The traditional Muslim “all or nothing” approach to marriage is holding many men and women back from succeeding in life and having the self-confidence necessary to compete in today’s rat race. It is simply very draining to keep your virginity past the age of 20 and yet, a 20 year old man cannot support a wife and family unless he moves them in with his mother and father. It’s not only about money but someone being there for them on a regular basis. If this generation is going to succeed emotionally we will have to get over the American taboo of adults living with their parents. Obviously that means we need parents that are cool enough to live with, so we don’t have to run away from abuse.
One very concrete reason that Jewish Americans do better than non-Jews on many levels is because they don’t waste decades of their life feeling “uncomfortable” and emotionally frantic from lack of sex. Jewish parents actually push their children to become sexually active in a long term but not necessarily permanent relationship as soon as they reach puberty. This has historical reasons – Jewish law has a very strong taboo against masturbation and even considers wet dreams to be a sin. The behavior of Jews used to be early marriage, divorce, remarriage and sometimes more than two marriages. The idea was that the opposite sex is there to serve your needs so that you can then concentrate on more important things. Nowadays it is even more likely for a rich Jewish people concerned about lineage to marry young and then commit serial adultery, with adulterous relationships lasting for years and years. You may not like their lifestyle but the fact is that they are not walking around feeling uncomfortable.
Muslims should think about their options especially if they are Shiite. Shiites are the only religion in the world where the cultural practice is actually less permissive than what the religious scholars allow. God made it so easy for people to marry. All you have to do is make an oral contract and give her what she wants as a gift. “Save yourself from hellfire if only by half a date.” A man is allowed to contract a temporary marriage with a non-virgin woman such as a single mother or a widow. If they fall in love they can always get married forever. The imams are constantly advising the young people of Iran and in America to just make that contract before you fall into bed. Then you are not sinning. And yet, the Muslims are so “embarrassed” of sex that they would rather commit a sin than discuss intentions.
As someone who has had four children I recommend women marry young and get the baby part of your life over with before you are 30 because boy is it tiring. A 19 year old does much better on three hours of sleep than a 37 year old. Plus, women in their twenties don’t really enjoy sex as much as women in their 30s. So enjoy your thirties. Don’t save all the dirty diapers for your 30s because that is when you really need a good adult conversation and actually enjoy focusing and working on your goals. In your 20s it’s all about a woman trying to figure out where she belongs and who she can latch on to in order to get a position in society. I would say just let her get married at age 15 to a nice guy who is around 30 so she doesn’t have to waste the next 20 years trying to find herself in various pursuits.
And likewise, a young man who cannot afford to support a family should find himself an older woman who doesn’t “need” him to feel validated but would enjoy him and he could give her a little financial stability by giving her gifts on a regular basis. Only a woman who has her own friends and knows how to be independent can be safe with a man under the age of 30. But again, just be honest. Commit for one month, or six months, or one year. No broken hearts that way. You can still be friends forever. When a couple promises each other “forever” and it turns out temporary, that is where the anger comes in. Because the people feel let down and deceived and hate each other for the betrayal. The difference between fornication and temporary marriage is that fornication is based on misleading by implying future intentions that are sadly not realized, while temporary marriage allows you to come into the relationship blessed, and to exit the relationship blessed, always on good terms with each other.
The real question for most women though is how to attract a lifelong mate. Most of us would prefer a mate to a temporary lover. But nothing you learn in school or watch on TV gives you any instructions on how to get a guy to look at you and think, “She’s the one I want to marry.” And men don’t always realize that usually the nice girls are the ones that are too shy to approach. So how do women make themselves approachable to marriage minded men?
Basically you want to send out the message of “femme.” So wear a dress, earrings, whatever makes you feel pretty. If you wear a shawl either on your head or your shoulders it gives the appearance of “old fashioned traditional woman.” That is the key. Having soup simmering in the kitchen is always a plus (so you can invite him to taste it). Do not walk around in sportswear or anything androgynous. Pay attention to your posture. I’m totally serious – that is what makes guys think you are a lady. If a man looks at you, look down immediately but a tad too slow and deliberate. For some reason religious men never fail to fall for that one. And that is usually what you want if you are looking for a breadwinner for your future children. The next thing is to start working on your embroidery.
Whatever skill you have in textiles – knitting, crocheting, patchwork, or even just mending: do it in public. Just sit there in the cafe working on your sweater or lay out a nice blanket under a tree and start working on your needlepoint. Do not pay attention to anyone else. Trust me, a man will approach. If you can play a musical instrument, go to a wooded area like a park and just play your song – again, ignoring everyone. You will inspire devotion in the onlooker. The key is to be looking down and not at them. That is what makes women seem less scary to men.
So that is my advice of the day. Go forth and be fruitful now!