The AZ thread – discuss the shidduch “age gap”

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  • #589897

    squeak
    Participant

    To show that my heart is in the right place too (directly below the stomach), I am starting this thread for AZ to prosletyze.

    Please keep the discussion on the age gap (fixing it, how to fix it, if it exists, etc) in this thread.

    #648669

    Jax
    Member

    hey look what i found! check this out! nice squeak!

    #648670

    tzippi
    Member

    DON’T GET ME STARTED 😉 Have a great Shabbos, everyone.

    #648671

    bpt
    Participant

    I think a major cause is that today’s 23 y/o boys are underqualified when compared to thier 21 y/o girl counterpart. So rather than ramp up thier own standards (get a better education, job prospect, ect) they prefer to match wits with someone who is on thier own level (a 19 y/o girl who is impressed with bein ha’zmanim trips and things like that).

    Hopefully, my boys will be better prepared, and find that they only feel comfortable with someone thier own (close to) their age

    #648672

    areivimzehlazeh
    Participant

    Why is everyone bashing the maturity of the boys? Not all girls are too mature themselves.

    If a girl needs a more mature boy, she will find him- it’s out there.

    #648673

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    BP Totty:

    Can’t be, because even at 25 they (the boys) are way unqualified! Thats why girls have to “dumb themselves down” on dates.

    #648674

    bpt
    Participant

    gavra –

    I hear you loud and clear. I have BH 20+ years behind me, and despite the 2 year age gap between us, Mrs and I are essentially on the same page. Some topics are her strong point, some are mine. But we arrived where we are together.

    And let me share another secret with the YW audience; When we walked down the aisle, both of us had 2 years WORKING experience (and not counslors in camp… real work)

    School of hard knox was an experience that has stuck with us ever since. Time to have an enrollment drive perhaps?

    #648675

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Both sides (men and women) need to be mature to get married. But when they are still called “boys and girls” rather than men and women, aren’t we telling them they aren’t mature?

    Besides, when you give your kids everything and make them do nothing, how are they supposed to understand? How are they supposed to grow up and make decisions? How are they supposed to have a family and raise children and teach their own to be responsible? Its a problematic cycle.

    #648676

    bpt
    Participant

    Good point SJS; I guess its beause I’m from the over 40 club that I refer to today’s daters as boys and girls (thank you for making the point)

    #648677

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    SJSinNYC:

    Its why I love the term “Kollel Bochur” 🙂

    #648678

    AZ
    Participant

    Assuming things continue as they have for the past 10 yrs. Boys will start dating at around 23, Girls at 19 and we aill have hundred and hundreds more girls never getting married and never having Families.

    Can someone please explain to me the great harm in encouraging more shidduchim between boys 22.5 and girls 19. ?????

    Is It That Radical??

    #648679

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    AZ, you are advocating the delay in women getting married. So, imagine a woman who wants to get married at 19. Presumably, she would have a child right away – so lets say 20-21. By asking the woman to wait, you are delaying her having children. And, as women get older, their fertility dips drastically.

    I once heard that IVF is most effective until the patient as about 25. After that it can be successful, but gets harder and harder. So the longer women wait to get married, the more time it will take to diagnose fertility issues and thus deal with them.

    And by asking men to start dating sooner (even six months), you are asking people who aren’t ready to start dating. So men who aren’t ready for marriage will be pressured into getting married (or at least starting the process).

    GAW, what do you call the women?

    #648680

    squeak
    Participant

    It’s “boys” and “girls” as long as they are “someich al shulchan aviv” (or aviha, as it may be). Just one man’s opinion.

    AZ, welcome. No, it’s not radical 🙂 I don’t think you said what you meant.

    #648681

    sarah_613
    Member

    I am in my mid-30s and fully support myself. So why is it acceptable for 25-year-old married people I used to babysit for (and whose parents are supporting them, so they are definitely somech al shulchan avihem) to still refer to me as a girl?

    I would agree with maturity levels being part (but only part) of the reason behind the shidduch crisis. I went to college and got a good job. The guys around my age when I was 22 or 23 acted like I was in high school. They seemed rather immature.

    #648682

    PM
    Member

    If you want a simplistic solution for the surplus of older single girls with no consideration for its effect on society, I have a much simpler suggestion for you. Why don’t we just eliminate the Cherem of Rabbeinu Gershom and allow men multiple wives. Of course we may soon need to address a shortage of boys, but I’m sure the CR will come up with an answer for this problem too.

    #648683

    oomis
    Participant

    Besides, when you give your kids everything and make them do nothing, how are they supposed to understand? How are they supposed to grow up and make decisions? How are they supposed to have a family and raise children and teach their own to be responsible? Its a problematic cycle

    Good point.

    #648684

    AZ
    Participant

    SJSinNYC: Re: fetility.

    I didn’t want to go there, but since you have. The SINGLE greatest infertility prob. in the community is older single girls. AND I’m not referring to women who get married at 29. I’m talking about the hundred and hundreds of girls who have no chance to get married (because of the numbers) and therefore no chance to have a family.

    If having children is what ur after (great cause) then get to work on closing the age gap. That will enable hundreds and hundreds of women to have families who otherwise would not have.

    Squek: No, it’s not radical 🙂 I don’t think you said what you meant????

    #648685

    AZOI.IS
    Participant

    SJSinNYC:

    So lets encourage more ultra desirable girls to get married at 19 and have babies earlier, while we hold back 22+ girls from ever married and having any babies EVER.

    Does that sound fair or sensible to you? Well that’s what’s happening now.

    #648686

    gourmet
    Member

    I’m all for closing the age gap. My husband is only a few months older than me, and we do just fine. Also, we got married at 20, which is normal for girls but on the young side for guys, so it raised a few eyebrows from his side, but b’h it all worked out b/c he was ready to marry at that time.

    But you still have the maturity problem to contend with for 98% of the guys (assuming you don’t want to make the girls wait; not to mention too many of the girls these days also aren’t really mature enough to marry as young as they do). There’s no quick fix for that; the only solution to the maturity problem is to treat our children like we expect them to marry in their late teens/very early twenties. If you want them to be ready in time for that ‘deadline’, then please make sure they can cook, clean, balance a checkbook, etc and, most importantly, compromise and deal maturely with not always getting their way, by the time they graduate high school.

    #648687

    AZ
    Participant

    Forgetting about quick fixes, and lets assume we have no short term way to solve the “maturity” problem. Is there any reason not to encourage more shidduchim between 22.5 yr old boys and 21 yr old girls.

    Does anyone really think that the difference between a 23 yr old boy and a 22.5 yr old boy is all that great??

    #648688

    lkwdfellow
    Member

    AZ – you are right! There’s not a drop of a difference between a 23 year old & a 22.5 year old boy.

    If the boys return from E”Y a half year sooner – we will greatly help the Shidduch scene.

    This is a simple, easy solution that will put HUNDREDS of boys into shidduchim every year.

    We must bring home our boys six months earlier!!!

    #648689

    aggadah99
    Participant

    I thoroughly agree with AZ and am would rather hear shidduchim of “older girls” for my son. That said, don’t you think you’re tackling the wrong side of the problem? How many of you have heard of 18-19 year old girls going out, only to break off a shidduch just before the engagement because they suddenly realize they’re not ready to get married.

    #648690

    lkwdfellow
    Member

    aggadah99 – I have heard just as many broken engagements from older girls. I don’t think that anyone can show numbers on this, but I’d say that it has nothing to do with what age the girls got engaged at.

    #648691

    AZ
    Participant

    aggasha99: If there was a way to slow down the girls it would be great. HOWEVER at the present time, they (their parents) are so anxious due to the situation that there is no way the community will collectively listen.

    Truth be told we need to move on both ends. The boys a bit younger and the girls a bit older.

    #648692

    tzippi
    Member

    I’m not there yet with my boys, but people talk about bringing the boys home earlier. I don’t get this. I know that all the boys are going, but how about creating a climate where the boys go when it is the RIGHT TIME for each boy to go, and they stay as long as they need to for their learning growth? We can’t set artificial timetables.

    #648693

    shtarky
    Member

    I have a cousin-23 who married an 18 year old girl and got so many speeches from differant relatives and even strangers. such behavior was not appropriate from the people who yelled at him. Dont yell at someone for going out with someone so young once they are already engaged. dont you think that caused some bad feelings in the engagement.(expecially with the boy’s mother)

    #648695

    Goan Atzum
    Member

    I think the reason that boys wait so till they are older already to get married is that boys have a cheyuv of talmud torah as opposed to a girl….when a boy is married already then he has other responsibilities that will take away from his overall learning (I.E. watching kids)….when a bochur waits till he is older already to get married he has a much more solid foundation on which to rely to get him through the times which can be tough for his learning…if he got married early he would fall out of learning altogether…a girl doesn’t have a cheyuv talmud torah (according to me at least) and therefor can get married earlier…the only sevarah that i have ever heard from a reliable talmud chacham for getting married earlier is when your taivah is to starong for you and it is taking away from your learning then you can get married earlier and have “pas be’salo”….but that is only when it is better for your learning.

    P.S. to PM: i hope you where kidding when you said that we should get rid of the cherem derabbeinu gershom….he was one of the rishonim and we and all of our gedolay hador combined don’t come up to his toenails…if he said that we shouldn’t do it there is absolutely nothing that should change that.

    #648696

    PM
    Member

    Of course I was joking. I wrote that as a follow up to two longer posts where I detailed the risks of changing the current system as opposed to the dubious benefits. Unfortunately, those posts did not go up for some reason.

    #648697

    ywnmember
    Member

    It’s interesting b/c in the chassidishe circles there are so many older boys and hardly any older girls…

    #648698

    AZOI.IS
    Participant

    To ywnmember

    RE:It’s interesting b/c in the chassidishe circles there are so many older boys and hardly any older girls…

    Possibly because in Chassidish circles boys who go to work before marriage, are much less desirable (very few Chassidishe girls want them) than working boys are in the Litvish world. So in the Litvish world, the learning boys get grabbed up, but working boys have many options as well. This leaves Litvish girls who aren’t the most desirable, with very very limited choices, and therefore many are single for a long time and many stay single r”l.

    #648700

    tzippi
    Member

    To Azoi.is: You say, “[t]his leaves… who aren’t the most desirable.”

    Them’s fightin words! You mean to say that ALL or even MOST older girls aren’t as desirable? You obviously don’t know what’s out there. I know girls who have everything – yichhus, looks, and money, not to mention a sterling personality – who are still on the market. I can only assume that you mean that maybe there are girls who are still around due to maybe not having enough money, etc., so any such chisaron makes them less desirable on the meat market. Still a very distasteful way of phrasing things. Don’t talk about bnos Yisrael this way.

    And BTW, I don’t know too much about Chassidishe circles. I guess things have changed because I was under the impressio that they started working sooner rather than later.

    #648701

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    AZ, I am NOT suggesting that women don’t get married or that redting shidduchim with different ages is a bad thing. But, you have to realize, that you are asking women to delay finding out about fertility issues by asking them to wait.

    Lets look at the YU community – most of my friends married people within 2 years of their age. Why? Generally, they either met in HS (where traditionally those who date date within 2 years of their age) or in YU/Stern, where they also date within 2 years of their age. And there are still PLENTY of unmarried single women. Look at Washington Heights and the Upper West Side – there are a ton of MO singles floating around. So, its not really the age gap that is holding them up at the moment, since the age differences are generally closer. The women tend to get married the summer after they graduate from Stern (I had so many weddings that summer) and the men usually 1-2 years after. So, given this information, why would there be such a problem in the MO community also?

    What I want to know now – do you think that people are marrying the wrong people? Because otherwise, the age of the person doesn’t matter so much. What you are kind of doing is saying “Don’t set up short women with tall men because otherwise tall women won’t have anyone to marry.”

    I think the better solution, is to encourage marriages between people in a plus/minus age range. Meaning, no longer make it taboo for a man to marry an older woman (I’m not talking ten years, but a year or two). If you try for that balance, you would possibly balance out the young/old shidduchim.

    Another problem I’ve encountered in the not-quite-yeshivish community (meaning, non MO, not fully yeshivish) is that as women stay single, they are more likely to get further education, travel, become worldly…so now they are in a strange genre. They don’t fit with MO, but they don’t really want a guy who has been sitting and learning for ten years because he doesn’t really fit them anymore. They aren’t worldly enough. That is an extremely tough one to handle…

    #648702

    AZ
    Participant

    ywn member:

    In the chassidishe circles the boys start dating at 18-19 and there are actually more boys on the market than girls. (the reverse of the non chasidicshe community although not nearly as sever). Therefore although the chasidishe girls by and large get married, the SOME boys get stuck.

    SJSinc: “I think the better solution, is to encourage marriages between people in a plus/minus age range. Meaning, no longer make it taboo for a man to marry an slightly older woman If you try for that balance, you would possibly balance out the young/old shidduchim.”

    100%. That’s all we are asking for.

    However, so long as girls start dating at enmasse at 19 and boys at 22.5 we are fighting an uphill battle

    #648703

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    AZ, it may be an uphill battle, but I don’t think you should throw younger women under the bus for the sake of older women.

    You didnt answer my question: Are the wrong men and women getting married right now?

    #648704

    AZOI.IS
    Participant

    re:I know girls who have everything – yichhus, looks, and money, not to mention a sterling personality – who are still on the market. I can only assume that you mean that maybe there are girls who are still around due to maybe not having enough money, etc., so any such chisaron makes them less desirable on the meat market. Still a very distasteful way of phrasing things. Don’t talk about bnos Yisrael this way.

    tzippi:

    I call a peach a peach, and a plum a plum.

    Some of the finest girls are “less desirable” in the Shidduch Market by NO fault of theirs, strictly due to superficial things usually, like looks, money and the absence of Yichus, etc. In my eyes most of these girls are the BEST ON THE MARKET, but unfortunately are being rejected again and again, by the so called “best” boys out there, such as best learners, because by and large guys in their low twenties judge girls by superficial criteria.

    If the guys would be encouraged to date closer in age, when their supply of similar age dates runs out, they’d be less inclined to date much younger girls, because of the tabu that would go with it. So with the present set-up the older “less desirabale” girls are passed over and they look among the pool of much younger girls.

    Again, “less desirable” doesn’t equal less quality. QUITE THE CONTRARY! In my eyes, it

    means the “desirable” boys are choosing girls by very superficial criteria!

    No one that reds Shidduchim will even attempt to deny that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #648705

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    As I am apt to quote:

    Al Shlosha D’Varim Haolam Omed: Kesef Mammon Gelt!

    But what do we expect from the boys, when we are unwilling to teach our children (boys & girls) not to go on life support.

    sarah_613:

    You a PA?

    #648706

    tzippi
    Member

    Azoiis, thanks for the clarification. I assume that’s what you meant. Next time kindly use quotes. You are apparently going to continue to be an active, representative voice in this ongoing debate, so I would suggest that you be very careful of what you say and how you say it. Divrei chachamim b’nachas nishmaim, and without that clarification one might think less of you.

    #648707

    lkwdfellow
    Member

    I think that the issue which cannot be overlooked is the fact that most boys from Yeshivishe backgrounds aren’t starting dating till 23 or later. This must stop!

    There’s not a drop of a difference between a 23 year old & a 22.5 year old boy.

    If the boys return from E”Y a half year sooner – we will greatly help the Shidduch scene.

    This is a simple, easy solution that will put HUNDREDS of boys into shidduchim every year.

    We must bring home our boys six months earlier!!!

    This is something that must happen soon. It is Hatzolas Nefashos. We can have many more shidduchim happening.

    It’s just 6 months, we aren’t asking them not to learn in Eretz Yisroel, rather we’re just asking them to come home six months earlier.

    #648708

    AZ
    Participant

    SJSinNYC: “Are the wrong men and women getting married right now”.

    I’m quite sure what u mean. If are referring to “bas ploni to ploni”; the arizal writes that is only till the boy is 18. I would prefer to stay away from a haskafa discussion since it will yield no practical suggestions to alleviating the age gap crises. But try this one on for size.

    WHO IS THE PLONI for the hundreds and hundreds of girls with no one to marry. Clearly those that want to believe every one marries their ploni will have to admit that many “ploni” didn’t marry their “bas ploni”.

    Suggestion Number 1. Many many girls will be coming home from seminary this month. How about NOT rushing to redd them shidduchim to all the 22-23 year old guys?

    #648709

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    AZ, what I mean by are the wrong people getting married is that by saying to set up people in closer age ranges, you are sort of saying those marrying outside those ranges are marrying the wrong people.

    Maybe not everyone gets married? I am not willing to marry the wrong person (just because someone is my age) so that someone else can get married. [hypothetically – I am already married]

    lkwdfellow – there is a difference in 6 months. Those six months can be the difference between a man being ready for marriage or not being ready. Why would you rush ANYONE to get married? My husband had quite a few friends who waited until 26+ to start dating. They just werent ready.

    One friend of mine married a guy who was adament about marrying an “older” woman. He didnt want to marry a girl fresh out of seminary. He was 25 at the time and preferred someone who was already doing her masters or starting her career. The shadchan who set them up didnt tell him that my friend was 19 and fresh out of seminary. But guess what – it was the right match and they ended up married. Why? because AGE was not the reason that held him back from 19 year olds – it was maturity. [please note: I do not condone lying in shidduchim]

    #648710

    AZ
    Participant

    SJSinNYC: We are not advocating forbidding marrying non close in age. Obviously people will marry whomever the deem to be the right person for them.

    HOWEVER, if boys would be set up with girls closer to their own age then in all likelihood they will end up marrying girls close to their own age. In the more yeshivish circles most boys marry one of the first couple of girls that they date. If they would be dating close in age they would more often be marrying close in age, and we wouldn’t have so many hundreds and hundreds of girls with no one to marry.

    #648711

    lkwdfellow
    Member

    SJSinNYC – I don’t think you understand my point. Most boys are ready & mature enough to date at 22.5. But, since the accepted route is to wait till 23 to come back, they don’t return till then. If a boy is mature at 23, he was probably already mature enough at 22.5. (And possibly even at 22 or 21.5……..)I’m not rushing anyone. I just don’t see a reason to slow things down when we can saving lives!!

    #648712

    chaverim
    Member

    No. Taking boys away from learning (22.5 instead of 23) is wrong, wrong, wrong. Learning first.

    And delaying girls? Isn’t there a mishna in pirkei avos that specifically encourages marriage at a young age???

    #648713

    tzippi
    Member

    Lkwdfellow, we could change the school cutoff dates so that boys would start school a half year earlier.

    But this stuff about boys coming back at 23 instead 22.5: first of all, the boys of a certain school year will be spread out over about 12 – 15 months (I include the extra 3 because – horrors! – there are parents who keep their kids BACK if they are within a few months of the deadline.) so some will be 23. Second, with the girls, they have no choice about seminary. They MUST go the year after high school. Boys in E”Y varies, from when a set chevra in each yeshiva goes. So the boys have a little more choice but honestly, many are at the the mercy of their chevra. You can’t necessarily propose them going earlier. I know in my sons’ yeshiva, they need to get to a certain point to fully appreciate a certain shiur.

    But this is all about when the boys GO. Their coming back CAN’T be at an arbitrary cut off date if they are to get the most out of their experience. This whole system is built around the boys’ learning. Don’t we want to maximize it and build the best bnei Torah we can? Agitating for boys to come back from E”Y at an arbitrary date is absurd.

    #648714

    AZOI.IS
    Participant

    re: “if boys would be set up with girls closer to their own age then in all likelihood they will end up marrying girls close to their own age. In the more yeshivish circles most boys marry one of the first couple of girls that they date. If they would be dating close in age they would more often be marrying close in age, and we wouldn’t have so many hundreds and hundreds of girls with no one to marry.”

    AZ, those are words of wisdom! You hit the nail on the head! In the interest of the health and sanity of many, keep it up!

    Why would anyone disagree with this advice? Otherwise some of the 19 year olds coming home from seminary now, will undoubtedly find themselves competing with 19 year olds when they’re 22 or 23, for 23 year old guys, and it will go on and on, leaving a trail of heartache!

    #648715

    justin2
    Member

    If there really are more frum females than males in this world, then no matter what there will be girls left without a shidduch. The only way to prevent such an outcome would be to create more frum guys (by being mekariv more guys).

    #648718

    chaverim
    Member

    No. Taking boys away from learning (22.5 instead of 23) is wrong. Learning comes first.

    And delaying girls? Isn’t there a mishna in pirkei avos that specifically encourages marriage at a young age???

    #648719

    an open book
    Participant

    chaverim: didn’t you just contradict yourself there? don’t take boys away from learning even 1/2 a year – but marriage at a young age is encouraged?

    #648720

    AZ
    Participant

    Chaverim, speak to roshei yeshiva and you will find that for the sake of learning they should come back to the US earlier.

    #648721

    lkwdfellow
    Member

    I’m not saying to take anyone away from learning . Chas V’sholom! All I’m asking is for the boys to come back earlier & start dating SIX MONTHS younger. Most boys don’t date in E”Y, so unless they come back – they aren’t going to date. But, they can learn here in the US – B”H, there are many Yeshivos here. And, if they choose, after their chasunos, they can go back to learn in E”Y. I’m not asking for anything radical. Nor am I looking to cut off anyone’s learning. I just want to bring another 500 boys into the market every Z’man. Is that so terrible???

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