by Devora Krasnianski, founder of Adai Ad Institute
Q: I hear he’s a nice guy and has similar values and goals as my daughter, but he has rough edges. She’s so sensitive and sweet. Someone like that will just run all over her. So the question is should I even let her meet him at all?
A: Firstly, what is meant by ‘rough edges’? When you hear something like that about someone, it is important to find out exactly what the other person means. Ask for examples of what ‘rough edges’ this guy has. When does it come out?
And, from whom did you hear that? One person? Several? How does the reference person know him? In what context? Did he actually experience the ‘rough edge’ or just heard about it from others? Is it a current relationship, or from several years ago. Ask!
Or, it might just be that he is quite successful at what he does and others want to ‘bring him down to size’ by calling out and exaggerating one of his less favorable, but so human, trait. Try to get an accurate picture.
So, you find out that ‘rough edges’ means that although he is generally very giving and caring, there are times that he ‘just says it as it is’ and sometimes it can be very hurtful.
Does this mean that this guy is not for your daughter? Not yet!
Everyone is human and everyone has flaws. He might be a responsible, kind, productive, sensitive guy … with some rough edges.
Every trait has a flipside. Your daughter is very sweet and wouldn’t hurt a fly. The flip of that might be that she doesn’t assert herself and lets lots of things fly, even though it may be to her detriment. And later, she might be regretful after that she missed out on an opportunity or didn’t get the money she deserved, or whatever.
The flip of ‘rough edges’ might be that he doesn’t let people walk all over him. He says what needs to be said to get things done. He sees an injustice and he’ll call it out. He is not afraid to stand up for what he believes is right, even if that might make him unpopular.
The two might just complement each other very well. If she married another quiet, sweet person, then neither may be assertive enough to get things done.
If everything else sounds about right, then it might be worthwhile for them to meet. You might tell her what you heard and she can look out for that. She can determine for herself what those ‘rough edges’ feel like to her.
Of course, he might not display that side of him on a date. So she might bring it up. “I heard that you are ‘rough around the edges’; what might people mean when they say that about you?” That would be a great opportunity to see how he reacts when he is uncomfortable. What does he say about the people who are saying that about him? Does he get all nasty? Does he explain it away? Does he admit it and says that he is working on that trait?
So is Mr. Rough Edges not right for her? Let her decide!