Monday, November 26, 2012

Solution To The Shidduch Crisis: Date (And Marry) Younger Guys?

I've noticed an unusual, recurring phenomenon in the past two months or so. Three different young women I know, two who happened to be related, became engaged to guys who are 2-2.5 years younger than they are.

Imagine that!

But Shades of Grey, you'll tell me, it's been done before! You've also heard of a girl you know who married a guy younger than her.

However, how many of you have heard of this happening more often than once in a blue moon?

As I recall from my own dating experience, most girls have little to no desire to go out with guys younger than they are. They're too immature, too inexperienced, totally not ready to settle down and get married. But is it really fair to rule out the possibility of a decent guy, who for all intents and purposes is either already a) working, b) in grad school, or c) exactly where you are in undergrad or d) learning/in semicha, but just so happens to have walked this earth for a few years less than you have? I don't think so.

From a guy's perspective, there is some period of time where guys tend to like, fall for, or have crushes on slightly older girls. I'm not talking 20 year old boy for a 30 year old girl, which could be possibly somehow, but say a 22 year old guy being interested in a 24 or 25 year old girl. If the guy is willing to go out with her, should she turn him down because of his youth and inexperience? I think this would merit further consideration and not end up a missed chance.

There's also the fact to consider that woman typically live longer than men. I have argued against the idea of guys who are much older than the girls they go out with, because their wives would be widows for far longer than their peers who married similarly aged men. In this case, it might even out nicely and the couple would live out the duration of their lives together. I think that's a nice idea, but I don't know how much other people think about that kind of thing.

Although not entirely comparable, an article from the New York Times published this past May discusses what seems to be a trend in the secular world: older girls are choosing to date younger guys in high school as well as college. Interesting eh?

Maybe this could, or even should, be a new trend in our world as well; one that has the potential to truly make an impact on the shidduch dating scene.

That, or we could end up with this as a possible future.

So, single girls and single guys, what do you think? Have you, or would you consider going out on a shidduch date where the guy was 2 years (or more) younger than the girl?


  1. It's so interesting you wrote about this because I've thought about it before. In general, I think that age should be noted as in what it could represent. But if those fears are not there, meaning the person doesn't have the "immaturity" which is often correlated to younger guys, then its not important and it becomes nothing more than his age. I dated a younger guy and his age really was so not an issue, I even forgot about it sometimes. That being said, I think there IS something to emotional maturity, which does come with age/more dating, which younger guys (and really older guys too), don't always have.

    1. Do you mean "and really, older guys too" meaning in addition to younger guys, or that "really older" guys fail to develop or regress in their maturity?

      The first would indicate that even older guys lack maturity, while the second would mean that there is a sweet spot interval between younger and older, older guys, and that middle subsection would be the most ideal date/husband.

      Immaturity definitely goes both ways. I don't think guys are helping the situation by going out with younger girls, especially those just back from Israel, who tend to be less realistically mature (but may be able to maintain a household), in looking for perfect learning guys only.

      I wrote a bit about this in a comment on Bad4's post:

    2. I meant that older guys can also be immature. Though like I said, I am open to it, a guy younger than me would be 20-22 and in general, they are more immature and not ready to get married. There is a saying in Spanish that the devil knows more bc he is old vs because he is wise. Meaning experience does add something.

  2. I have (only) dated older girls. I actually prefer that to a girl my age or younger. I have found girls my own age or younger to be simply immature, lack experience in the world and very boxy. The older one gets the more they realize the world isnt a box and thats a good thing.

    1. You're the first guy I've ever her say that. Very interesting and commendable!

      I agree with your asssessment of older girls. I noticed in my own experience as a dater and shadchan that girls freshly returned from seminary can be very closed minded and unrealistic in their expectations. However, after a period of reorientation to life in America, many do become more balanced in their views.

      Immaturity doesn't just mean having child-like views, it can also mean having expectations that can't conform to reality.

    2. Well, I did it. My future wife is older than me by almost three years. Heck, her younger brother is even older than me :-)

      Dating girls who were older than me was the wisest thing I did. They were more settled, had realistic views on the world and life, and were just more well rounded. My advise to any guy still dating, especially if he is more mature than average: dont discount a girl because of her age. Two three years are nothing in the scheme of things. Older than that, well, thats a different story. But anywhere within three years is perfect.

    3. Mazal tov!!! And thanks for following up. I totally agree with the 2-3 year older girl observation.

      And, as I mentioned in the post and at other times - since guys typically live shorter lives than girls (hence older guys = longer widowhood), you won't be shortchanging your future wife any time together with you. Sorry if that was too morbid, but I think it's a big point no one really thinks about.

  3. There's actually a practical reason too. Women live longer than men so with older men you have the potential for a widow who will live for years by herself (or with cats). A younger man means less time alone for the surviving partner.

    1. I actually mentioned that, mius the bit about cats ;) Which makes me wonder, are there any old ladies with dogs, not cats?

      I've seen a number of the older, widowed/divorced women walking dogs in the area where we live.


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