Solely In Black and White: Question of the week: Who has it harder?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Question of the week: Who has it harder?

A question, and something which I have been pondering about, is it harder, all-encompassing (socially, economically, physically, emotionally, etc…), being a single guy or single girl? And does your answer change when that question is asked with regard to older singles?


  1. This is something I really wish I could weigh in on but I stopped being a single guy a week after I turned 21. So, until next time.

  2. well i dont know when you qualify as an "older" i dont know if ive hit it yet but in my humble opinoin i think its harder for the female gender. First off, we have a biological clock ticking and we have a motherly need, a need to nurture and care for a family that males dont have.

    also i dont think that older men have people clucking after "so sad that he is still single.."
    but then again i dont know but i do know that girls get the lable as "older" at a younger age. so its sadder for longer when they arent engaged so theres more pitying glances..

  3. I think comparing what boys and girls go through is like trying to compare apples and oranges. It's different in many ways, but they're both fruit.

    Sorry, I don't think young guys have it hard. Most young girls don't have it hard either so I'm not even going to compare those two.

    As an older single, I think a girl has it harder in that there's less hope, less dates, less guys to date, more of a fear that there's no end in sight. I don't think guys have to deal with that as much. Also, girls' friends usually move away and become much more unavailable, which probably isn't felt as much with guys, because the nature of their friendships are different than girls.

    But then there's the living at home or in a dorm or apartment.... As a girl living at home, it really depends on what kind of family she has; for some it can be a nightmare and for some it can be the only good thing to happen to them (okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration). But I do think it's hard for a guy to not really have a home-base and space and emotionally there's probably less support and talk of what they are going through, than with females who in general are more open.

    I don't think this really answered your question and it's only my perspective but I hope it was enlightening :-).

  4. To echo aminspiration, girls are viewed by some as past the sell-by date when they hit 23. Guys have a longer amount of time in that way, so they don't get the pity as girls do, the pep talks, the "well you'll be 30 soon so go out with the loser I have in mind so at least you'll have kids" (seriously, that happened to me at 23).

    I have faith that God will send me the right dude in the right time. It's a new mishagaas that everyone has to be married off at 20 (in Europe? Bobby was 24 or so. That was normal). I just can't stand how some thoughtless people feel a need to constantly address it.

    In the end, I can only present the female perspective, and can only speculate on the male view.

  5. I think the girls have it harder. Hands down. With guys the only danger is having a repuation of being too picky. If a guy takes longer than average- ppl think he's choosy- but they still redt him dates. Girls begin to feel hopeless quite soon, and the pool narrows exponentially with each passing year.
    As for older singles? My friend has some older relatives- both single. The man is in his early 50s, and the woman is in her mid 40s. He has a repuation of being SUPER picky- but he still has dates. People still try for him she hasn't dated in years.
    If a girl is "past her expiration date" at 23 what about at 33? 43? The biological clock in women is always ticking....and they have it harder to begin with. Everyone wants to be happy. No woman wants to consider the possibility of marrying someone she doesn't want to be with- just so she can have children. Who wants to make a decision like that?
    Girls have it harder- but when a guy takes a while- he has a harder time coping. Girls mentally prepare themselves for the possibilty of marrying later. Most guys don't even entertain the thought (they figure they'll marry one of the first ten girls) so when it comes to coping skills...girls may live with it better- but it doesn't mean they're better off.

  6. @Everyone:
    I whole heartedly agree that girls have it harder. I also think that girls have a deeper innate yearning to get married, more so then their male counterparts.

    However, there a few points of contention which should be addresses. Having a lot of dates, or names for that matter, is a blessing and a curse. At the onset it would appear to provide boys with hope, however, after dating for a while that hope quickly fades and becomes: if I’ve gone out with X amount of girls already and haven’t found anything, will I ever find anything. Besides, there are girls who have lists of guys too. It might not be the norm, but it happens. Also, I am of the opinion the more one dates, the more jaded they get. Don’t forget, aside from the psychological impact of dating, which can take its toll, there is also the financial aspect. The longer one dates, the more it cost. I would imagine the amount of money older single males have spent on dates throughout their dating career can be staggering. Lastly, I have this notion, which I am inclined to believe, that men take breakups harder than women. I guess the best way to leave it would be like Sun Inside Rain said, “it’s different in many ways.”

  7. Yes.
    I think there should be an age limit to the question, like other comments suggested. Generally a woman has fewer healthy birthing even with the advent of other reproduction options. However I noticed in my limited experience, that older single men (ie above 40) will have a less successful career and seem a little weird. Whereas the women I have met above 40 will often be career oriented, highly confident, successful (economically) and tougher than their male single counterparts.

    I was once talking to a shadchan about the whole shidduch-crisis business, and he said something which resonates to me as being true. That if he could do one thing, would be to move the freak-out age for females being single from 22-23 to 25-26, when they may have more reason to worry.

  8. harry - but there's a chicken and egg problem with those observations - which I totally second. Are the men weird because they're not married, or not married because they're weird? And as for the women - well, tough, career-oriented women tend to not fly off the shelves. That's a social phenomenon not limited to the frum community.

    I don't think there's much of a difference between being a single guy and girl. Older guys are just as pathetic as older girls. They also have needs that aren't getting filled, and if they're yeshivish, they're forever hanging around yeshiva waiting for their life to start - after they put in their three years learning post-marriage.


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