I am an older single girl, looking to date someone around my age and build a mature relationship. Can you explain to me why guys my age are being set up with eighteen-year-olds? It seems that this community is setting up girls barely out of high school just so that in the future they won’t have this “singles crisis.” They feel that focusing on the younger girls will solve the problem. I don’t mind dating guys my age or even a year or two younger. I do have a problem with being set up with guys in their mid 40’s, and with the idea that as I get older I should be more open-minded to dating guys that have been married and have three kids. Why do I have to do something I am not comfortable with? Why should I just settle with just anyone when choosing the person I am going to start a family with and spend the rest of my life with? I feel like the lack of dates coming my way is due to the fact that I’m past the “expiration date.” This community should pay more attention to their older singles.
A Depressed Older Single
Dear Depressed Older Single,
You don’t sound depressed; you sound quite angry, feeling that you are not being treated fairly. Of course you don’t have to and shouldn’t settle by marrying someone who you think is inappropriate for you. Choosing a mate for life and raising a family are too important to do with just anyone. But take a step back to think about your specific complaint. You feel discriminated against due to your age, yet you are dismissing out of hand all guys who are a few years older. By being so quick to just pass on guys just because of their age, you are guilty of the very same discrimination you are complaining about and hence, part of the problem.
It is important to keep an open mind and not look at the matches sent your way as an indication of your worth or lack of it. If you believe that someone suggesting a previously married man with three children means you are not worthy and should settle because there is something “wrong” with you, then you will feel angry and resentful. But there is a saying that one man’s discard is another man’s treasure.
Just as there is nothing wrong with you just because you are unmarried beyond the age of 19, there is nothing necessarily wrong with any eligible guy in their 30’s, 40’s, or beyond – and whether they have children or not. The only way to know if a guy is right for you is to look beyond the cold numbers and explore their character traits.
Also consider that, although we cannot explain Hashem’s ways, it is possible that you are still single precisely because your nasib was not previously available.
I understand that none of this makes your situation any easier and I agree that the community can and should be more open minded and helpful in making matches for the older singles. Perhaps you even have some suggestions for ways to help singles meet. But I would guess that you recognize that it’s not really necessary to wait until the community-wide singles crisis is solved before you find your special someone.
As you know, Hashem runs the world and He has a plan for you. Your job is to pray for the smoothest path to your destiny and to make a sincere effort. Eliminate obstacles like preconceived notions based on age, and realize that a proposed date is not a measure of your self-worth. Be’ezrat Hashem you will find your nasib in the very near future.