Yesterday I had an interesting experience. A friend who I have known for years called me to tell me that she had put me down as a reference for a possible shidduch and that I should expect a call from someone. I received the call later that day and the person asked me questions about my friend.
This reminded me about a discussion I once had about references. Some say that you should only put down married people/ married friends as references, and that it’s not a good idea to put down single friends as references. The reasoning, as I understand it, is that single friends are also in shidduchim and therefore might succumb to jealousy and be tempted to give a more negative report.
When I heard the explanation I was outraged that someone would even think that a person’s close friend might do something of that nature. What kind of a friend is so bitter about the possibility that their friend might get married before they do, that they would speak negatively about their friend to prevent them from getting married? Who would be jealous of their friend that much?
I admit that as time went on began to have some small amount of insight into this, as I unfortunately experienced a slight tinge of jealously upon hearing of someone getting engaged. But I still remain horrified by the logic that jealousy would drive someone so far.
Now that I have actually had the experience of being a reference for someone, I have a basis to say that the logic that “maybe she will be jealous and say something falsely negative” is completely outrageous.
When this person called me up to ask about my friend, I was beyond excited to share what an amazing person and friend this girl is. All I could feel was happiness at the prospect of her finding the person she is meant to be with. If anything, the biggest nisayon might have been focusing on remaining honest and not building her up too much, but I think I gave as accurate a description as I could. After I hung up the phone, the only thought in my head was, “Wow! I hope it works out! If it does then I will be zoche to helping one of my friends, which would be so amazing!”
There must be another explanation for why some don’t put single friends as references. After all, isn't someone who knows you really well a better choice to be a reference than someone who is only an aquaintance but happens to be married?