Matchmaker Rabbi: Why are women in their early 30s not ready to commit?

Dear Matchmaker Rabbi:

I’ve been on JDate a while and the question I usually ask to see if they’re serious is if they’ve been in a sustained three-year relationship at one point in their lives.  I’ve found less than 10% have, and I’m wondering if JDate just draws people who like to hop to the next convenient thing when the current one isn’t doing it for them. I know of no ex-girlfriends, female friends, or guy friends who hadn’t been in this kind of relationship by the age of 25, and I’m a guy from Manhattan.

I put this on my profile in the past as a screener and it did no good. I’ve expressed interest in divorced women, but there are very few on the site in their early 30s, which is the age I’d like to meet.

Where are all the women in their late 20s and early 30s who know how to commit?

— Ready to Commit

Dear Ready to Commit:

I’m sure glad my husband didn’t have your three-year rule. We wouldn’t have had 5 happy years together (so far) and two beautiful children! Not only had I not had a three-year relationship when we met at age 35 — I hadn’t even had a one-year relationship!

Where are you getting the magic criteria of “three years” from anyway? Why not two years? Or four? It strikes me as rather arbitrary.

Having a standard like that also doesn’t leave room for one enormous factor in life: personal growth! People really do change and evolve. While a pattern of short relationships can be a signal of fear to commit, it can also signal a whole lot of other things.

I’ll offer myself as just one example. In my early 20s, I had no interest in tying myself down with a permanent relationship. I was a late bloomer emotionally, and I was just beginning to find myself and what I wanted in life. I also used to joke that I had already been in a miserable 30+ year marriage — my parents’. It took me awhile to mature and acknowledge that just because they had a terrible marriage, that didn’t mean all marriages were terrible.

By my late 20s, I fell deeply in love with someone whom I thought I was going to marry. He abruptly broke up with me, without any explanation, and I never heard from him again.

By then, I knew myself and what I was looking for pretty well. After him, none of my relationships lasted longer than 6 months. Why? Either because the guy broke up with me, or because I wasn’t going to waste my time in a relationship I knew didn’t have staying power. If you are mature, it doesn’t take three years to figure that out.

My point, amigo, is that if you want to know if a woman is interested in marriage, the best way to find out is to ask — hopefully in a calm, casual manner that doesn’t seem like you are dissecting every word she says. Something simple like: “So, where do you see your life in 5 years? Would you like to be married and maybe have children?” I can’t imagine why any woman would say “yes” to that if it weren’t true.

If the answer is “yes,” and you start dating, the focus should no longer be on whether you think she really meant it. What matters now is building a partnership of love, trust and kindness that will one day make you both feel you could never do without.

To ask The Matchmaker Rabbi a question, please email

— The Matchmaker Rabbi

Joysa Winter, aka The Matchmaker Rabbi, knows all about how hard it is to find lasting love. It took her 17 years to find Mr. Not Wrong! In that time, she tried just about every singles site, dating club and Matzah Ball known to humanity. Now a rabbinical student and the mother of 2 young kids, nothing brings her greater joy than officiating a wedding. She is finishing a book on her dating misadventures called Chasing Cupid, Tales of Dating Disaster in Jewish Suburbia. Read more about it at
  1. I have been widowed for four years now. It may sound odd, but I want and desire companionship. I did find this site , but do not know what to do. Retired now, well still working part time to my knowledge up to date. This all seems so unreal. Meeting a woman online, it it me or just changes.
    Do not mind political differences, even religious views different, let’s say I go with the flow. Looks do not matte, what is important is give and take.

  2. I think the 3yr rule is arbitrary if not irrelevant. I think there are bigger issues and problems that women in the 30+yr range face that have never been married and are looking to now settle down. What I want to know is why women in this age range have a double standard when it comes to dating/marrying divorced men with kids regardless of possession. I would venture to say that women in this bracket are still expecting to get the single guy and have a family of their own and therfore holdout for the “one”. But from everything that I have read statistcially most men are more likely to enter into a marriage before they are 30, therefore, in an already shrinking pool of availability there are going to be fewer men within this 30+ age group. I am not saying women should “settle” but I think that they are expecting something that is very difficult to achieve within our already shrinking Jewish minority. I would encourage women to expand their horizons because divorced men with kids are 1) not always damaged goods 2) does not mean they are/were unable to father the kid and therefore would make terrible parents/husbands 3) will not love any new kids any less or more than kids from their first marriage 4) chances are they went through counseling during the course of the first marriage – you gain the benefit of their enlightenment(hopefully) 5) let’s face it there are fewer eligible men out there in that bracket if a guy has not been married by his mid to late 30’s I would think there is something wrong. No offense to my fellow men out there, but we are hard wired to mary and propogate and every Jewish mama wants her son to get married and have kids, if it hasn’t happened something is off, sorry. So to ‘Ready to Commit’ I say keep at it and dont give up, it is a numbers game there are fewer single guys in the 30’s range and you are in demand – but be aware that your geographic location may be a downfall to you too, NY is notorious for having the big weddings and marriages for couples in late 20’s you might look to expand your search area. Good luck and be well.

  3. It really depends on what are looking for. A 30 year all professional woman, may just be getting out of graduate school, and they will probably need sometime to get their career started without the responsability of a husband. Keeping a house and having a husband is very time consuming, so most want to have a few years of independance before making the biggest comitment of their lives.

    You may want to look for someone in the mid 30s, by then most women are ready to settle down.

  4. Hiya! I just would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice data you’ve got here on this post. I might be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

  5. First to the ‘matchmaker’ host: “I also used to joke that I had already been in a miserable 30+ year marriage — my parents’.”; The FACT is your mom and dad were married for 30 years, so maybe the normal arguments might have been disquieting to you but if they got divorced, they would have been as miserable as most singles are today; seeing a Shrink and on happy pills.

    Second to OP: I am glad that I had my marriage and live in relationship prior because women now are more obsessed with their empowerment and careers then with men. UNFORTUNATELY this may not be of help to you, but there are still some women who are not overly self absorbed and are available and have the capability to get involved SO keep on exploring. Maybe reevaluate your criteria and options.

    Third; most on line people in the over 50 category can’t even date; but they just talk about ‘relationships’ and ‘chemistry’. SO OP, Women know Spinsterhood starts at 40 years old and is cemented at 50 years old SO keep up your efforts and remember ALL it takes is ONE TO commit too. Women’s Lip has messed up committed relationships. If women would give the same priority to dating as they do to their careers, there would be little need for online dating. SORRY but the fact is women have the inner ability to deal with relationships far better then men, but most women online have problems even answering an email. AND everyone gets about TWELVE opportunities online then one in a Blue Moon. SO TAKE CHARGE of your life, or be a statistic.

  6. Send the Jewish to the Jewish guys . I am in St Louis have no idea where to meet Jewish women it certainly is not in shul or even a coffee shop or grocery store not even the J . here d u b i b 4 at yahoo if you know a Jewish woman for me .

  7. How in the world can many women commit since they like sleeping with all kinds of different men all the time?

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