My family and I recently relocated across the country. In the months leading up to the big move I spent hours and hours planning. But what I spent the most time doing for those 5 months was house hunting. I picked the neighborhood I wanted and then proceeded to try and find a house with ALL our specifications in that neighborhood. Two months passed and I still couldn’t find one that fit our criteria. But I was stubborn and determined to have everything I wanted in the location I wanted. Needless to say I failed. With less than a month left till moving day I finally relented and searched in other neighborhoods and Alhamdulilah, Allah (swt) blessed us with an amazing house in an amazing location.
So you’re probably wondering why I’m boring you with my moving diaries? Because as humans we create a precise picture of what we want (in a house, in a spouse, in our kids) and set out to full fill that picture. What we fail to realize is that real life and our imaginations don’t always line up. And just because we can’t find what we think we’re looking for doesn’t mean that what we really need isn’t out there.
One of the points that brothers and sisters looking to get married often get hung up on is the age of their potential spouse. Brothers usually want someone a few years younger than themselves and sisters want someone who is older than themselves. This idea of the perfect age gap in marriage is one of the first requirements that goes down on our spouse list and is often one that we have a hard time letting go of.
In reality though, having a “proper” age gap does not necessarily lead to a successful marriage or to a compatibility. In fact, if we were to look back at the most significant marriage of all times, that of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) to Khadija (ra), you will note that they had the most nontraditional of all age gaps. Yet, you will never find a more loving, compatible, supportive, and nourishing coupling than theirs despite the odd age paring.
Age is much like the neighborhood in my moving example. By holding onto that ideal and not looking or considering anyone outside of it you are limiting yourself from finding someone that fits you. Brothers, just because a sister is a bit older than your ideal match doesn’t mean she will be any less beautiful or righteous. And sisters, just because a brother is a bit younger than your ideal match doesn’t mean he will be any less mature, caring, and responsible. So let’s step out of our “neighborhoods” and see what Allah (swt) has for waiting for us!