Single on the Scene and aminspiration wrote on disparate topics (here and here respectively- I suggest you read the posts) but in my opinion are very much connected.
SOS wrote about this picturesque sounding guy who said, “why would he-how could he expect someone else to support him?”
That sounds like the kind of guy that all girls would want to marry, right? He’s an independent guy with his head screwed on straight about how life is supposed to work. If you’re old enough to get married, you’re old enough to support yourself. Ah, wonderful.
Forgive my skepticism, but that sounds patently ridiculous. His learning schedule? A learning schedule in Israel involves a full day of learning. So he managed to learn the entire day and make enough money to support himself and his wife? What exactly was he doing? More to the point, when was he supporting himself?
“Ok Shocked,” you say with a roll of your eyes, he maintained a learning schedule while supporting himself. Ok, fine, what was he doing? He went straight from learning in Israel to work which means no college degree (which of course, many if not most girls want nowadays if they’re looking for a working husband). Do I sense protektzia (connections) here? Or, in this ridiculously poor economy, did he just waltz in to a place and land himself the perfect job?
“He, being an independent guy…” How does he define independent? Independent in my mind means supporting one’s self for an extended period of time. Did he support himself while he was in Israel? After he came home from Israel? In short, at what point exactly did he start this independent living? Did he live at home? Use his parents’ car for his dates? Use his father’s credit card to pay for his dates?
A truly independent person leaves his parents’ home and stops relying on them for support. If the need arises- extraordinary circumstances and such- the person may ask for support, but the help is not consistent and they are not reliant on it.
As an independent person for the past four years, I can tell you, it’s not nearly as glamorous as this guy painted it. Wondering where rent money is going to come from, how you’re going to pay for college, leaving college for a semester or two, cutting down on fun and games, taking a train instead of renting a car on a date, going to a lower scale restaurant, etc. would be a better picture here.
I can tell you that living independently is not fun. It’s incredibly challenging with plenty of sacrifices that need to be made along the way. It’s humbling, scary… at times humiliating. I don’t regret it, but seeing someone portray it as a, “duh, of course” is quite frustrating. It’s not. It’s anything but.
And this ties in very neatly with my comment on aminspiration’s post. G-d forbid, I’m not saying that girls are to blame for the shidduch crisis (which, like aminspiration said, I’m not convinced exists), but am I the only one who thinks that this guy has only served to create completely implausible expectations of guys? Does it not strike anyone as a difficult to believe story and perhaps, he’s, um, 1) lying 2) exaggerating 3) has a relative who handed him a job on a silver platter or 4) he has left out some key elements to his story? Stories like his only, yes, only, serve to raise the expectations girls have of guys.
If you want your guy to be very educated, don’t expect to be living independently or having a guy who’s learning 10 hours a day. If you want your guy to be independent, don’t expect to be living well or for him to be very educated. If you want your guy to learn for the first year, don’t expect to be living without any support. No matter which way you look at it (unless you’re dating older men), chances are, the “perfect guy” doesn’t exist for all practical purposes. Do they exist? If this guy is to be believed, yes, but I’ve been around the block and I have yet to meet one of them.
The guy who lives at home and is getting supported, ya, maybe he has savings that can go towards living independently for a year off to learn and maybe he’s educated, but he’s not independent in the true sense of the word. It means he hasn’t been living independently but now that he’s married, he can.
I’m not sure I see the correlation between getting married and living independently either. What does one have to do with the other? If I’m old/mature enough to get married I’m old enough to live independently? How about, if I’m old/mature enough to get married I’m old enough to live independently? So why now that he’s married does he start to live independently? What about until now?
In summary, this article (portrayed as it was by SOS- accuracy unknown- though of course I’d love to get my hands on it myself) did more damage than good in my opinion and completely misrepresented what it means to live independently- particularly as it is something that so many girls want. Independence for a young guy or girl comes with an infinite amount of sacrifices and should never be painted as smooth sailing under any circumstances.
Articles like this are precisely what exacerbate the shidduch crisis or make it possible for there to be one.