Sunday, March 7, 2010

moving to the guy's town

For most frum single girls, the 'Willing to Relocate' checkbox on their SAYS profile is always ticked. It's usually expected that if you marry a guy who's not from where you are, you're the one who moves.

Maybe it's that way because traditionally it's been the guy who was the one with the stable job and the guy who became the principal family breadwinner. And even though women today are more likely than not to have jobs, it's still often assumed that her work is only supplementary income.

A lot of frum women actually choose professions based on their relocation-factor (could explain the surplus of OTs, PTS, teachers, etc). It's as those we're all resigned to the inevitable fact that we could end up pretty much anywhere - wherever our own Mr. Dreamy-berg resides.

On a recent flight I was seated next to a 17 year-old chassidish girl. Naturally, we became besties. I told her about life as MO, she told me about life as Belz. She couldn't believe I went to school with boys. I couldn't believe she didn't want to drive a car. It was a journalist's dream. (if only I had gone into that profession).

One interesting difference we discovered was the whole relocation issue. In her community it's the men (well, boys) who move. They're usually pretty young when they get married (no sh%t), and the guys are still learning in yeshiva - so they can almost go anywhere. It's thought that it's important for a girl to live near her parents, especially her mother (who iy'H will help her with all the grandchildren k'h - and maybe they're trying to avoid any potential bad-mother-in-law issues). Then, when the boy husband finishes learning (or they have three children, whichever comes first), he gets brought into his wife's family business.

I kind of like the Belz approach. If only because it means staying near all my family and friends. :)
Should the rest of the frum world get a little more chassidish in this regard?

10 comments:

frumpunk said...

It works only if there's a promised job or something similar as a carrot for relocating. Although look at it from the guys perspectice; would you want to have to live right next to your mother in law?

I'd have liked to see more detail on why she doesnt want to ever drive and similar things. I'd love to see an in depth interview with a really chassidic girl on her life and thoughts. Last time I sat next to a young chossid on a plane (on his way back to yeshiva) he didn't say a word to me. He was too engrossed in the in flight movies selection.

Bored Jewish Guy said...
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Anonymous said...

frumpunk: I agree-sometimes a girl is in school or has a good job and it wouldn't make sense to relocate at the time.

Sefardi Gal said...

Great post!
I check off the relocation box because:
1) I want to move to Israel
2) I get paranoid. What if my zivug wants his wife to move and won't date anyone who doesn't want to relocate?
AAAAHHHH!

Anonymous said...

To refuse to relocate is very short sighted. You are honestly willing to give up your besheret/happy marriage because it's not your current city?

If Yakov avineu had this mentality I don't think we'd be here discussing these issues today.

What it comes down to is "practicality". For each individual couple they have to look into what is the most practical and sensical thing for their situation. Unfortunately many people just ignore common sense.

Anonymous said...

BJG: Maybe she just wanted to know if it's a possibility. I think girls get nervous when they hear a boy is out of town and they might need to drop everything they're doing and move away from their family, friends, etc

Bored Jewish Guy said...
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Anonymous said...

the reason chassidic boys relocate more often then charedi boys, is that in the chassidic community there is a reverse shidduch crises; more boys than girls, so the girls get to choose (for the most part).

The reason the roles are reversed is because boys and girls get married much closer in age, hence more boys.

Shades of Grey said...

I used to be more insistent about wanting to move back home, but I've learned it is best to emphasize that wanting to live in a specific place is nothing more than an ideal - and life is rarely ideal anyway.

Having said that, I know of three men who moved from the West Coast to live near their wives' families on the East Coast.

nameless, faceless said...

Frumpunk: I think saying you need "a carrot" to move closer to your wife is terrible. What might be worse is the obvious inferrence that her mother is going to be a medusa, while the tacit implication is that your mother would be a peach to live by.

Ps in case you're wondering, the girl is the only carrot. That's the first cardinal rule of a serious relationship; sounds like you're hearing it for the first time.