Monday, June 6, 2016

Those Who Compromise

"Older singles get set in their ways," is a common refrain. "They aren't willing to compromise. That's why it is important to marry young." 

That generalization always niggled at me. After all, shouldn't the "older" be officially mature, which would mean they are more capable of constructing healthy relationships? Is anyone going to claim that a 20-year-old is better prepared for marriage than a 30-year-old?  Yet the belief is that the more years under one's belt, the more childish one is? 

Doesn't make much sense, does it?

The most important criteria when dating is supposedly that of hashkafa, frumkeit, religiosity. One cannot create an online dating account without ticking off that box first.

Usually, kids emerge straight out of Jewish institutions and hit the dating market. There is a parallel yeshiva for every seminary. These lads and ladies, having spent a year in a restricted environment, tend to emulate those same outlooks. In which case, finding another on one's present religious perspective is relatively simple. Shidduchim are redt accordingly.

However, if one happens to remain single, one has the time and space to develop an individual relationship with one's own faith and God. Whilst this evolution takes place, the "rules" of the previous hashkafa can fall to the wayside as personal identity comes into being.

After a decade in the dating market, it would be kind of laughable if the seminary or yeshiva attended remained a matter of concern. The neighbor's kid has gone through so many changes in head coverings in the past five years I can barely keep up.

The "youth" aren't the masters of compromise. They haven't yet necessarily developed a distinct sense of self to compromise on. If they marry while still unformed, they can, ideally, meld and grow together. These couples don't necessarily maintain the same religious viewpoint forever (as FB informs me), but the two transform as one.

The "older" date differently. They have to navigate a dating world that claims that there are categories, but there really aren't anymore. Each one of us are our own kind, no matter what those fiddly pieces of profile paper claim. 

And we are grownups, perfectly capable of compromise, thank you very much.   


Anonymous said...

Emet! Refreshing perspective. Do you think older singles have a more difficult time finding a suitable match, and if so, why?


Princess Lea said...

It's not about older singles having a more difficult time finding a suitable match, per say. When one has been dating for years unsuccessfully, by the very definition the situation is difficult.

People call you picky and unreasonable, or expressly ignore your criteria. Wondering why it was so simple for other people. Getting dressed up and going out for the 20th, 30th, 40th time, and knowing this also isn't going to work. Or you think it is going to work, and after hopes are raised, they come crashing down.

In terms of finding the person, he comes when God says so. It's the in-between filler that's so aggravating.