20 yr old boy vs 23 what's the difference?

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    i’m new at posting in the coffee room, but i’ve been looking at it for ages.

    i would like peoples opinions on the question i am about to ask:

    take a 20 yr old bachur, in beis medrash. take a 23 yr old bachur in beis medrash. both are dorming, both are sitting and learning all day, both go home during bein hazmanim, where they learn some of the time, spend time with family…

    but when it comes to shidduchim, the subject of a twenty yr old bachur going out is unheard of. he’s brushed off as “too young” and as not knowing anything about life.(in general, most situations, but not all)


    how much more experience does the 23 yr old have in building a home, taking care of finances, taking care of kids,having a relationship with a wife, dealing with the emotions of a wife…. and all the rest that a marriage and building a home entails? what he is learning in yeshiva is not teaching him how to handle finances, to be a responsible husband and father… yes he is learning mussar and gemara and mishnayos and whatever else, and yes everything is in the torah- of course. and that is so important and fundamental in a true torah home, but the 20 yr old is learning the same things. what makes the 23 yr old more ready to get married than a 20 yr old who is doing and learning everything just the same?

    in the mainstream yeshivos, do the rebbeim of the 22 and 23 yr old bachurim teach all these things about finances, being responsible…? how much more mature and ready for marriage will another yr or two in beis medrash make a bachur, if he will be doing the same thing as in his first two years there?

    any thoughts and opinions would be appreciated!


    I know plenty of of bochurim whether chassidish or not who get married at 20 / 21 and manage fine with everything (finances, relationship etc.)


    The Shulchan Aruch says boys should get married at age 18 (no later than 20)

    “how much more mature and ready for marriage will another yr or two in beis medrash make a bachur”- maturity doesn’t necessarily come with age, it comes with responsibility. I know plenty of 30 and 40 yr olds who are on the maturity level of 10 yr olds.

    I dont believe the 2 more years in beis medrash will make bachurim into better husbands.

    Get married young! (its more complicated once once ur older)


    Having had dated guys younger than me 20/21 yr olds, I can say there is a big difference. Dont underestimate life experience. With every year one lives new opportunities/challanges/situations present its self all which mold and mature a person.

    Generally I am an advocate of boys getting married young, but some boys arent ready and are just too immature.


    You can say the same thing about girls- whats the difference between an 18 yr old girl and a 21 year old girl? Trust me most 21 yr olds are more mature…I dont think it has to do with what you do. People mature gradually and at some point they can see that they are way more mature than they were 3 years ago.

    Whats the purpose of this anyways? Are you saying you want to date 20 year old boys?


    First, there are exceptions to every rule.

    The equivalent in women is probably 17 versus 20, or perhaps 18 versus 21, but that’s just an illustration and not an exact comparison.

    Regardless, for most people, there is a tremendous amount of maturity that a young man gains between those 2 ages you mentioned, in the three years from 20 years old to 23 years old.

    So, first and foremost, the difference is much emotional maturity.

    However, that 3 years of additional learning and life experience should not be discounted either. That’s 3 years in a yeshiva or multiple yeshivos (multiple rabbeim, varying hashkafos, different inter-personal experiences, et al.) as well as, for some, college. And 3 summers working as a counselor or in an internship of some sort. Or perhaps not all of that.

    But you don’t have any of that by the age of 20 (in most cases). But you could have it (including a college degree and the attendant work and discipline that requires) by the time you reach 23.


    tunabeigel123 is correct.

    Additionally, the 20 year old is closer to the ideal age of marriage of the Torah of 18.

    And, as you said, the are not anymore taught about finances, etc. whether they are 23 or or 20. These things come naturally for a guy.


    To anyone incorrectly thinking older = maturity = better: Perhaps you should wait till the guy is 40. That ought to be the most ideal in your opinion.

    The Torah says younger to marry is better; and real life experiance bears out the Torah’s viewpoint of when to get married.


    R’ Shmuel Kamentsky once said in a Hakhel schmooze that the age a boy marries at makes a difference for the entire marriage, based on his maturity level. That’s why he opposed the initiative to get boys to date younger (leave EY earlier, etc.). He said 23 is a min.

    Myfriend – not sure what real experience you are referring to. Care to elaborate?


    This is a good question and there is a good scientific answer. I downloaded this for your information.

    Brain Changes in Young Adulthood

    At the same time that young adults are experiencing new levels of sophistication in thinking and emotional regulation, their brains are undergoing changes in precisely the areas associated with these functions. While it is not possible to determine cause-and-effect, brain and behavior are changing in parallel.

    Prefrontal cortex: The most widely studied changes in young adulthood are in the prefrontal cortex, the area behind the forehead associated with planning, problem-solving, and related tasks. At least two things affect the efficiency in its functioning:

    myelination: the nerve fibers are more extensively covered with myelin, a substance that insulates them so that signals can be transmitted more efficiently, and

    synaptic pruning: the “briar patch” of connections resulting from nerve growth are pruned back, allowing the remaining ones to transmit signals more efficiently.

    Connections among regions: At the same time, the prefrontal cortex communicates more fully and effectively with other parts of the brain, including those that are particularly associated with emotion and impulses, so that all areas of the brain can be better involved in planning and problem-solving.

    “Executive suite”: The cluster of functions that center in the prefrontal cortex is sometimes called the “executive suite,” including calibration of risk and reward, problem-solving, prioritizing, thinking ahead, self-evaluation, long-term planning, and regulation of emotion. (See Merlin Donald, Daniel Keating, and others in References.) It is not that these tasks cannot be done before young adulthood, but rather that it takes less effort, and hence is more likely to happen.

    20s and beyond

    According to recent findings, the human brain does not reach full maturity until at least the mid-20s. (See J. Giedd in References.) The specific changes that follow young adulthood are not yet well studied, but it is known that they involve increased myelination and continued adding and pruning of neurons. As a number of researchers have put it, “the rental car companies have it right.” The brain isn’t fully mature at 16, when we are allowed to drive, or at 18, when we are allowed to vote, or at 21, when we are allowed to drink, but closer to 25, when we are allowed to rent a car.

    I think this supports the advice to wait.


    I believe that most guys do mature significantly between the ages of 20 and 23. But hey, if a guy is indeed ready at 21, go for it!


    “And, as you said, the are not anymore taught about finances, etc. whether they are 23 or or 20. These things come naturally for a guy.”

    We hope.


    Moq – In Philly bochorim routinely get married before 23, so I’m not sure where you got that misinformation from. In fact, 23 is already on the mid-higher age of marriage.


    I am 27 and I find that age does not make so much of a difference in terms of maturity. I have good friends ranging from 22-35 and I kid you not that some of my friends in their early 20s are more mature than my friends in their mid 30s!! Seriously some people grow up and some people never do. So I really think it depends on the individual not the age. That being said, I think the majority(not all) of guys who are 20 are immature and not ready for marriage.


    but moq, age does not always equal maturity level, so i don’t really understand what that means

    whatru… i just wanna know why people are so against boys marrying young, just out of simple curiosity. and about girls, it is so different! when a girl finishes hs, she either goes to sem,college, or gets a job. these are all new and different experiences that enable her to deal with many different situations and to learn from them for the future. In addition, most girls since a young age have been babysitting, cooking/baking, helping with younger siblings, taking care of many household chores….so yes there is a difference.

    and, btw, i would go out with a 20 yr old- i see nothing wrong with a 20 yr old getting married as long as he is mature.


    3 years.


    Gee, I actually heard it from him. Oh well. I guess he was


    You can argue, you can tell me he tells his bachurim other things, but please don’t tell me what I did or didn’t hear. “Ah ah, the difference between 21 and 23 is a difference for gantz lebben”


    psach libi…there isnt anything wrong with going out with a 20 year old- but most of them will not be mature enough to get married.

    Guys dont grow up until they have to. So most bochurim will act like kids until they know they have to grow up and date. Just that thought will already make them more mature : )


    Are you accusing his bochorim of widely disregarding the R”Y?

    I submit you misunderstood his comment. What were his exact words?


    I strongly suggest to all those who insist on boys waiting, make sure your sons do not get married prior to Age 40, to insure their maturity level.


    Guys tend to mature at a slower rate than girls and therefore a 20 year old guy will still be a baby. It is possible also that part of the reason for this is society and the way things are set up where a guy doesn’t feel the need to be grown up until he is in shidduchim age. If the trend changed and guys started getting married at 20 then I think the pressure would be on to grow up faster.

    That being said, I think many girls at 19 are very immature even though they are dating. There’s often a big difference between a 19 year old and a 21-22 year old girl.

    It used to be that girls are mature by 18 or so but that no longer applies. Just look around. People in general have no interest in growing up. We aren’t as mature as our parents were at our respective ages. (I refer to anyone under 35) that’s just the way things are today.

    Maturity though doesn’t necessarily have to correlate to age. Its usually a combination of age and what the persons temperament and life has been like.


    Where in the Torah does it say that one needs prerequisites to get marred?

    Why do some think that in order for a guy to get married he needs to be on a certain level of maturity, he needs to have a certain dosage of life experience, he needs to have a degree (or a parnasah plan of how to support his family for the next 100 yrs)?

    Whats wrong if a guy gets married young and accomplishes these things after marriage, together with his spouse? They can learn and gain life experience together, and he can persue a degree… work… learn… In short, he can do after marriage ANYTHING he can do before.

    The only prerequitsite for marriage is good midos. If a guy doesnt have that (and i dont care how old he is) he is not suited for marriage.

    Get Married Young. There is no reason to wait.


    I quoted them for you above.

    Besides, since when do phili boys get married at 21? They go to lakewood after two years in Brisk with the rest of the bachurim. The 22 year old is rarely dating in yeshivish circles


    Rules are generalizations so yes in general a 23 year old boy would be more mature than a 20 year old. However, age is just a number and there are many 20 year olds who have a lot of life experience due to family conditions, or having to fend for themselves that make them as mature or more mature than many 23 year olds. So again it all depends on which bochur you are discussing.



    Middos comes with maturity. Talk to a 20 year old guy and tell him that marriage is about giving and loving the other person and putting them first. Most will run the other way fast or burst out laughing at your “obvious ignorance.”


    Chasidishe bochorim get married at 17 or 18 and are doing very well, thank you. Perhaps a lesson or two can be picked up from their very successful mehalech.


    WIY- “Middos comes with maturity”

    I disagree with you. Middos do not come with maturity. There are plenty of mature poeple who treat their wives like garbage.

    Middos is something you work on, and perfect.


    Who says how good chassidishe bochurim are doing?


    i have seen in my own brothers and relative the major diff between 20 and 23. at 20 they were boys just begining to grow up but not yet solidified, when they are at 23 they have already changed completly and solidified their hashkofos and learning


    but monsey girl, that’s spiritually. besides for that, i’m talking about being ready to deal with building a home, taking care of wife and kids, being financially responsible… does a 23 yr old know this more than a twenty yr old?

    jam, if they treat their wives like garbage, you can’t call them mature


    Statistics show that guys who get married at twenty have more years of unhappy marriage on average.



    psach libi bsorasecha said it thats not called mature.


    I want to chime in and add that there is a huge advantage to marrying young enough – while not “completely mature”… growing a bit together can do wonders for a couple to feel really connected and “part of a whole”.

    While I am not going to claim that most chassidish marriages are perfect, I’ve seen enough to realize that NOT yet being too “set in one’s ways” is an enormous advantage to a marriage.

    That being said, there has to be some level of maturity. Which CANNOT be measured in numbers/age. Some are mature enough by 17 – and some are not even at age 30.

    Same for boys and girls. (Although as a general rule of thumb, yes, girls mature quicker than boys…)

    One more thing: I agree with the commenter above who said its the MIDDOS that count for marriage readiness, and although being more mature means probably having worked on one’s middos longer… it doesn’t HAVE to be. If they both FEEL they are ready to take on the responsibility of marriage and have good middos, I would stake a bet that such a marriage will succeed, even if they are considered young and a tad immature.


    Statistics show that guys who get married at eighteen have more years of a happy marriage on average.


    Statistics show that guys who get married at eighteen have more years of a happy marriage on average.

    That is because guys who get married at 18 are generally more mature than average guys. If they had gotten married at 23 they’d be even more mature and even better off.


    i agree that it’s very important that both the boy and girl are ready to take on the responsibilities of raising a family and running a home, but since usually neither of them has much experience in either area, the more time thay have to grow into their roles together, the better their marriage will be. i will say, though, that if the girl or boy is not ready, especially emotionally, for one of the biggest changes of their life, it wont matter how “mature” they are.



    I have a shidduch for you. The hashkafos that you are constantly speaking of, are a perfect match for an excellent girl that I am close with. Im really serious here…Is there any way to go about this?


    In the yeshivish world, I’d say that the reason girls mature at a younger age is because they go out to work, college etc and are given responsibility. The boys sit in yeshiva and they mature merely becuase of age not becuase of any causative factor. Therefore, it takes them longer to reach the maturity level that a girls reaches earlier.


    “Statistics show that guys who get married at eighteen have more years of a happy marriage on average.

    That is because guys who get married at 18 are generally more mature than average guys. If they had gotten married at 23 they’d be even more mature and even better off.”

    I’d suggest it is because they have 5 more years of marriage than those who get married at 23.


    The main reason I see a 20 year old not being ready (as opposed to girls, who are), is because we demand nothing from the boys, other than to avoid getting arrested. At 20, they are not asked to pursue a carrear, not asked to work, not asked to do anything more complicated than plan their bein hazmanim trip.

    Contrast that to a girl, who at 20, will have a job, be in school so she can get a better job, and probably have a savings acct, of her own earned $.

    Could we bring 20 year old boys up to speed? If we demanded it. For the moment, this conversation is placed on the back burner until bocher’l is back from EY and sprung from the freezer.

    And as far as “chassidim being ready at an early age”, that is to a degree true, but if the couples I know are any indication (and I know plenty of them) their marriages hum along like a well-oiled machine because every facet (well, almost every facet) of their daily routine is micro-managed by their parents. Meals, clothing, travel logistics, ect are all managed for at least the first 3 years.

    Doubtful you can find that kind of compliance in the yeshivish world. So, in all fairness to the BY girls, we really need to keep the boys off the shelf until 23-24.


    “Statistics show that guys who get married at eighteen have more years of a happy marriage on average”.

    The only reason they have more years is because they were younger had they been 3 years older they would have 3 years less. I’m not being punny with this I’m serious and I doubt the veracity of these “statistics”

    There is a big difference between 20 and 23 maturity wise on all people.



    for italics:

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    thank you


    It’s not just a matter of maturity; it’s a matter of willingness and capability of assuming real responsibilities, and knowing that once the chuppah’s passed, there may not be the same opportunity to have such intense, single-minded learning. A 23 y.o. could handle that; for most 20 y.o.’s this is really unfair to them.

    And should we assume that if it becomes standard for boys to marry younger, that the ante will be upped as far as expected years of support?


    in my community, the girl have tons of responsibilities, they’re doing all the chessed programs (which is amazing and admirable) dealing with loads of homework and examination in limudei kodesh and general studies, while being expected to be prefect babysitters, bnos leader and future wives (can cook shabbos dinner by batmitzvah, do laundry….) whereas the boys have no serious homework or commitments until mid high school, when they start learning in yeshiva. i am very proud of the boys who learn in yeshiva, i am impressed by them and i am happy with them, but they don’t know really how to relate to a wife, take care of a family, and they have no profession…..the lives of girls and boys are so different, and they have been for so many years, but these days when discussion is very much encouraged…..what are these future couple going to talk about?

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