I can’t tell you how many emails I have received regarding online dating: whether it was a good idea way back, when it really caught on in the frum dating community, or for how to get comfortable with dating through the computer during COVID, or for people scared of being catfished or having been catfished. To remind everyone what catfish is, it’s when a person takes information and images, typically from other people, and uses them to create a new identity for themselves. While you may think you are speaking with “Sarah,” a 33-year-old CPA from Brooklyn, it may actually be Moshe, a 55-year-old man from Chicago. I published an article over a year ago from a young man who was catfished by someone pretending to be her thinner, prettier cousin. So, there is a lot to think about when it comes to online dating.

Many non-pet owners can’t understand the love people have for their pets. They dress them, groom them, cook special food for them, have expensive toys, etc. They even refer to their pets as their children. I don’t have a pet, but my cousins and aunt do (and apparently, I have a four-legged first cousin).

As many will remember, I published an article last year about how the neighborhood I grew up in and love will not be the neighborhood where my husband and I find our “forever home” because of the price of real estate. I am not here to argue about the quality of life in KGH or “well, that’s the price you pay for living in a frum community with several kosher groceries, shuls, yeshivos, mikva’os, etc.” I simply stated a fact then, and I am stating it again. The prices of the houses in Kew Gardens Hills (and in New York City) make it difficult for a “young” family to plant roots here. I still consider myself young; but here’s a fact that I’d like all of you who sent in the hate mail to know:

In last week’s paper, I published a letter from a friend of a friend who had been dating someone for five years. Years. She thought he was her bashert and was waiting for the moment it would be made official. But that was not to be. She visited her boyfriend and his family over Pesach, at his insistence in Florida, only to have him break up with her there and basically kick her out of his life.

I’ve received a few letters similar to the one below. Usually, they are written by the mother of the chasan if it is “his” question, that his mother is writing about. If it’s from the kallah’s point of view, then typically the kallah herself has written to me.

I have seen and been through a lot during my decades in this world. I thought I was beyond the stage of being horrified the way that some people treat others. Sometimes, the meanness is a reaction to something. You did this; well, I’ll do that to get back at you. It’s a spur of the moment thing. Or the meanness can be planned between a few people. A thought-out calculated plan. Yes, it sounds devious. Because it is. Remember “No soap radio” – a “joke” popular when I was younger? This is how the “joke” worked: Two or more people would get together and plan that when someone else joins them, one of them will say “No soap radio.” Everyone is supposed to laugh. If the person who just joined laughs along (to be part of the crowd), you would ask him what’s so funny about that – getting him to admit that he didn’t understand the statement and just wanted to be included in the fun. Or if the person didn’t laugh, the others laugh harder, because “You don’t get it? It’s such a simple joke.” Either way, others planned to say or do something that would cause another to feel bad about himself – because either way that you answered, you were going to be questioned or laughed at.

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