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Author Topic: sibling issues
batsheva60-
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Post sibling issues
on: March 12, 2014, 3:55 AM

I have an issue which has just come up for the second time while dating two different guys. I have a brother who is homosexual and on my last date the guy asked me how I felt about my brother's "lifestyle choices" and I didn't really know what to say and I don't want to speak badly about my brother but I know that homosexuality is against the torah

batsheva60-
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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 12, 2014, 3:57 AM

Just to clarify the first time I just told the guy I didn't feel comfortable discussing that issue and the shiduch didn't work out for other reasons

bibliophil-
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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 12, 2014, 11:44 AM

When you say that your brother is homosexual, do you mean that he has homosexual urges or that he acts on those urges? If he doesn't (as far as you know) have a boyfriend or anything like that, then it isn't really a "lifestyle choice" per se. No one would choose to be homosexual-- it significantly narrows your pool of available partners, it subjects you to tons of outside criticism, it means you may never be able to get married, and of course worst of all, as you said, it is against the Torah to act on your feelings. So the homosexuality part itself is not a "lifestyle choice". But it does create larger complications.

You haven't mentioned whether or not your brother is frum. If he is, I assume he would never dream of finding a boyfriend and you can then tell any guy you date that your brother's "lifestyle choice" is to be frum and that he happens to be faced with a tremendous nisayon that most of us don't have. If he is not frum, you can say that your brother, like any not frum person, has made choices that are difficult for you to accept, but that you love him anyway and he is still a big part of your life.

Ultimately, I think it is very natural for a guy to ask about it. Keep in mind that he may feel just as uncomfortable asking the question as you do answering it, but after all any guy who may have a future with you needs to know where things stand. The thing to watch out for is whether or not the question is phrased respectfully.

I hope this helps. Hatzlacha!

Princess-
Lea

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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 12, 2014, 12:15 PM

I find it odd that a guy would ask about it. What does he expect you to say? Obviously, you love your brother, and you don't want to speak badly about him; why would a date want to put you in such an awkward position? If a guy does ask about it, I would think it would be discussed much further down the line.

Your siblings' lifestyle choices, no matter what they are, shouldn't be up for analyzation on a the first few initial dates; you can't control that, and quite frankly, it's none of his business, until he becomes almost part of the family.

If a date brings it up when there is still yet no "understanding" between you two, try to lightly deflect his impertinence.

First, wait a moment, saying nothing. Maybe then he'll realize the chutzpah of asking such a question.

Then, "How do I feel?" Answer a question with a question. "How anyone else in my position would feel, I guess."

Change the topic and move on.

batsheva60-
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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 12, 2014, 12:41 PM

I do agree with u guys that its not really an appropriate question and its a little strange that he asked about it. My brother is not religious and he dose have a boyfriend

bibliophil-
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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 13, 2014, 10:19 AM

Quote from Princess Lea on March 12, 2014, 12:15 PM
First, wait a moment, saying nothing. Maybe then he'll realize the chutzpah of asking such a question.

Then, "How do I feel?" Answer a question with a question. "How anyone else in my position would feel, I guess."

Change the topic and move on.

Wait, what? This would be a tremendous failure in communication. If you think it's an inappropriate question, or is inappropriate at this early stage, say so. If you feel uncomfortable discussing it, say so. But don't play games. "How anyone else would feel" is not an answer. Other people WOULD feel differently because we are not all exactly the same. You'll only make the situation more uncomfortable by shying away. Either answer the question or don't, but be direct about it either way.

iThink

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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 15, 2014, 11:44 PM

Agree with Princess Lea. It's extremely rude and insensitive to bring this up unless you're at a point in the relationship where you are super comfortable already... There's no way any thinking adult can expect this to be easy for you to discuss.

Princess-
Lea

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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 17, 2014, 10:07 AM

bibliophile: Communication is an issue when there is an actual understanding between two people, not on a first or second date when one is just trying to gauge if someone is worth pursuing maritally.

Not everyone is comfortable with saying, "I'm not comfortable." It can be a real conversation-killer, and first dates are about keeping things light, and he didn't keep his side of the bargain by asking for information he has no right to (yet).

bibliophil-
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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 18, 2014, 11:14 AM

Serious topics don't have to be avoided on first dates. It depends on the personality of the guy and the girl, and how the conversation is going. I've had first dates that naturally steered themselves toward more serious topics. There's no "rule" about it. But dating is connected to marriage. Everything you talk about should be geared toward [/i]could I see myself settling down with this person someday[i]. So, first of all, real communication needs to happen from day 1, because if it's not happening now, it's not gonna happen later. And second of all, I don't think he would have asked her that question if it wasn't connected to, as you put it, "if someone is worth pursuing maritally". She doesn't have to answer the question right away, but if she were to answer it, there are right and wrong answers to that question from his perspective. If she had said to him, for instance, "I completely support my brother's lifestyle and it doesn't bother me at all that he isn't frum," that could be a red flag for her date. I still think there's nothing wrong with saying, "I'm not comfortable discussing this" or even "I'd rather not talk about it right now, but if it gets to a second date we could discuss it then". Or she could give an honest answer. But I don't think the question was completely out of line, and I certainly don't think that she should give him an answer that isn't really an answer.

Princess-
Lea

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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 18, 2014, 11:58 AM

Bibli: There is a difference between "serious topics" and "private matters". I didn't say anything in regard to "serious topics"; of course they can be discussed on a first date. "Private matters" is something else.

Gauging a date's hashkafa can be done without dragging private family business into it. Lets' consider the brother wasn't gay, but spoke loshon hara. Would a guys ever ask on a date, "How do you feel about the fact your brother told stories about someone else?" No. A guy asking about a siblings' lifestyle choice is not a "serious topic". He's prying.

I'm not in the same boat as Batsheva, and from what I'm reading, neither are you. I didn't say there is anything "wrong" with saying "I'm not comfortable", if you kindly reread my comment, not everyone is comfortable saying "I'm not comfortable", no matter the situation.

It's a big world out there, cookie, and not everyone is the same. What you find appropriate is apparently not what I find appropriate. Batsheva can choose for herself what she wants to share, voluntarily.

bibliophil-
e02

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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 18, 2014, 12:43 PM

Actually what you said is "first dates are about keeping it light". I was assuming that the opposite of "light" is "serious", not "private" (that would not make sense).

I saw that you said that not everyone is comfortable saying "I'm not comfortable", and I meant to respond that either she should say it anyway or just answer the question-- despite being uncomfortable in either case. Maybe it wasn't clear.

Anyway, I don't consider this to be "private family business". If the guy already knew about it, obviously it isn't so "private".

Batsheva came here to ask for advice. I assume that means she is actually interested in what we have to say.

Finally..."cookie"???

Princess-
Lea

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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 19, 2014, 1:31 PM

1) The topic at hand was a sibling's life choice, which is neither light nor serious (if we are playing opposites); it is private. Serious matters would be one's hashkafa, not someone else's.

2) There it is: "she should say." That connotes your way or the highway. We are giving suggestions here, not directives.

3) It is private family business. Let's say, for instance, a whole community knows someone's marriage is on the rocks. Would it be considered acceptable to ask the sister-in-law, "So what's up with your brother? What went wrong?" Wouldn't that be considered prying?

4) Batsheva came here for advice. You gave your opinion. I gave mine. I see no need to debate this to death.

5) Term of endearment, sweetness.

batsheva60-
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Post Re: sibling issues
on: March 21, 2014, 2:52 PM

Well in the end I continued to date this guy and we did get around to discussing this particular issue and our relationship is better than ever. Thanks for the advice 😉

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