into that store while they were there, as they were on a trip to that city! Well, there was no hiding it in that case. It was before cell phones, but what they did was to finalize the shidduch before the girls got back to their home town!
    So at least here it was not gossip about problems (or imaginary problems). But you’re right, people should be taught to not say or share anything until they find out from a good, official source with clear info that there is something official. It is probably good that a message should include an invitation from the parents of each side with clear names. That makes a clear invitation, and not just ‘did you hear…’

  11. I sense anger which is against the torah.
    Understand that those girls are probably just happy for her!

    Let your daughter politely explain she does not want to discuss her dates period no need to go on a rant. people naturally like to talk about simchas consider yourself lucky and smile

  12. I agree with the above that the location is the biggest issue. Even when I was going out, girls that lived in developments (or the sort) would go elsewhere to be picked up. I am offering my house (on a quiet dead end block in raintree) for anyone to date from. I can be reached through The Lakewood Scoop.

  13. Apparently your daughter’s life is our business since you find it necessary to articulate about it on TLS.
    2)To add insult to injury, there are a stable full of yente’s that can’t keep their beaks shut. THAT’S ALSO YHE THE PROBLEM.
    3)On a lighter note. Not to worry. Biezrat Hashem, all will be well.

  14. Um… you sure you aren’t exagerating!? I mean, it is slightly socialy off what you described. My wife grew up in the heart of Flatbush where everyone saw everything and no one went around telling the world. maybe you should check with your daughter if she told all her friends. Anyways what are all her friends doing home. They all couldnt last till the end of the seminary year without seeing their mommy and totty!?!?!?

  15. Plot twist. The girl lives in a development and was so excited that she had a date and hoped someone would notice. Unfortunately, nobody noticed so she fabricated an exaggerated story to compensate.

  16. Definitely very exaggerated story. I don’t believe these details are true maybe the base of the story happened that someone saw and passed it on to a freind or two..but about the neighbor etc. Either the people are off or the story

  17. The details aren’t that clear. But, it sounds like somebody took a picture and shared it. If that is the case, that person has some nerve. It’s about time people start filing lawsuits for these incredibly destructive behaviors, and it will finally come to a stop.

  18. she made a big mistake by telling her friends its just the first date, its non of their biz! shiduchim are a private matter,
    but the truth is this whole letter sounds like a bubba to me

  19. @Relax lol

    You sense anger and rightfully so. The Derech Hatorah is to respect anothers privacy, as in Mah Tovu O’halecha…. This was totally immature and complete lack of middos and mentchlichkeit

  20. We live amongst yenta’s, primarily the woman, but its everywhere.

    I was once in Boro Park and I passed by a home where a young boy and girl leaving a home and heading to the car for what appeared to be a date. And a whole group of people were standing across the street observing these two.

    I was appalled,

    I could not believe it.

  21. Since when has the phrase “socially off” mentioned in some comments become acceptable? It is not a nice term to use when describing people’s behavior unless you are a psychologist doing a diagnosis. Calling friends, neighbors, classmates etc. “socially off” is Ona’as Devarim.

  22. This story never happened. And even it did be happy tour daughter got a date. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can only control what is in your control to control. Why are you getting involved in everybody else’s business? If some felt the need to publicize something ridiculous, that’s their problem. If you are actually saying no because of that, then I hope that your daughter is not as immature as yourself, and has enough Sechel to say yes to a second date herself. Hatzlacha

  23. “My daughter, a student at a prestigious seminary in Eretz Yisroel “ WOW! Nobody cares that your daughter went to a prestigious seminary you sound very entitled. What does the prestigious seminary have anything to do with the above story? Like why is that information relevant? Just a Sidenote: I believe your story but I’m gonna tell you how it is. Just because your daughter went to a “prestigious seminary” you don’t have to brag about it nor do you have to share that information it is not relevant. we grow up in a society we’re families Think that if their daughter goes to a prestigious seminary it’s going to get them somewhere in shiduchim. My son is marrying the girl not the seminary.

  24. Whether or not this actually happened, I am appalled by the number of angry commenters attacking the victim for behavior done to her that is clearly not right on any level.

  25. Yes, unfortunately ppl privacy has been taken away. Ppl shouldn’t have to look for places to date because others can’t keep there mouths shut. In the chasidisher velt where they sit in, the neighbors look to see if the lights are on in the dining room then they know that the girl is meeting someone. It’s one thing to be noisy but it’s another thing to speak about it

  26. I am deeply pained by many of the responses to this letter written by this mother who on some level is rightfully hurt. I understand her reason for writing this letter and I also understand why TLS chose to publish this letter (and many others)…is so that we can debate an issue and we can choose to agree or even disagree – healthy debate is always a good thing as it brings awareness and clarity on a specific issue. But to read some of the hurtful comments here are appalling to say the least…

  27. hi.
    hazack for the letter.
    is not only shame, it is over on a lot of lavim..
    wher is veahata lerera kamora.
    were is iraht hashem.
    were is Torah.

  28. If the point of this article is to expand the shidduch crisis today I think it’s already daunting enough. I remember HaRav Matisyahu telling bochurim coming into BMG the importance of not discussing shidduchim, dates, personal stories at the yeshiva dinning room IE unfortunately it’s something that happens. Not every boy and not every situation but to any parent whose daughter is in Shidduchim they know it’s about overselling, overpromising, and exposing their privacy for all to see. It’s sad but true. If this Shidduch was perfect for your daughter don’t be naive to end it for such a small thing but also be aware the longer your daughter is on the market the more exposure she potentially faces. Maybe not by classmates but by Shadchunim, references, and yes other bochurim she has dated finding out and giving their two cents.

  29. Sounds like you need a nice quiet place to date. Come to my yard in Jackson it is so quiet and peaceful
    And no one will no anything in the quiet panoramic setting of an acre and a half
    Ask TLS for my info
    It’s the best place to date .
    But this is why girls shouldn’t have smart phones .

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