Skulking Suitors

“Hey, got some questions for you,” a friend said. “A guy called last night and asked these, and I said I’d get back to him.”

“No problem,” I said, and provided the answers.

“By the way, who was he?”

“I promised not to tell.”


“He told me who he was, but at the end of the conversation he made me promise not to tell you.”

“Why? What nosy, obnoxious questions could he have possibly asked that he doesn’t want me to know who he is?”

“Really nothing. He asked what your siblings do, why you live OOT—mostly things he’d know if he actually read your profile. And then the ones about whether you go to shiurim or have a rebbetzin or would be willing to Skype date.”

Then why won’t he tell me his name?

I am unable to come up with a good reason why someone would withhold their name in connection to their actions. Usually it means you’re embarrassed or afraid, or don’t want to take responsibility for it.

When a guy won’t put his name where his mouth is, I automatically assume he also writes anonymous letters to the Yated condemning everyone who doesn’t think the way he does. It’s not a promising start to our relationship.

Or wouldn’t be, if I knew who he was. That’s the point, right? I can’t hold it against him if I don’t know who he is.

In theory, at least.

This isn’t the first guy to try to hide his name from a potential date. Another friend of mine was playing reference for another friend of hers, when she got a call at 11pm from a guy who refused to identify himself.

“I could lie and give you a fake name, but I’m being honest and telling you that I won’t tell,” he explained proudly.

“Why won’t you tell?”

“Well, I don’t necessarily want it getting back to her, the kinds of things I’m asking about her.”

“Does that strike you as fair? That you show up on a date knowing highly personal information about her that she doesn’t know you know?”


“And do you really think she has so many guys looking into her at the same time that she won’t be able to figure out who you are?”


“And I will also mention that you called at 11pm, and the only reason I took your call was because I thought it was an emergency because who calls a stranger and a mother at 11pm on a work night?!”

“Well if you’re not going to tell her anything nice about me, I guess there’s no point in this call.”

That was actually what I told my friend, regarding my own non-identifying would-be suitor.

“You don’t need to bother calling back with answers to any of his questions. I’m not interested in a guy who won’t stand by his actions. You can tell him he’s officially nixed, whoever he is.”


4 thoughts on “Skulking Suitors

  1. Bad4, I totally agree with you in principle, except why can’t it be the old “the boy has to say yes before the girl hears about him so as not to crush her fragile female spirit” thing?

    I have had boys not ID themselves when they call to check on girls, but more often their aunts / sisters etc ALSO not ID themselves. I don’t like this, but it’s very, very common. I think it’s a good example of someone trying to be (cough cough) THOUGHTFUL and kind, but clearly accomplishing the opposite in your opinion.

  2. Pingback: To Know or Not to Care? | Bad for Shidduchim

  3. Hm, this is a tough one. I’m not sure what I think about this. On the one hand, not answering is obnoxious when being asked in such a straightforward manner. Then again, as a general rule, I prefer that girls I’m being set up with don’t know I exist until I say yes. Not because I’m afraid to “crush her fragile female spirit” but because, simply, why? If a girl hears about me, researches me, and says no, I honestly don’t want to hear about it. Why would I? It won’t be a massive hurt, but there’ll probably be a twinge of something.

    In this particular situation, where the guy wouldn’t identify himself while on the phone, that’s a no-no. Where it’s not as in-your-face, eh, I see no reason why the initiator should do anything to let the other party know that they’re being looked into.

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