I’m Twenty-Four!

I’m going to repeat that because I have a hard time dealing with it.

I’m twenty-four.

I’m twenty-four.

Okay, let’s practice. Ask me how old I am.

Twenty-thr… four. Twenty-four. I’m twenty-four.

OMG! I’m twenty-freakin’four. Pardon my language.

Okay, so I’m a little dazed. I happen to think 24 is an amazing age – in the abstract. But it’s kinda getting… older. I mean, it’s just one year to 25 from there, and that’s a quarter century, and more than a quarter my expected lifespan, and also officially the top of the hill, in terms of shidduch aging.

I’m twenty-four. Holy cow. I remember thinking a neighbor was an old maid at twenty-three. And now I’m older and still single. (She’s married.) . I think I might be entering the freak-out stage of shidduchim.

Cripes. I’m already twenty-four. No wonder my little sister is worried.

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61 thoughts on “I’m Twenty-Four!

  1. Sorry, you folks are just crazy. Since when are you an “old maid” with 24?
    I’m 42. If I speak about “over the peak for schidduchability, OK. But you???? Stop it! Now!!!!

  2. Happy birthday !!! And don’t worry about being 24 and still single, lots of people are in your case (I’m going to be soon) and being single can be fun so enjoy !!!

  3. You are quite right. 24 is already old. Never mind that the old maids on here tell you, they are older. You have to do something about it. I dont your past history, but thinkly deeply about all the boys you have dismissed and if any are still available ‘grab’ them while you can!

  4. Happy Birthday! May you find your bashert this year and start being young again 😉

    I luv your blog. You must be a really entertaining, sharp gal, why can’t those males realize that!

  5. well in all honesty people are shrugging off 24 as still young but lets be honest here, in our oilam 24 is old. i know a guy thats 24 and in shidduchim, when he is redt a girl thats 24 he immediately asks if there is something wrong with her, be it emotional or simply whether she has a huge ego. usually when a girl is older and still not married we assume that she thinks shes smarter then all the guys she went out with. so guys are simply not interested in a girl that thinks shes g-ds gift to man.
    insofar as mekubals comment goes, you are right mekubal your wife did marry her husband at 28 but you forgot to mention that her husband was previously divorced. not to say there is anything wrong with that (cause their absolutely isnt) but the average ffb girl like bad4 would never consider going out with a divorcee even at the ripe old age of 28 or even 30.
    lets be honest we could joke around about how 24 isnt old or old or whatever it is, and in truth you are still young. but, and heres the point, your chances of getting a good guy to marry have been cut by more then half at this point. your still young but the good “catches” in the age group you are searching for are married already, many with children already.

  6. Soul you are so wrong. Hashgocha protis means that ever single thing that happens to a person is ordained by G-d down to the tiniest detail. There is a specific person who bad4 is going to marry and also a specific time when she is going to meet that guy. As hard as she tries and as much as she “thinks deeply about all the boys she has dismissed in the past” she is not married because G-d has decided that she should not be married yet.
    My 27th was on Friday and BH I celebrated and thanked Hashem-shehecheyonu vkiymonu vhigiyonu lazman hazeh. One of the things that helps me stay sane is my bitachon re: the above. Another thing is that I realise that life is not a race. Because my friend got married at 21 and another already has a 6 year old doesn’t mean that I’m behind them in anyway. No, I am doing my best to follow through the path that is laid out for me to the best of my ability. I don’t understand why I have to be here, in this situation, but I know there’s a reason and I try each day fulfill my particular tafkid and at this point in time that tafkid can only be fulfilled as a single. I know that G-d is good and only does good. He knows exactly what He’s doing even if a mere earthling like me does not understand. I know that at exactly the right time I will marry exactly the right guy and the fact that others have met there bashert does not mean that mine has been snatched away. Until then I keep davening that that time should be imminent.
    So bad4, I commiserate I know the feelings, the doubts, the why’s, how’s and who’s, the hopes and dreams and fears. Keep your chin up and keep doing your best and G-d will surely send you your knight in shining armour bkarov. Happy birthday!

  7. Don’t listen to what anyone say, Bad4. Each person lives life at his/her own pace, and 24 is NOT OLD. I should know – I’m turning 24 soon, too. So there! 🙂

    Happy birthday!!!

  8. Happy birthday!!

    That was going to be my whole comment, but…

    but, and heres the point, your chances of getting a good guy to marry have been cut by more then half at this point. your still young but the good “catches” in the age group you are searching for are married already, many with children already.

    Define “good guy”.

    While certainly a large number of people that were in Bad4’s dating pool are already married, the assumption that the group of guys that would be good *for her* is mostly gone is silly. Unless everyone is either marrying people not for them (unlikely) or Bad4 is exactly like everyone else (unlikely), it’s extremely unlikely that the pool of people who might be up Bad4’s alley is somehow so significantly different than it was before.

    If anything, as people move through life, what they are looking for continues to adjust much as they change. Some of these are normal adjustments, some are a realization that various characteristics that a person wished/required are either unrealistic or unimportant. But the blanket statement that the guys that are good for a person are so reduced is just silly.

  9. Happy Birthday.

    Maybe now it’s time to try online shidduch system (SYAS, etc.). Since before you said it was for “older people” and… there you go. I know of a recently engaged couple for whom it worked (he is 25, going on 26, she is 22). They are both very happy.

  10. I remember that feeling, especially when I turned 25, it seems like you age so much in that one day. IYH I’ll be turning 26 in a couple months and I’m sure it will feel just as weird, except that now 24 seems young, so enjoy it. Happy Birthday!

  11. “””8.Soul you are so wrong. Hashgocha protis means that ever single thing that happens to a person is ordained by G-d down to the tiniest detail. There is a specific person who bad4 is going to marry and also a specific time when she is going to meet that guy. As hard as she tries and as much as she “thinks deeply about all the boys she has dismissed in the past” she is not married because G-d has decided that she should not be married yet”””

    No that is not correct. Some people can miss the boat.
    Otherwise how do you explain people dying unmarried.
    They are given their shidduch but some refuse to take it. Some are given more chances, usually inferior to the one they didnt accept. One has to take the first acceptable one and not wait for something ‘better’ all the time. It wont come.

  12. Happy birthday!
    P.S. – don’t worry, you can still say 23 by accident and no one will care. (I do the same thing…well, the equivalent.)
    But over the hill? Achh, no way!

  13. Happy Birthday! Hope you have a great day and a wonderful year.

    Don’t worry too much about your age and shidduchim. Anytime between now and age 30 or so, you have the option to widen your dating horizons to include boys (men) a little to the left of you hashkafically who typically marry a little later than the folks in your community. Think of it as a “backup plan” 🙂

  14. Well I didn’t get engaged until I turned 24, so maybe 24 is your lucky number! Despite the naysayers (soul and “well wisher” – what kind of name is that with those comments?!) you are very much young and still “in the game.” ASoG and I will put on our best effort to find you Mr. Bad4.

    Age discussion aside – Yom Huledet Sameach, ad meah v’esrim shana – lefachot!

  15. I think 24+ is a good age to get married–the bulk of schooling is over, hopefully you have some job experience, you have had a chance to do some fun, frivolous activities; you are also old enough so that the person you are likely to marry is in the same situation regarding all of the above. You won’t have regrets over having missed out on that carefree time of life that I have heard from many who got married very young.

  16. Happiest of birthdays! Ignore the pessimists above–I got married at 24 and I didn’t miss a darn thing by rushing into marriage before I was a grownup and had enough experience to finally know what would really suit me. And while you are at it, give thanks that you didn’t marry one of those immature, still wet behind the ears 21-22 year olds who think they know everything while knowing very little.

  17. Happy Birthday! I’m almost 23 and many of my friends are almost 24 so I can definitely relate to this feeling. Even though I think you’re not “old” in shidduchim until you’re 30, people who are over the age of 25 end up in the “older singles category” and the closer you get to it, the scarier it feels. Don’t let the feeling get to you- Hashem knows what’s right and what’s best for you.

  18. Holy cow. Holy cow. Not that this whole argument wasn’t predictable, but it’s interesting how extreme it is getting. From the (let’s call them) Right we have that you should evaluate your previous dating history b/c you may have let one go and you should snatch one up now, and most good guys already have kids, clearly implying that you are too picky and should settle and if you aren’t married you aren’t likely to be frum enough. And in the other corner, from the (let’s call similarly) Left we have Don’t worry, you’re not old, others are old, they still got married, ppl who get married young are all immature and Oh by the way you can/should consider people less religious than you and dare-we-say-it settle.

    Both sides are condescending in their own little way…

    “Well wisher” may mean well, but she has a horrible attitude. If you, Bad4, have indicated anything, it’s that you are an intelligent independent person, and it’s unlikely that you are capricious with your dates. (Maybe you are, I don’t really know…)

    I’m not sure what Mark meant by widening to the Left. Does he mean YU? As a YU guy myself I heartily support the idea – I think that if you were around a few years ago, you could have been set up with me or any number of my friends and very likely would have clicked.

    I could write a while on this topic. True, the older you get the fewer prospects in your age group are left. True, ppl are marrying older now in all societies. True, the more right-wing (and careerophobic, with some overlap) may marry earlier than the less right wing. True, that there are many who are not considered (sigh) “black hat” who are kovea ittim and will grow up to be pillars of the frum community, and some of these marry a little later, usually for the reason of seeking someone who matches their individuality.

    And my wife got married at 24.

    Happy Birthday and may you be granted this year everything you need. May it also be that what you need is what you want…

  19. “usually when a girl is older and still not married we assume that she thinks shes smarter then all the guys she went out with.”

    No, we assume she has not met the right guy yet.

    “chances of getting a good guy to marry have been cut by more then half at this point.”

    No, your chance is unchanged. There was one match for you before, and there is one match for you now. The Ribbono Shel Olom has someone picked out for you; that young man did not get cut in half as you got older. Whether there are fewer wrong guys still available should be irrelevant.

  20. @Yosef, yes, YU guys, at least the ones that lean right, would be a good example. They will not all be married by their mid-to-late-20’s (especially if they are in med school or law school), and will date 24 year-olds without a problem.

  21. “No that is not correct. Some people can miss the boat. Otherwise how do you explain people dying unmarried.” Well Wisher: first, your name is disingenuous. Second, you don’t know Hashem’s plans or Hashem’s reasons. Certainly you don’t know the reason why chas v’shalom someone dies without being married first. We only know the guide by which we’re told to live. And that guide says that everyone has his or her bashert. If anyone isn’t married, it’s because he or she hasn’t met that bashert yet.

  22. First of all I happen to be a male, I and my children married young, the first suitable person, and have not regreted it.
    I wonder why everyone thinks differently. I have given perfectly valid reasons for what i have been saying. The replies are
    you don’t know Hashem’s plans or Hashem’s reasons. Certainly you don’t know the reason why chas v’shalom someone dies without being married first. If anyone isn’t married, it’s because he or she hasn’t met that bashert yet.
    These are just saying ‘you dont know’ well i do!

  23. Soul: your – very accurate – descriptioh of the “shidduch” world and its mentality gives me the creeps.

    I cannot understand how someone can claim to be religious and think along the lines you described.

    Conclusion: The hareidi world is not religious.

  24. soul- i’m assuming you’re male- here’s the main problem: stupid frum mama’s boy-cretins who don’t deserve acknowledgment. why anyone sane would want to be married to one is beyond me. i think the truth lies with maureen dowd (whom you probably have never heard of, but it’s just as well), who observed that intelligent women tend to marry later. i’m guessing it’s because the chaff needs to get winnowed out first in order to expose the grain, and because said grain needs time to mature. it’s a gaussian distribution like any other, and Bad4 is just a few standard deviations away from the mean, as are many of us.

  25. i love how everyone is jumping down my throat as if i created the current state of the shidduch process and the ages related to it. well i didnt, im simply stating what the view of the main stream frum world is. in the main stream frum world, the average good guy, good learner, learner earner and the such, and when i mean good, i mean the really good guys, not the ones that are a bit awkward and weird and people are willing to say anything just to get him married, those really good guys are usually married by 24, you could argue and say no, but all your doing is ignoring reality for an idealistic world which simply doesnt exist. oh but you once a met a person that got married at an older age…what should i say mazel tov? that doesnt change the facts, im generalizing and there are exceptions to every rule.

    insofar as my comments about how guys view older single girls, namely that they think they are smarter then everyone else (whether this is true or not is irrelevant, the fact that this is the thought process of the average guy is the main point here). well commenter 20 basicly sums up the point:

    “Happiest of birthdays! Ignore the pessimists above–I got married at 24 and I didn’t miss a darn thing by rushing into marriage before I was a grownup and had enough experience to finally know what would really suit me. And while you are at it, give thanks that you didn’t marry one of those immature, still wet behind the ears 21-22 year olds who think they know everything while knowing very little.”

    so what she tells us is that she was smarter then everyone else because she didnt “rush into marriage (like all the other bone heads presumably), that she was grown and experienced to know what suited her (while everyone else doesnt know what they want and are immature little babies). then she tells us straight out that ofcourse the 21 22 year old “kids” dont know everything (while evidently she believes that at the ripe old age of 24 the wisdom of the world was handed to her).

    point is clear and i thank commenter 20 for making the job easier for me, older singles think they are smarter then everyone else. they truly and honestly believe that if you get married at 22 you are an immature baby while if you get married at 24 you are a mature adult and every year added on makes you centuries smarter (presumably because you are making more money, superficiality at its best). and then when that all wise 24 year old meets a friend of hers shlugging her toddler while being pregnant, she tries to talk herself into truly and honestly believing that nebach her poor friend never got to enjoy the finer things in life.
    so yes i stick to my original point, once you are a 24 year old single, it gets much harder to get married, not impossible, not even improbable, but much harder.
    there is a stigma attached to older girls that they are snobby and think they are smarter or better then the rest of the world. whether the stigma is true or not is irrelevant, the existence of the stigma is undisputed.

  26. Correct me if i got the math wrong, but what percentage more mature would a 24 year old be over a 22 year old? 9% The point is that maturity has little to do with age and more with the mindset. Life experience is a similar concept; there are those who experience more maturing conditions before the age of 20 than those with 40 years of life under their belt.

    A psychologist once commented to me that we rush children into school to make them the youngest in their class by quite a bit. He commented that the difference between a 4 year old and a 3 year old is 33% more developed.

    @soul- When a girl who is 25+ is suggested I ask whether she seems depressed at being single or does she still have a simchas hachaim about her. It is important to find that out because I don’t want a girl to agree to marry me because I am a temporary lift in her depression. The saying comes to mind “no one can make you feel inferior without your permission”. As in no girl who has other things going on in their lives aside for dating and being single should feel depressed and center their lives around being single. Nor should the guys either. I have 3 sisters who married when they were well beyond 24 and I saw in them wonderful characteristics, but had careers, were involved, and lived their lives for years without a husband. Are they happier now? Undoubtedly, but no one thought them depressed while they were single.

  27. Wow, having off from work means I miss a lot.

    Happy Birthday Bad4, 24 down IMYH 116 to go.

    I gotta agree with Random Shadchan, which scares me because she sounds like my mother.

  28. soul- your comment, distilled, looks like this: “cookie-cutter people get married younger.”

    everyone knows that.

  29. Happy Birthday!
    Can you just enjoy your birthday without some of the angst?
    Pick up the angst again tomorrow?

  30. insofar as mekubals comment goes, you are right mekubal your wife did marry her husband at 28 but you forgot to mention that her husband was previously divorced. not to say there is anything wrong with that (cause their absolutely isnt) but the average ffb girl like bad4 would never consider going out with a divorcee even at the ripe old age of 28 or even 30.

    This actually gave me a laugh. First let me say I have been corrected, my wife was 27, not 28… my bad. However, I think you would be surprised how many FFB girls would consider marrying a divorcee under the right conditions. I had no problems setting up dates that was for sure. I wan’t redt anyone who was a fellow B”T, the youngest was 18, the oldest was 24, granted none were A-listers(as in daughters of Roshei Yeshivot or big Rabbis), but was a good cross section of B and C listers. I chose my wife based on her middot… against the advice of a lot of people and Rabbis.

    My wife’s story is actually rather unique… but that is for her to tell.

  31. Happy B-day B4S – thank you for keeping us entertained for so long.

    I don’t know about older girls thinking they are smarter than everyone, but it is a statistical certainty that the pool of good guys is smaller for a 24 year old than a 21 year old. That is simply because as people get older more good guys get married leaving less. But not all good guys are gone and one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Soul and Well-wisher’s comments ring true and there is not a 26+ year old girl that has not wondered the same thing. Quite frankly, when a guy is single and nearing 28, people wonder what is wrong with him. But that does not mean that an “older single” will not find someone they feel is of high quality.

  32. Happy birthday…but really you have no reason to freak out.

    Just be thankful you’re not a 28 year guy, who’s also a ger (nebach in the ffb shidduch world), and also has a small medical issue which is a constant dealbreaker (and makes you almost untouchable in the ffb shidduch world).

    Now try complaining about being 24…just like I shouldn’t complain about my pekelach. Someone has it much worse, r’l.

    Lesson? Be happy you made it another year in this world and realize old is relative.

  33. Soul – that’s a bizarre question when you consider it objectively, but I was recently considering the profile of a fellow who had had a divorce, if that’s what you mean. Divorce is a strike or two, but not an automatic out. You know, we don’t all make grotesque assumptions about people based on their age or other non-contextual tidbits.

  34. “Otherwise how do you explain people dying unmarried.”

    Shocking as it may be, G-d very well may not intend for every last person to get married. In the same way that He does not intend for everyone to live to a great age/ everyone to be healthy/ etc. It may seem a bit confusing to us laypeople–this level of variety–but G-d is an expert and can handle complex shit like that. That is why He is G-d, and we are not.

    Bad4–am not going to agree with or dismiss your concerns…. Yes, to me 24 seems incredibly young, but I remember being 24 and single and panicking. And I was (and still am) secular. Ummm…and still single.

    (Don’t read too much into that last bit. From what I can tell, my life up to age 24 was radically different than yours, so there is no reason for you to assume that your path from 24-40 will have the slightest resemblance to mine).

    What I will do is wish you a happy birthday and a Shana Tova and may G-d send you your beshert speedily. And when He does, I want to be invited to your wedding so I can wear a red dress and have fun scandalizing everyone around me. 🙂

    Because, hey, it’s all about me.

    Seriously–loads and loads of blessings for you this year!

  35. “You know, we don’t all make grotesque assumptions about people based on their age or other non-contextual tidbits.”
    it’s true not everyone does. but most do and that’s really my point. or maybe i just live in a different reality then you, in my reality people look at such things as age and whether the person was priorily divorced and the such and in your world, people only look at the internal dimensions that is the person. i wish i lived in this world of yours but nebach, im living in “the real world”.
    i’m actually surprised that you were considering going out with a divorcee at your age. would you have considered it if you were 21? what i mean to say is, were you always so open to going out with a divorcee or was it when you hit some point of awareness?

  36. Happy Birthday!

    I was totally freaked out over turning 24. Well actually 23 was worst, by 24 I was already ‘what the heck another year’
    But guess what? I got engaged!! So I’ve decided it’s not such a bad age after all 🙂

  37. Well of course, soul: as an ‘older’ single I am automatically smarter than you and I know it.
    In spite of being arrogant about my superior intelligence, I have never been so confident as to believe that I can conjure up an accurate picture of someone based on a few random details provided by his friends and relatives. If I did, I would have gone into the telepathy/fortune telling/weight guessing racket instead of my current field. So if a guy is in the ballpark and seems right on in 95% of his specs, I’ll give him a shot. Simple as that. Besides, there’s two sides to a divorce case, generally. How do you know which (if any) is the innocent one?

  38. the question wasn’t whether you’ll give him a shot now. the question was whether you would have done so when you were 21. and if not, then what has changed?
    and by the way the main reason i started giving any credence to older girls thinking they are smarter then everyone else is your blog. i don’t know if you realize this but your posts lead us to believe most guys are simply not smart enough for you.

  39. You seem positive about turning 24 – keep it up. No reason to be miserable about stuff we can’t change, and last I check we get a birthday every year.

    If I hear about an older guy, my first question would be about his simchas hachaim – is he depressed about being single. If I ask that about guys, I’d better make sure my friends can give a good answer if someone were to ask that about me!

    P.S. Chan wants ice cream…keep me posted.

  40. Besides, there’s two sides to a divorce case, generally. How do you know which (if any) is the innocent one?

    Actually, BOTH parties may be innocent, but the marriage might just not have worked out. Even NYS is finally joining the modern world and allowing no-fault divorce 🙂

  41. Soul, I don’t know why you think a 23/24 year old qualifies as an “older girl”–okay, it is older than a 19 or 20 year old kallah, but I’d hardly call Bad4 an “older single”–save that for the upper twenties+ crowd (like me, at 33. And I sure don’t think I’m smarter than everybody else. One thing about getting older is that you realize nobody has all the answers. You just do the best to deal with the cards you’ve been dealt).

    As far as the hypothetical divorced guy–the reason a single might be more open to such a situation as he/she gets older is that with age comes more life experience, and thus an easier time relating to somebody who has been through a life changing experience, such as divorce.

  42. Really, soul? You judge all older single frum females by moi? While I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself unique, I know for a fact that we’re a fairly diverse bunch. And I’m just talking about the ones my age. I don’t think I’m over the hill yet. That’s next year.

    I don’t know what I would have done at 21, as it never came up. It’s always easier to give an answer when it doesn’t mean anything. I will do you the honor of not giving you such a reply.

  43. I dont think the reason why a person doesnt want to marry a divorced man is because there is something wrong with him (with a divorced woman it is different). It is because they want to be able to grow together and experience marriage together. If the man has been married before he has a certain ‘start’ on her which can make it difficult for her to ‘catch up’.

  44. “Really, soul? You judge all older single frum females by moi? While I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself unique, I know for a fact that we’re a fairly diverse bunch. And I’m just talking about the ones my age.”
    honestly no, i just wanted to get your reaction on it though you did respond very nicely.
    “I don’t know what I would have done at 21, as it never came up. It’s always easier to give an answer when it doesn’t mean anything. I will do you the honor of not giving you such a reply.”
    thanks i guess.

  45. Soul – there is a really simple answer to your question about what may have changed. At 21 the pool of eligible guys that were never married was a lot bigger than it is today. Eliminating divorced guys is one way of narrowing the pool even just a little (kind of like a guy at 22 or 23 that won’t date anyone older than him or above a certain age.

    Now at 24, a girl is more interested in enlarging the pool so she removes one of her previous limitations.

  46. Ok but why should being divorced be a reason for disqualification initially? According to your logic, maybe one should disqualify anyone that has blonde hair just for the sake of minimizing the pool?

  47. I know it doesn’t help anyone to say it (or maybe it does?) but my sister, who is 29, just got engaged. This is normally the part where people will say, “So obviously, you will too!” But I like to think I’m more enlightened than that. I’ll just say, “I hope you find that reassuring.” The same way many people think I will find it reassuring that some woman took 10 years before she had a child. (“But I don’t want to wait 10 years!” And you probably don’t want to wait another 5 to get married.) So why am even saying it? You might ask. It’s a good question. I wish I had a good answer. Hatzlocha to you. O_O

  48. Everyone, I beg you to recall the infinite! G-d is in control. not statistics. there is no power of age over shidduchim. nothing is hard for G-d ever no matter what! it is just as easy for Him to marry off a 24 year old as it is to marry a 19 year old and that is that. it doesn’t matter what it seems like in this oilam. We go by what we know not by what we see.

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