Ah, dating. Well, er, Internet dating—that wonderful cybermall wherein two people (or more) lay all their cards on the table and construct, over time, a blanket of security and love that’s built upon mutual experience and understanding. What could go wrong?
On a recent episode of Judge Judy, a man and a woman, who met through ChristianMingle.com, a dating website for Christians, were brought in front of television’s favorite jurist. And though they’d maintained a relationship for less than a year, the man considered the woman just a friend (cue Biz Markie).
“Most people don’t look for friends on a dating site,” said Judge Judy. “They look for something more than a friendship. If you want a friend, you go to the public library.”
Despite this, at some point in their relationship the woman gave the man $4,000 to care for his son, who was having financial issues. And now the woman was suing the man for the money because he did not want to give it back. Enter Judge Judy, as first reported by Gawker:
During the case, Judy pointed out that Smith was acting particularly egregiously because, “You met her on a Christian Mingle dating site. Not Match.com or Harmony.com [sic], but on a site where it is suggested that there is a Christian ethic. People who are coming on that site, they go on that site to meet other people who I assume share similar values to them, similar moral values to them. So now you’re working, your son—who she doesn’t know—is working out his problems, you get a pension, and you look perfectly able-bodied to me. And she’s no longer your friend. So why should she be out $4,000?”
Later Judge Judge says to the man, “You’re giving me slick answers…”
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.