SEMGIRL

Hi, I was just your typical 19 year old Seminary girl in South Jersey (if you don't know where I mean, you are probably on the wrong blog). We all have nisoynos, challenges, and experiences, both positive and negative. Here is where I have decided to share some of them.

Name:
Location: Lakewood, New Jersey, United States

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Crushes and the Like

UPDATE : AnySara Got engaged.... I wish her lots of Nachas and Simcha



I have received many emails lately of a very flirtatious and or inquisitive nature about admirations from a distance for myself or various girls in Lakewood or the community in which the writer of the email lives.

Some of these emails are very sweet and really melt your heart. Others are just clueless, not menacing , but no warmth and feeling either. Then there are those letters of the weird, creepy variety. Even though, its completely anonymous, and I don’t know them, and they don’t know me, it is still very scary.

Recently, I was considering whether to respond to a rather interesting letter. It was written very respectfully. The writer seems nice enough, in a pathetic sort of way. He claims to taken pictures with his cell phone of a girl he is very smitten with, and is very persistently, asking me to divulge personal information about a close friend of mine. So far, I have chosen to ignore him. I am not sure whether, I should admonish him about the picture or not. In the meantime, I will ask for advice in this matter from my many cherished readers, many of whom, are much more knowledgeable and experienced than me.

I usually try to respond to any email that is respectfully written, time permitting. And although, I like to IM with people that I already know, I prefer to avoid anon Cyber-Ims, especially from boys, (who quite often turn out to be married men, lol).

So for expedience sake, I am going to discuss this on the blog for everyone’s benefit.
It’s a perfectly normal, healthy part of adolescence to develop crushes on members of the opposite gender. Unfortunately, in our extremely gender-segregated society , where boys seldom ever mingle with girls, and can be in the Dorm or Beis Medrash (Study Hall), for months at a time. Even more so, in cases, where they have no sisters and their family lives in Europe or Israel, and they can’t go home for Yom Tov (holidays), it is possible to never or see or talk to a girls for years.. This was always problematic. However, the situation has been greatly exacerbated with the advent of internet, chatrooms, and text messaging.

As a result, you now have innocent, naïve girls, and very sheltered boys with no real world training in how to deal with the other gender, connecting with each other clandestinely, thru this new medium. Yet, many have no clue how to communicate respectfully. All the time , I receive three basic types of emails. Some are actually very touching in a Nebby sort of way. I respond to those, basically for the same reason that you feel for a cute, lost puppy that follows you home from school.Another type is very obnoxious and nasty. Get a clue, guys, very few girls are interested in or want anything to do with offensive jerks. Who know, maybe the Yeshivas intentionally encourage this in the bochurim to prevent from being too attractive to girls from the onset of puberty until they are ready to start dating.

Unfortunately, most of the guys I date are still like that. Story of my life, I guess.
Finally, there are very creepy, obscene emails sent by Cyber-stalkers that really give you the chills.

If this blog accomplishes anything, let me at least educate and provide a few pointers. DON’T take pictures of girls with your cellphone without their permission. If I caught someone taking my pic like that, I would kick him where it counts. I strongly advise any other girl to do likewise. And definitely, don’t email these pics to your friends or other girls. That’s very not cool.
Try writing a sweet letter or a poem .If you can’t think of something nice to say, there is a ton of stuff on Google. Or just speak from the heart and open up. Talk about yourself and your feelings That always works with me and most of my friends.

Finally, and most importantly, I am very appalled that I even have had to mention this to nice Frum boys, but, if you just cant control yourself and feel the need to write things like, “Sweetheart , whats your fantasy”, or anything of a more graphic nature, there are like a billion porn-sites and X-rated phone numbers to call.

Have a lil respect and decency and don’t send this filth to a Bas Yisroel.

Addenda: To Josh and others, thought I was clear, guess not. I meant nice , pleasant communication for purposes of Shidduchim, or understanding women for the eventual goal of Shidduchim, not uncontrolled licentiousness..


PS : Please check out my new links in my evergrowing group of Blog-friends

85 Comments:

Blogger nuboy21 said...

Yay im the first!I wholeheartly agree with you. I think there should be a way to let these yeshiva guys know whats out there but not risking them going off the deep end. Its a very touch topic thats bound to piss people off. I think you should tell your ffreind about this guy thats taking her pic just he becaus e he is a total moron and sick idiot to do that. I can think of a thousand other ways to get a girl you have a crush on.

12/12/2005 12:00 AM  
Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

SG,

Maybe you should post or quote some examples of the sicker things that people write.

There are plenty of frustrated horny creeps across all sectors society, though being stuck in Yeshiva for months on end sometimes helps and sometimes hinders development.

I don't someone should ever divulge personal information about a friend to someone who is interested. There are plenty of Halachot about that.

Naivety in general is often dangerous and steps should be taken to educate and inform people about the dangers.

TRK

12/12/2005 1:41 AM  
Blogger nuboy21 said...

TRK, what would we gain by seeing the more disgusting things peole wrote?

12/12/2005 3:15 AM  
Blogger Dave J. said...

So this is the post you been working on for so long... I am very disappointed !

12/12/2005 9:08 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Sorry.. MB what would you like me to write about ?

12/12/2005 9:48 AM  
Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

m.b uncalled for. I think her post is something that makes tons of sense. I've chatted with guys in im that start out VERY nice and respectful (and unmarried) and later end up telling me that, they're divorced, or even better yet, hasn't yet given her the get. Oh, forgot to tell you she still lives here. I feel sorry for the wives. Sometimes I walk down the block and see the women walking with 5 kids in a row, dressed alike. The women looking so serious. While their husbands sit in chat rooms in yahoo asking if there are any frum girls. I still haven't really done the dating scene, but I semgirl is right on the money with this post.

12/12/2005 11:32 AM  
Blogger Pragmatician said...

The truth is that most indeed don't know how to talk to girls, the best pointers they have are the clandestine movie they watch and heaven knows, nobody in real life speaks like those perfect gentlemen in the movies.
10 writers directors and producers are needed to create the text of one romantic scene and they are paid for it. It's not fair to expect a young boy to come up with the same lines.
I agree the creepy letters should be ignored and I find it very generous of you to answer the "nebby" letters in a kind way, I'm sure this improves their self esteem.

12/12/2005 12:04 PM  
Blogger A Frum Idealist said...

Great advice semgirl. Welcome back. I have been looking forward to your next post for a while now.
I remember when the picture phones first came out, my wife was apalled. She immediately feared pictures taken without permission and possibly worse.
There should be a course taught to guys in yeshiva on how to talk to a girl. You can't talk to a girl the way you do to your chavrusa.

12/12/2005 12:07 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

nor can you talk with your chevrusa they way you might talk to a girl. took me years to learn that.

but honestly, i knew other boys could be weird but why on earth would married men be trying to pick up young frum girls on the internet?! and why do people send creepy emails like that, and what on earth could make them look at girls as such objects?! and can't they have any respect for their wives?! i knew it was bad but this is just freaky.

12/12/2005 12:13 PM  
Blogger Tanisha said...

Yeah I was about to call that guy a stalker and they give me the willies.. I HATE STALKERS!!

YEs nice letters and poem are great and if a guy is sneaking pics of you G-d only knows what he does with them behind closed doors and that is even more creepy.

In essence stay away from cyber stalkers..and obnoxious nillies!!

Great post semgirl

12/12/2005 2:04 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

Just curious SG:

Why do you answer ANY of these anonymous emails - creepy or otherwise? Wouldn't it be better for you to just ignore them and let the writer know you are not interested? Aren't you somehow shovelling coal on the fire by responding?

As for these co-called "creepy" writers, what can you do. People are who they are. They cry for attention in ways they know how. Not everyone is articulate.

My advice: stay away from communications with anyone you don't know. Nothing good can vcome of it.

Oh and one final note: Last anyone checked this is your blog - the purpose of which is to provide YOU with a forum. Not everything you write needs to be Pulitzer material. You might find it easier to not respond to critics who don't have anything usefull to add.

12/12/2005 2:33 PM  
Blogger The Yankee Despiser said...

Semgirl:

Please give an example of a letter that you would find normal. Don't tell me what doesn't work. Tell me what does. You don't have to use an actual letter as an example - just make one up that if you got, would be interested.

Also, what else should a guy do if he's interested in a girl?

12/12/2005 3:01 PM  
Blogger Frum Singles said...

Well said. I would suggest that you totally ignore guys who don't know how to communicate with you in a respectful nature.

I do the same thing with "shadchanim". (s)he will come over to me and "red" me a "great" "attractive" girl etc. I think you get the drift. When I ask if (s)he has seen the girl (or a picture of her) the inevitible response is no.

Now frankly, this is arguably chutzpa and at a minimum a total lack of consideration. Basically, what I am being asked is to gamble my emotions, energy, time (and some money) so that this person may be a "winner" and be able to say that (s)he made a shiduch (and then get a brokerage fee a/k/a "shadchanuus") to boot.

If you you don't know how to cook, you don't belong in the kitchen. If you're not a doctor, you shouldn't have a medical office. If you're not a lawyer, you shouldn't hang out a shingle. AND IF YOU ARE NOT A SHADCHAN, DON"T ACT AS ONE !!!!

So like you said, people who don't know how to effectuate proper boy-girl communications are best ignored.

12/12/2005 3:30 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

I'm not sure, lulei demistafina, what exactly this other person expects from you.

Do you know this person whose picture he took? Is he asking you to set him up with her? Obviously, you can't do that.

So what advice are you asking for? How can a lonely yeshiva guy meet a girl he saw at a pizza shop, when approaching her directly isn't appropriate? Um, not much you can do there!

The only thing he can do is ask someone who knows her to set up the shidduch. End of story.

12/12/2005 4:03 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

Gosh! I am late here! And yes, I know I owe you e-mails SG! Coming soon I hope.

As far as the post, as usual you like nailed it in your straight out way without beating around the bush.

Besides the sickos, there are the guys who really like want to chat or I guess just reach out and like somehow communicate with the opposite sex but like that is almost not possible in many parts of frum society. These guys are just clueless about how to do it.

One thing I agree with my mother on (yes, there are a few things...) is that yeshivas should totally teach boys how to just behave like mentchen in the outside world. And on dates too! (That's my addition, not my Moms)

As far as getting ni touch with a girl you are interested in, if there is no way to communicate outright, by all means ask someone to let her know you are interested. If it is real, why shy away, and if it is only lust, there is no reason to take it anywhere.

Shalom

12/12/2005 5:56 PM  
Blogger FrumGirl said...

SG,

Do you really believe those so called yeshiva guys emailing you with filthy requests dont know exactly what they are doing? Pushing buttons for a reaction... etc? I kind of agree with elster on this one... (the coal comment).

I agree with you that the real yeshiva boys don't know how to relate to girls but the opposite is also true. Girls have romantic expectations and boys are raised to think of girls of lesser than... and chivalry is a lost science. That is the cold hard truth. Some kind of collision of two worlds is in order... and you wonder why the divorce rate is so high?

It is unfortunate that the internet has become the only way for some to learn how to relate... and with such a mix of people on it... if one gets to know the wrong people, the wrong impressions are made of the opposite gender which is really the most unfortunate.

I was once outraged when someone took not a picture but a VIDEO of me playing with my child with their camera phone! They refused to delete it... talk about an invasion of privacy and space!

My advice... you cant change these people, nor do you want to. Ignore, ignore, ignore!

12/12/2005 9:10 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

SG, I'm with you 100% when you say that there are plenty of "frum" sickos out there. I'm with you 100% when you say "frum" guys don't know how to act with women, either casually, or as 7 pointed out, on a date. And I'm with you 100% in recognizing that Yeshivos don't do a wonderful job training guys to be mentchen.

But I absolutely lose you when you resolve that the solution is to train the "nebs" and "creeps" how to better accomplish their goals.

SG, not to belittle you, but these "nebs" and "creeps" aren't deemed so just because of their tactics. Their goals should be recognized as equally disgusting. If the creep managed to piece together something resembling poetry, his aim would still be to get in your pants. All you're advocating is educating him in how to accomplish this without turning you off.

I think many of our communal standards may be extraneous. But there is a fine line between training guys to be eloquent, respectful gentleman and teaching them how to be smooth-talkers.

12/12/2005 9:14 PM  
Blogger brooklyn bochur said...

wow sg you finally did it. its about time. well what can you do boys will be boys and girls will be girls. boys are crazy about sex and will turn the world over to satiate their cravings. girls totally dont relate to these taivos. i mean check out the porn shops and see who's shopping. its just the way the aibeshter created the perfect balance that either gender should feel the need for each other men need women for their bodies while women need men for the livelyhood they make(well not in lakewood, i guess). will comment more but please, sg, post more often. thanx.

12/12/2005 10:16 PM  
Blogger The Yankee Despiser said...

SG, you still haven't offered a solution other than poetry. What the hell should a guy do?

12/13/2005 7:02 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Sorry, YD

Establish common interests, show that he wants to know all about her life, work, hobbies, goals, dreams. Open up and discuss himself.

Pretty much like you dont meet a guy for the first time at a library or Synagogue, or picnic, etc... and say hi nice to meet you, how much $ do youy make a year..

Maybe her feel comfortable in face to face meetings or cyberspace.

12/13/2005 7:12 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

SG - Thanks for the clarification. Strange how guys pick up a totally different vibe when it comes to "stalking." I guess it takes one to know one. (But your first clue that they aren't chatting for Shidduch purposes should be when the 22 year old boy turns out to be a 40 year old married man!)

As for all the legitimate crushes, you are right. There are so few avenues to follow up with people we meet in our daily lives. If your 2nd cousin's plumber doesn't think of the shidduch, there's almost no chance you'll ever get to go out with the person - even though you've seen them at 3 weddings, shop at the same store, and even work in the same office. I think there is nothing wrong in a guy or girl approaching somebody of the opposite sex in a public place and introducing themselves. Obviously, there is a comfort question, but that is something that our community could definitely use advancement in. The second factor is the stigma, that somebody must be a "bum" if they go directly up to somebody of the opposite sex. I'm not suggesting that the two should go off and hang out. But a few introductory pleasantries can go along way. From there, you can usually find friends or neighbors who might know more about this person as a potential shidduch. But the guy (and the girl) definitely need to learn how to come across as normal. Usually, asking, "So how do you know the Chasson/Kallah?" or "Do you come here often?" are safe, albeit lame, ice breakers. The first introduction is the hardest, but after that, just be a mensch, treat her like you would introduce yourself to a new face in Yeshiva (assuming that doesn't involve tackling the Newbie), and your chances of finding out whether there is any possible connection will greatly improve. Now we just have to get rid of the stigma...

12/13/2005 7:32 AM  
Blogger yingele said...

n where is my link? cough cough ;)

12/13/2005 8:36 AM  
Blogger my bald sheitel said...

i think the best advice is to stay away. aren't boys and girls not supposed to um talk and stuff unless they are dating and have already dropped the shadchan? so i am confused how this happens to begin with. i would delete the emails, block the users, etc. and just move on with my life. letting them get to you is yes, exactly what they want. it gives them attention.

i just hope i don't sound like a right-wing republican who preaches that abstinence is the answer and birth control is morally wrong, knowing that kids do in fact have sex.

12/13/2005 9:10 AM  
Blogger Dave J. said...

Hi Semgirl,
No offense intended in my last post, generally your blog is great. What I don’t like about this last post is the amount of complaining ,we have enough of that online (yes if you go online and you are female you could expect some idiots). Give us some of your bright experiences and insights as a frum Lakewood girl in her early 20’s, I think people enjoy reading about that more the reading complaints.

12/13/2005 9:17 AM  
Blogger Dave J. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/13/2005 9:28 AM  
Blogger Lost said...

Wow. I can hardly relate to the whole Lakewoodish 'crush' scene. ModernOrtho is more 'hands on' ..... Sounds very childish.

12/13/2005 12:10 PM  
Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

I have to agree with Josh. Educating the guys on how to come on to us is a big mistake. So then they find some common ground and end up being the same jerks they were and having the same ideas.

12/13/2005 2:46 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

guys in yeshiva are no better/worse than guys in the non-jewish world. what i think is much more important is rewarding menchlach behavior and punnishing rude/crude behavior all the time, not just in terms of girls but in everything.
i think the yeshivos unwittingly encourage bad behavior and i think their being estrogen deprived as on blogger put it might be excerbating the problem.
although like i said the rates of non-jewish guys who are good or not good so mabye the only way to fix it is cowing the men into submission.

12/13/2005 3:58 PM  
Blogger Ha-historion said...

I was just thinking about this today.

I am a "frum" guy, former yeshiva bachur and I have had several relationships with girls that have always ended up badly.

During the course of my relationship I was the utmost gentleman. Always polite, doing my utmost to avoid confrontation. She even remarked to me "we never fight its so boring" . The fights came later always instigated by her inevitably ending up with me hitting the dust yet again.

If I have learned one thing is not to trust women! Though I'm no longer particularly frum I cant help but think back to the Talmudic dictum that "women are feeble minded.

12/13/2005 8:56 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

NB: You got that right, but I sense that you aren’t coming from the same place that a lot of these bochurim are.

EC: Take the plunge , dating is fun.

F_Ideal : From what I hear they need to give courses on how to speak to your Chavrusa too.

HNC: I envy you, what planet are you living on.

Elster: I always answered your emails LOL

CJ Did you get the email ?

Shev: #15 I am truly hurt.. …..NOT!

FG, MYBald, EC:

Very true, however, you don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.. Someone emailed me before the summer. He seemed to have issues, but there was a sweetness about him. So I corresponded with him, even IMed and Chatted.. Eventually, I sent him a few links from futuresimchas.com, and coached him a bit how to act on a date.. I just heard a few days ago that he is getting engaged in a few weeks as a result of this..

Ying: Hey, where’s mine ?

BB : You obviously have a lot to learn about women..

12/13/2005 9:23 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Funny.. Steven, How come I know so many women who say the same thing about men..

Maybe you just didnt meet the right one yet, or you are going about it the wrong way..

12/13/2005 9:30 PM  
Blogger jingle said...

nobody should put up with unwanted sexual advances ever!

12/14/2005 2:17 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

This whole post--not to mention many of the comments--begs the question.

In Lakewood, guys meeting girls, outside of a properly set up shidduch date, isn't part of the social register. Therefore, lulei demistafina, a guy who isn't yet "on the market" has no outlet. ZERO.

So, quite naturally, a guy who wants to "make a move," but knows he can't is going to resort to something juvenile, like taking a picture and building a whole fantasy around it. It's a little sad, but also a little sweet and innocent. And absolutely no danger to the girl. His next step--should he have the shteeks to take it, which he probably doesn't--is simply to approach her (at which point she will either turn crimson, point him in the direction of the lake requesting that he jump in, or both).

Furthermore, these guys are not nebby or awkward. Take a look at all the yeshiva guys who never so much as said hello to a girl before their first shidduch date. The majority do a pretty good job at making conversation--certainly as good as any secular guy trying to talk to a woman in a bar. And the majority (but by no means all) treat their wives well.

That's the Lakewood model. It's not perfect but it works. There are some cracks, but most are mild and not life-threatening.

You should talk to the girls your age in college and in the workplace. They will give you much better stories illustrating (a) how men can be pigs; and (b) how men can harass women.

12/14/2005 11:19 PM  
Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

I agree
you deserve some more respect

12/15/2005 7:47 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Sem...
Gosh..I can't even relate. I feel like a Grandfather and I'm only 30!
The world has changed so much since I was in Yeshiva. There were always guys on the fringe...that would hang out with girls...but they were "cool guys" and the girls found it cool. As for the rest of the guys..sure I'd think about girls and developed crushes on some of my sisters friends but aside for some stares and smiles..there was simply nothing to do..lol
When it came to dating..I had no problem talking to a girl...(although I married the first one I went out with)..and I think most yeshiva bochuring from normal families relate nicely with the opposite sex.

I don't really see any options here..Yeshivas can't exactly have a "How to talk to girls" class between 1st and 2nd Seder. Although Mussar seder should take care of it..I suspect that those that stay for Mussar don't have these problems.
This has to be instilled in the home. From my work with teens I've found that most "creepy" boys or boys that totally can't relate to the opposite gender are from broken, divorced homes and they've never had role models to follow.

12/15/2005 10:52 AM  
Blogger brooklyn bochur said...

semgirl yes i do know about girls. why dont you tell me when was the last time you craved looking at porn? when was the last time you felt you are going out of your mind from deprivation?

12/15/2005 2:44 PM  
Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

Sem, oh my gosh, I just went to a discussion recently somewhere about something simular. And they brought up some good points like what if when you're on a date, he says something like an offensive joke, what do you do? Do you tell him how you feel? Or do you just make a mental note and later discuss it with the shadchan or someone?

Some guys in general don't pay attention to impact of their words and say whatever they are thinking. They need to be taught to think twice before they speak and say something better.

12/15/2005 5:04 PM  
Blogger nuboy21 said...

I did my list now i tag u, ure it

12/15/2005 9:08 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

CJ and David, you both put it so well I think. Things are obviously so hard for a horny teen in our community, but to say that the system is way off is hard to say, because obviously it is not.

But if anyone has some good ideas for those cracks, I'm all ears.

Shalom

12/16/2005 12:09 AM  
Blogger Elster said...

Here's an idea. Instead of blaming the guys themselves (a product of their environment??) perhaps the "blame" should go on the partners who created this offensive boor: The school and, even more so, the parents.

Let's face it, even if you have never talked to a girl yourself, certainly you see the may dad talks to mom right?

Does abba come home from work/Beis medrash and holler where's my freaking dinner? Or does he ask Ima how her day was?

Does the rebbe once tell his dating age bachurim that the key to a happy family unit is treating your spouse with respect? My rebbe did. When i was in college, one of my rebbeim gave about 20 minutes a week to talking about the importance of being a mentch with your wife and treating her with respect. Asking her how her day was, etc.

The problem is, we often look to the wrong places to place blame. A person is a product of the people who raise him.

12/16/2005 10:49 AM  
Blogger Judah said...

wow! So you deleted my comment! what a mature way to handle a comment you don't agree with! So sheltered! so lakewoodish!

12/16/2005 11:40 AM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i know that one of my highschool principles gave a speach to the 12th graders about how to treat their wives (when they got them) he wanted to take advantage of the time to mention to them to speak respectfully to their wives, to speak with them at length, as much as was needed to make them happy with the relationship, even described it as praisworthy to speak with her. he incidently remarked that the perkei avos about don't talk to much with a woman only involved those topics which would lead to certain things, at the time she was nidda. (he gave the drush when we where going over that section of perkei avot after pasach, and wanted just to point it out as a big pitfall he didn't want any of his 12th graders taking when they got married.)

12/16/2005 12:23 PM  
Blogger Joey said...

i know i'm a bit late - but i agree with cloojew. bigtime. There r definately HUGE cracks in the lakewood hands-off scene, but always remember how many times it works.

I know first hand that men r pigs (btw i'm a girl, despite "joey" )& it's a painful reality. i think all the concepts of shomer negiah & the like r the smartest things ever created. because most of the time, they work. & that's what counts.

r there issues? yes. does the yeshiva system create desperate boys? yes. but do any of u have a better idea of how to have girls protected from guys & respected 4 who they really r & still get married other than the whole complicated sidduch thing?

walking up to someone u know & like is ok - but what abt the rest of the girls (guys too) who don't have anyone in mind, & want to meet someone in a safe/kosher enviornment?

12/17/2005 10:12 PM  
Blogger Masmida said...

Very very very late, but better than never.

I found it very troubling, that people thought my blog was some sort of twisted personal add, or they reacted to, one searches for the right wording, enthusiatically.

I don't answer emails from guys, because well, I've long distance dated that way and I know how much of a relationship can be built by communication of that sort.

Just don't answer, Semgirl, even though you've helped this one guy. Don't answer. It's not good for you and its not good for them.

Both men and women experience a lot of frustration and general kookiness between age 14 and whenever they get married, but the solution to that is not anything less than marriage.

12/18/2005 10:14 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

I think Masmida hits on an important point. There is a difference between the fantasy underlying an internet infatuation and the well deserved interest that might be generated from getting to know somebody in person. People who reach out to you on the internet are probably doing so only because of the anonymity provided. If they are engaging in behavior they deem too shameful to repeat in their "real" life, do you really want to get tied up with their game?

But on the other hand, if you come into contact with somebody in real life who genuinely strikes you as an appropriate shidduch (ie you're not merely "struck" by their beauty or by the opportunity to cuddle in a dark movie theater), then I don't think there is any shame in looking into them. Of course, you have to be respectful, but you also don't have to be passive and wait for somebody else to suggest it. Even approaching the target and getting enough personal information from polite chatter can give you enough to pursue them further through official channels. Nobody said love can't start with you.

12/18/2005 7:24 PM  
Blogger Frum Singles said...

With respect to your comment on my most recent post, I basically agree with you. But you have to agree that the situation is complicated.

12/18/2005 7:55 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

actualy one of my friends did that, and also our rabbi (according to the story which may or may not be true and even if it was he wouldn't admit it for fear of giving the teens in his community ideas)

but generaly i agree it should be ok for people to either suggest shidduchim with people who they for one reason or another know well, or even it should not be (and wasn't untill recently) bad for people to directly get to know each other as long as it is respectfull and well behaved (i believe that there are entire volumes of shailos and t'shuvos on this boys and girls interacting from rishonim, including rabainu asher and his son)

but then on i also think it would be a good idea to give a formal, controlled arena for boys and girls to be around each other shidduchim or no, like the shabbos table, it's well chaperoned. it might amoung other things help otherwise "estrogen deprived" boys be a little better.

12/18/2005 8:38 PM  
Blogger Masmida said...

One of my favorite stories about shidduchim is actually my high school principal's.

Apparently, she spotted her future husband in shul, grabbed her father and told him 'that's the guy I want to marry' and got herself set up with him.

I don't know what I like best about, the honesty, the unabashed acknowledgement that we really spend most of the endless misheberachs peering down into the men's section, or the fact that its my high school principal who taught me all about tzenius and when not to talk to guys.

12/19/2005 9:22 AM  
Blogger turquoiseblue said...

There are alot of weirdos and sickos out there... one has to be ultra careful. Especially those that hang around shady places/people online. Not responding to unsolicited emails will eliminate most of the "scary" stuff... (Duh!)

As a rule, I try to avoid private emailing as much as possible... because it is more liable to turn into something/somewhere you don't want to go.

On another note: I agree with halfnutcase... there should be more "kosher" opportunities for singles to meet - Shabbos table is quite the perfect setting... I'd love to have that at my shabbos table... it would be a great chessed and probably quite enjoyable too...

Any volunteers to start an "Invite some singles to your Shabbos Table" organization/campaign?

12/20/2005 3:27 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

I would tend to agree with you, TB. Although, once again I say don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. I've met some very lovely ppl online, as well. You, for example..

12/20/2005 2:39 PM  
Blogger brooklyn bochur said...

you can add me to that list, rochel

12/20/2005 2:45 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

Hey, did you delete my earlier post? I'm curious about how this anonymous stranger would know who your close friend's are.

12/20/2005 3:02 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

YG.. I meant close cyber-friends and fellow bloggers.

BB: Actually I think Masmida and TB had you in mind with their advice..

12/20/2005 5:43 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

it would certainly help the singles get to understand a little how the other gender thinks, and also help them really get to have a better surrounding for considering people with out all the stress.

personaly i think they should start it around 17 to 18. and i'm not sure if people should be carefull if when ever a particular boy/girl pair who always focus on each other are there, or down right encourage it within the confines of that venue. but i suspect the reality would be based on each case, in kind of a middle of the road approach. if it affects them well then good, if they are starting to get distracted and slack off from things then i guess it would be bad.

(and yes i have met even chassidishe families who do this sometimes, and even with boys and girls of around 16, happened to me a few times in yeshiva, but then on i was the bochur they could trust to send to places where they knew girls might be)

12/20/2005 6:01 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

If you don't mind me saying so, HNC, what do you mean by 'trust'. Because, if you mean that you didn't have normal feelings for girls (whatever that entails, feelings for boys, asexual, whatever), I don't think thats the right influence for young impressionable Frum boys or girls. I am not saying my personal opinion or prejudice, just the prevailing attitudes and beliefs of any Chasidishe or Orthodox school.

If you did have normal, healthy feelings for girls, then I am sure that they knew you well enough that you wouldn't like attack them or act innappropriately around them, but you still are going to have bad thoughts and commit serious aveiras in private, as well as possibly cause the girls to do likewise.

So call a spade a spade, either a young boy or girl is rebelling and associating with the other gender for the same reason they might be violating any other halacha, or they are being groomed for a particular Shidduch. I dont quite understand what you mean by a middle ground. As always I appreciate your input.

12/20/2005 8:18 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

in terms of trust, i was trust worthy not to misbehave, either with them or otherwise, and no contrary to popular oppinion no boys do not have to go

my issue on all this is that, basicaly the system we currently have up is so seperating the boys and girls that it is encouraging boys to regard girls as commodities, and this is unhealthy, it leads to the kind of problems that boys even see a girl and they have an uncontrolable desire to do something bad (and btw it just isn't a sin for the girl to do so, and never was)
it leads to the dissrespectfull behavior in this post, and while i might not be quite a normal boy, i have less problems uniformly across the board (w/o exception) with doing any mitzvos. i mean mabye my expiriance isn't the norm, i just don't know, i do know i'm compleately blown away by the boy blogs such as yeitzer tov, i just can't relate to that.

however there wont be a problem if you start introducing the boys and girls to each other in an informal setting, with chaperones, where they can kinda test the waters so to speak. nothing flashy, nothing questionable, but i just feel that the way they seperate the boys and girls today is actualy exacerbating the problem. like our sages said in everything you should take the middle road, and while they excepted anger and humility, they did not except boys and girls.

12/20/2005 8:39 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

i guess it just always seemed for me the less they where just "girls" and the more they became individual people with everything that goes with it, the better off i did, in every way, psychologicaly, middos, mitvos, everything. so it's not just putting boys and girls around each other stam, my point is that they should learn to appriciate the fact the other gender are people, not just things. to lesson the objectifyingness, (and i know thats not a word i just know that objectivity means something compleately different) also for the sake of making shidduchim when they come of the right age. i also feel that if you don't start this before a certain age it may be too late.

mabye TB can give a better explanation. she seemed to agree.

12/20/2005 8:51 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Yup, agreed. I got an email from a guy asking me my stats. I'm thinking, what does he want? My single status? My bra size? What? So I write him back, asking what he means and he asks if I'm frum because he needs to ask a frum girl some questions. I reply telling him I'm not but maybe I can answer his question. So he writes back and asks me (I'll put it shortly) if all frum girls "shave down there".

WHOAH!!! I told him, FIRST if he is a bochur as he claimed, he knows better than to ask that question, and I said some other stuff to put him in his place. Gladly, he's never responded again.

The internet has it's downfalls, but I won't let those few pervs ruin the positives.

12/21/2005 12:38 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

Whenever anyone asks for my "stats"
I just tell them .344 12 HRs and 122 RBIs

12/21/2005 11:45 AM  
Blogger FrumSingleGuy said...

I totally agree with the sentiments you express here. I should just like to point out a few things about why I think yeshiva bochurim would send "flirtatious" emails to girls.

Bear with me for a minute- See, yeshiva bochurim are not given any resources for helping us deal with sexuality. And living in the years 2005, with so much promiscuity in the air, it becomes very difficult for some of us. When we are told that sexuality is a bad thing and not told how to deal with it, sex festers in our minds. And the internet becomes a place where many yeshiva bochurim feel that they can explore and indulge themselves. On this note I applaud Lakewood's intentions in trying to stop people from involving themselves in the pitfalls of the internet (how they implemented it is an entirely different story). Yeshiva bochurim need to be taught how to deal with their sexuality.

What yeshiva bochurim don't seem to get is that beis yaakov girls are not "turned on" by "sexy" emails. Rather, most beis yaakov girls think these emails are twisted, perverse and gross. Girls are different than guys and OFTEN are looking for something different from a guy than a guy is looking for from a girl. More about that a different time... Emailing a girl with something bordering on perverse internet is a quick sick selfish pleasure.

That said, I don't agree with the sentiment that if a yeshiva bochur takes a picture of a girl then he is doing "gross" things with it. There are some of us healthy bochurim out there that really are looking for a pretty girl, and not for "sick twisted reasons". Pretty and sexy are very different.

12/21/2005 11:51 AM  
Blogger big mak said...

fsg: very well said i agree with you

12/21/2005 2:33 PM  
Blogger XVI (R) - NY said...

Psychologically, you need to consider where the yeshiva guy is coming from. Clearly the fact that he is seperated from girls cannot be his fault. He is doing what hes supposed to, by going to yeshiva, learning, keeping torah and mitzvos. However, as a human being he siimultaneously cant deny his sexuality. Weve all gone through it. Girls are gonna be on your mind regardless of how much you keep them out. The more you push them out sometimes, the harder they fight to stay in your thoughts. So now there are two conflicting elements here. Unfortunately, the cure for one is the bane of the other and the yeshiva systems seems to win more often than not. Unavoidable. So whats a bochur to do? Ive seen from experience, in my earlier years of high school what this can do to someone.

I went to a school where the princi"pal" would actively be on the look-out for this sort of thing. He would play students against each other to get info on if people were dating, watching movies, etc... In a system where you are guilty until proven innocent, systems which are appearing more frequently in boys (and maybe girls?) highschools, OF COURSE your gonna have girls on the brain. But again, whats a yeshivah boy to do? From what Ive seen, its something like this, and bear in mind this is far from the worst of what Ive seen.

The guy goes out to the local, semi-legal place of meeting. Every jewish community has at least a small one, but i dont know that for sure. Here in Brooklyn, there are at least 5. He goes to this hangout when its really kicking, a friday afternoon or a saturday night, and he spots a girl accross the room. He cant talk to her, she cant talk to him. Hes attracted to her however so he forms a mental, and in many ways extremely psychosexual, bond to her. This is his experience with her. he sees her once a week or every other week for a combined five minutes in a crowded place and tghey dont speak. On a good night he'll get eye-contact and maybe a nod of hello. However, as far as he's concerned, they are going out. Hes in an intense relationship with this girl and hes attached. this is what leads to the lecherousness. this lack of interaction, under the asusmption that some sort of relationship exists. and in many ways the girl invites this by getting dressed up cuz she knows shes gonna be getting checked out by the guys. and she wants to, cuz these guys are the same as she is. sexually desperate but unallowed to interact, and unwilling to move past this level. they assume the same social strata and this bolsters the rleationship. frum but kinda' not... then the creepiness sets in. they guy dosent know what to do or say, but he has elaborate fantasies that have played out in his head hundreds of times since hes "met" her and this is what information he has to go on.

granted, the yeshivos should not allow casual interaction between guys and girls, but they shouldnt condemn it either. its seriously on par with drug use, as a rule in some schools. they need to train the mechanchim how to better deal with this situation. it comes from a lack of understanding on old rabbis parts. they think its wrong and thats final. rabbis should take a training course of some kind to be able to better accept the fact that guys wanna talk to girls and vice versa. they need to understand the importance of male-female relationship. some rabbis do get it... I have corresponded many times with certain rabbis who really seem to appreciate the situation much more then your average high-school beard. If youv ever heard a tape or speach from R' Orlofsky or R' Kelleman then you know what Im talking about. they get it. they understand the sitation and give actuall advice on how to deal with temptations other then ignoring it. we need acknowledgment of the issue from the authoritative sector and not just label every kid with a fantasy as "on the edge." maybe then we see some progress.

Xvi

12/21/2005 6:50 PM  
Blogger nuboy21 said...

When i was in yeshiva we all learned the bye bye bye dance from Nsync(We had that dance down to a t) and we used to go bowling and do the dance and all the girls loved it and we had our interaction and got it out of our system. It was awesome!Some even threw dollars at us!

12/21/2005 8:09 PM  
Blogger brooklyn bochur said...

semgirl you're so mean. I am very hurt by your insensitive remarks. I think I'll have a talk with R' Malkiel about this snobby behavior.
If there are any other sensible girls out there that would like to chat, you know what to do. thanks.

12/21/2005 10:22 PM  
Blogger Mata Hari said...

it's separated
NOT seperated

sorry - but i just couldn't help myself

12/22/2005 5:16 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Mata.. what is your comment referring to ??

12/22/2005 7:09 PM  
Blogger Mata Hari said...

sem - a couple of the posts had the word spelled wrong, that's all.

nothing to do with content

for what it's worth, i think that if people email nasty stuff to you, you should block them and not respond...or stay out of the chat rooms where it's likely to happen

i also think that the guys, no matter how sheltered they are, know when they're being inappropriate and creepy.

12/22/2005 7:17 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

and the ones who aren't, at least if your talking to them in person, you can usualy tell if they don't mean it.

12/22/2005 7:29 PM  
Blogger Mata Hari said...

frumsingleguy - i disagree with you. i think these guys know very well that the bais yaakov girls (or any girl who hasn't indicated otherwise) aren't turned on by dirty emails from a stranger. i think they're getting their kicks out of it....they like shocking.

12/22/2005 7:47 PM  
Blogger FrumSingleGuy said...

Mata Hari
Perhaps we agree- my point, that I felt I didn't make clear, is that a "sexually deprived" yeshiva bochur (or any guy for that matter) will act selfishly and, for the most part, will only concern himself with what he wants, not thinking or caring what or how he is harming anyone, other than his own reputation.

12/23/2005 12:32 PM  
Blogger Mata Hari said...

ok - now I agree with you! :)

12/23/2005 12:35 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I want to reinforce a point that FrumSingleGuy made that was right on the money. A "sexually deprived" yeshiva guy who goes outside the normal bounds of talking to girls is bound to be looking for something outside the bounds of normal behavior. So don't be surprised when the anonymous guy stalking you online *surprise* isn't just looking for friendship. And that goes for the guy at the grocery store who hits on you. Girls are the same.

Anyone from a "sexually deprived" environment obviously will have a lot of extra charge. The Orthodox community, knowing this, has done a lot to curtail those opportunities. So be cautious of anyone trying to play outside the system.

12/25/2005 12:38 AM  
Blogger Tova Shulamit said...

Semgirl put a new blog up for crying out loud. I love come here but haven't read anything new in two weeks. Duh!!

12/25/2005 1:01 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I wouldn't call myself naive, but "hopefully optmistic", I ask the following: What % of frum "learning" guys do u think r really going out there, married, and cheating, and flirting, without their wives having a clue about it?

12/25/2005 1:05 AM  
Blogger cubanitanyc said...

1. chassidiche women let their men cheat
2. Yeshiva boys are NOT as innocent as you think they are
3. I think it is nasty how people are dating nowadays. Dont date a person if you dont think you will marry.
$. As for the married "frum men" going on chat asking for frum girls. Not real FRUM girls go to yahoo chats.

12/25/2005 5:54 AM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Michelle.. I agree with you ..hope the number is small.

Tova.. I was actually thinking of posting something new today, thanks for the nudge.

12/25/2005 6:16 AM  
Blogger Parsha Potpourri said...

In response to Michelle, maybe I'm also naive, and there certainly is a problem, you'd have to be blind to deny that. But because of the nature of our community, I think the bad seeds get seized on and blown out of proportion. I think if you asked the average guy in Lakewood about this stuff he'd look at you like you're from outer-space.

12/25/2005 2:09 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I don't think the questions posed about the issues in Torah communities are meant to alarm us of overpowering trends. I think SemGirl and others just try and bring light to issues that don't otherwise get discussed. Even if it only affects one percent of the population, understanding the underlying causes can head off much anguish in the community.

12/25/2005 9:38 PM  
Blogger FrumSingleGuy said...

Josh,
I agree with you. In my years in blog land I have found blogging to be a great place to explore and uncover issues that may not affect many but certainly affect a few. Blogging is a great forum for people to discuss things that are not often dicussed publicly.

There are no real numbers of how many frum yidden are involved in immoral things- it is too hidden a topic to be talked about publicly. But I could tell you that the numbers of friends I have, yeshivish and chassidishe, that are involved in these types of things is staggering.

12/25/2005 10:01 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/26/2005 4:43 PM  
Blogger yeshivaguy said...

What % of frum "learning" guys do u think r really going out there, married, and cheating, and flirting, without their wives having a clue about it?

Very few.

12/26/2005 4:44 PM  
Blogger JewishBiFem said...

Been there done that! ONline is a scary place I agree with what you wrote!

Semgirl have a happy Chanukah!

12/27/2005 7:28 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Happy Hanukah to you too, JBF. Nice to hear from you..

12/27/2005 8:23 PM  
Blogger Illegal Alien said...

There's no question that the percentage of frum guys cheating is... very small. B"H. But... what makes you so sure that chasidishe women allow their husbands to cheat? where'd you get that from?

5/08/2006 12:31 PM  
Blogger Cellar Door said...

so if i ask for a link i get one? cool. Oh and there are plenty of sickos, but when you write about highly sensitive subjects thats what seems to happen. sorry for all men.

5/21/2006 9:53 PM  

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