Rules About Dating

Rules About Dating

A New York woman writes to The Ethicist (in The New York Times Magazine) that she, a heterosexual, went out on an arranged date with a man. Both live in Orthodox Jewish communities. “We got along well initially, but I grew concerned about how evasive he was about his past.” By dint of research, she learned that he was a female-to-male transgendered individual. “I then ended our relationship.”

She believes that he converted to Judaism shortly after he became a man.

She thinks that this person continues to date women from the Jewish community.

“Should I urge our rabbi to out this person?”

The Ethicist (Randy Cohen) replies that this man is entitled to privacy ““ and there should no public notice about his being transgendered.

But, he goes on, she should feel free to discuss this state of affairs with friends.

Spread the word informally, but not formally?

My own view: People who date should be frank about their situations upfront. I know of a fellow who had never told his new wife that he was living on disability payments ““ he didn’t have a job. There are married men who date ““ explaining later that they’re getting, or thinking, of a divorce. Then there are non-Jews who date Jews without telling them, early on, that they would never marry outside their faith. (And vice versa.) People who date should be upfront about any illnesses, any past indiscretions, anything at all that might be important to someone seeking a mate.

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