I am a single yeshivishe woman in my early 30’s. As I am an adult, I believe that at this point it is appropriate to move out of my parents’ house and create my own living quarters, regardless of whether I have a husband by my side. All of my single friends either live on their own or with roommates, and all have grown from forging their own independent paths. However, I am told that moving out of one’s parents’ home is “bad for shidduchim.” Is that true? Will prospective shidduchim really turn me down because I don’t live at home?
Interestingly, I have found that within my circles, my friends prefer not to date men who are in their 30’s and still living at home since they usually turn out to be immature “mama’s boys.” Conversely, I hear stories of boys who fire a barrage of questions at girls who have chosen to move out. What’s your experience and take on the matter?
When it comes to an unmarried adult leaving their parent’s home, and as indicated in the narrative shared, there are most often considerations at play of a much higher order than just the impact of the move vis-à-vis shidduchim. And generally, chief among those concerns are how this passage into independence will affect one’s connection to Yiddishkeit and shemiras hamitzvos; the size, sustenance, and strength of their support system; and their mental and emotional health.
For different people, and under different circumstances, the scales will inevitably tip differently, and any one person might have more to gain by departing, while others will ultimately find it more advantageous to remain in place. All told, and without elaborating in detail the ins and outs of the aforementioned factors, striking out on one’s own has far reaching implications, and requires a great deal of introspection and guidance.
Unfortunately, and as has also been made quite clear by the general assertions referenced in the chronicle presented, many people tend to rely on knee-jerk reactions when assessing the meaning of these transitions for others, and such conjecture is typically rooted in one’s own preconceived biases. Rather than appreciating the depth of the decision at hand, and actually taking the time and effort during one’s research to satisfactorily seize the scope of the segue, it is not entirely uncommon for outsiders to interpret the conversion towards more autonomous living based solely on their own relatively minimal experiences with those who have done the same, or on that which they have heard anecdotally from friends and family. Ergo, and as should be sufficiently self-evident, these types of hasty evaluations are wholly unreliable, lack respect and compassion for the person one is contemplating going out with, and do very little in relation to aiding anyone in making prudent determinations.
Consequently, would I valorize the claim that moving out of one’s house of origin will have attendant ramifications linked to shidduchim? Yes, I would. However, it is impossible to know what those implications will be in the mind of any one particular person. For those who possess a penchant for insouciance, or for the non-thinking among us, some will always view a bachelor or bachelorette in their thirties who lives at home as underdeveloped, and yet others will always perceive that same individual living on their own as severed from the space where they ought to be stationed, and both will then correspondingly attach a red flag to the person in question. Although, and as should be plain to see, to flatly and without proper context surmise one way or the other is shortsighted and foolhardy, and is equally damaging to all parties involved.
That being the case, it would be my personal recommendation that one make resolutions regarding how and where they should reside based primarily on that which will be truly best for their growth as a person and as a Jew, and in conjunction with their needs in terms of overall wellbeing. Additionally, and accordingly, I would emphatically exhort anyone who has been redd a shidduch with someone who has altered their habitation from that of their youth to lend a notable degree of open-mindedness towards that modification. One must appreciate that such a choice is neither inherently good nor bad, and thus, one should extend themselves to try and accurately ascertain the causes and purposes behind that choice before coming to any concrete conclusions about its connotations.
May the Oseh Chadashos help us all to refrain from passing unqualified and uneducated verdicts on the novel deeds of others, and ensure that we make all of our decisions without prejudice or presumption.