Monday, March 14, 2011

Like a Fine Wine?

I’ve been thinking a lot about shidduchim lately. You get a whole new perspective once you cross the thin white line into the ranks of the married. This post is a reflection on what superficially MOTIVATES guys to date girls. It’s humorous to see how Hashem makes things play out in the end- but let’s examine what makes a date worth going out with. I’ve pretty much outlined what  superficial factors make a girl desirable in the shidduch dating arena. Although these superficial factors cannot change who your bashert will be it cannot be denied that they play a crucial role in how appealing a female is to potential dates.
- Money is important- and can convince the staunchest New Yorker to date a girl from Kansas (or Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, you name it.) It isn’t the be all and end all- but it’s a nice icing on the cake. It can “sweeten the deal” and eliminate fears of parnasah issues. Naturally parnasah is in the hands of Hashem- so this is essentially ridiculous- but humans seek reassurance from things like money- so this helps. If you want to be more spiritual- a guy wants money to support his learning. No matter how you cut it- the more money he is given the longer he can learn. If a guy is in school the prospect of having well-to-do in laws foot the bill is immensely appealing. A business to enter into will set the learning and the working guy’s heart a flutter. Love at first resume glance? Perhaps……
- Looks- If a girl is objectively attractive her  rating sky rockets. Now- objectively pretty is just that- anyone can look at her and agree she is attractive. I’m not talking about supermodel stunners- I’m talking about slender, relatively proportionate girls who put themselves together well. There are some girls who are raw, natural beauties. However- to males a girl can have loads of potential  (a magnificent figure, the most dainty stunning bone structure, lily-clear skin, beautiful eyes, a dainty nose and lovely hair) but if that figure is in an oversize sweater, she’s wearing glasses, no makeup, a  frizzy ponytail etc- he just wont see it. A girl can be far less naturally pretty but be far more attractive to males with just a little (ONLY A LITTLE!) makeup- and a good blowout.  So- although everyone has a different opinion of attractiveness and “put togetherness” there are some girls who are “objectively pretty” and that helps TONS in making them appealing in the shidduch world.
SO here comes my big question:
If money and looks (essentially learning to take care of yourself and putting yourself together well) are the most important superficial factors in getting a girl a date. (not a husband mind you- a date) Then why aren’t girls like Fine Wine? Better as they age!?
Why are guys still chasing 19 year olds who smile blankly when you ask them about their career- and then giggling reply- “I’m taking one semester in Israeli dance and psychology in Touro and then I’ll get engaged!” Having an education PRIOR to marriage is priceless! The longer you work without expenses the more money you can SAVE. With each child more and more of your money goes toward day to day living expenses and less goes toward savings. A girl working as…say an Occupational Therapist can make upwards of forty grand a year (after taxes!!)- imagine she pays no rent, no grocery bills..etc. By age 24 she will have put away eighty grand! (at least!) It’s also a triple whammy of savings, not only does she have money saved, she continues to make money regularly, and she is no longer paying for school. (even a student loan is minimal compared with the benefits attained) Eighty grand is a nice little package of money- that even some very wealthy fathers of nineteen year olds can’t provide! (never mind that if you marry a girl at 19 by the time she’s finished with school, she has two kids AND student loans)
-          And looks? Sure- young girls have that youthful glow- but we’re not talking about old crones here! A 23 or 24 year old girl retains her youth for goodness sake! She isn’t 80! Not only that- but  I’d argue that these girls look BETTER than most 19 year olds- who are fresh out of high school and haven’t quite figured their look out yet. I looked SO much better the few months before I got engaged than I did at 19! I had an excellent haircut,  clothes that flattered me and makeup applied naturally (not garishly).
Obviously there are many (less superficial reasons) to date girls a tad older. (They are more developed, more confident, have worked on their middos, have had time to develop their own opinions, have had a chance to live and enjoy the single life and will now put every ounce of energy into their new home, they’re  more grateful to get engaged and find Mr. Right, etc. ) BUT if we look at even the most superficial motivations for dating someone- looks and money- the older girl STILL wins. So why AREN’T they considered by males to be like fine wine? Better with age?


  1. your talking to a guy who won't date girls so young, but the main appeal for a guy to date younger girls is that the younger girls are less set in their ways, so easier to build a relationship with. a girl who already figured themselves out are harder to match compatibility because they know what they want, they have opinions and therefore can challenge the guy. (sorta like the infamous 'yeshiva guy tells a vort' video)

    btw welcome to o'blogosphere. i hope we will see you writing long-term

  2. I guess that's true- but there are pros and cons to both younger an older girls. Older girls are more set in their ways on the one hand- but they are generally more mature. Younger girls meld more easily with their new partner but he'll most likely have to contend with a unique immaturity only a 19 year old newlywed girl possesses. I know sweet sweet kindhearted girls who do indeed spend much of their time deciding what jewelry their husbands should buy them next, hinting that they want new shaitels (when they've only been married a few months!) and whining that they can't spend every shabbos with their mommies. Granted- maturity is a function of personality- there are more mature 19 year ols and some less mature 25 year olds- but you'd be hard pressed to find me a newlywed 25 year old woman whining to go home to her mommy for shabbos.

  3. and thank you for the warm welcome! :-) I hope to stick around too!

  4. Of course, how about this option:

    If a guy is WORKING. Then, having the money thing taken care of, he no longer views dates in terms of money, meaning his main focus is personality, rather than wallet. Plus, having gone out into the world, he will want a girl without the narrow confines of youth, so he will seek someone more . . . shall we say, out her teens.

    No matter what the male's pursuit is in life, whenever a guy says he wants a 19 year old to "mold into his ways" is an idiot. 19 does not equal brainless or automatically subservient. No worries; any guy who marries a 19 year old for that, the joke's on him.

    Rabbi Yisroel Reisman says specifically that spouses are not supposed to match perfectly. Hoe else can they challenge each other to improve? A spouse is not a clone. I read this great article by Rabbi Shafier of the Shmuz:

    Plus, I'm sure there are guys who would be happy to go home for Mommy's Shabbos cooking. Men can whine, too.