What is the best age to get married? Everyone has their own opinions, so you should make up your own mind. But here are some things to consider before you pop the big question.
Everyone seems to have strong opinions about when is the best age to get married. You’ve probably heard people say that a couple is too young to get married. Or maybe that someone is now too old and will never find themselves happily married.
It also isn’t common to see an elderly couple get married. But despite all these opinions, you still have high school sweethearts together after 20 years and nursing home couples saying, “I do.”
Is there really a sweet-spot age that will guarantee that your marriage will be happier and more likely to stand the test of time?
If you wait until you have your career established and purchased a home, will you have a more successful marriage? Or is growing together and handling hardships what makes a marriage last?
Well, yes and no to all of it.
What is the best age to get married?
According to statistics, the best age to get married is 28-32. At this age, marriages are statistically more likely to last longer than five years.
Now, some might consider that a successful marriage. We all assume that by this age a couple is financially stable and has enough experience of being on their own to handle the responsibilities of marriage.
However, there are so many variables that go into a marriage. These statistics aren’t saying that a 34-year-old’s marriage will fail or that those who get married in their early twenties are doomed.
It also doesn’t mean that everyone who gets married between 28 and 32 will have a long-lasting marriage. So, is there such a thing as the best age to get married?
Probably not. Sure, these numbers may make sense scientifically and mathematically. Yes, the brain reaches maturity at 25, so it would make sense that making that commitment after 25 would turn out better.
But everyone matures at a different rate. You, your siblings, and your ex all grow at different rates. Just because you feel ready for marriage doesn’t mean your partner is and vice versa.
So, what is the best age to get married? There probably isn’t one. Is there a better age? A more likely to be successful age? A more practical age? Sure. But what does that mean?
Why is there a best age to get married?
Marriage is not a business deal. It isn’t something that needs to have a certain amount T’s crossed and I’s dotted in order to go through. You don’t have to be ready to have kids to tie the knot. Nor do you have to be living on your own or making a certain amount of money.
Sure, there are ages when you smooth these things out, and maybe a marriage after you’ve figured all that out is better in some ways.
But just because statistically a marriage doesn’t end in divorce doesn’t mean it is happy. Although it can be reassuring to know you are tieing the knot at the statistically-reported age where marriages last longer, it isn’t a sure thing. A lasting marriage doesn’t define a happy marriage.
Despite that, 28-32 is still the time many people cling to as the most ideal age to enter a marriage. Why? Well, on average, once you’ve hit your late twenties you’ve had some experiences.
You’ve taken on responsibilities, you know what you want, and are more confident in yourself. You are also old enough but not set in your ways. You can still compromise.
Marriage requires changes to your daily routine and accommodation for someone else. At a certain age, it can be more difficult to break out of your routines and adjust.
This all makes logical sense, but that isn’t all that makes up a relationship.
The 37% rule
One theory about how to ensure your marriage is a happy one is the 37% rule. This rule supposedly helps you make many big decisions like finding the right job candidate, house, or partner.
Basically, the best time for you to make your choice is when you’ve seen 37% of the options.
This rule would make age 26 the ideal time to find your perfect mate. But only if you are looking between the ages of 18 and 40.
Although we may like to think so, at 18 most of us aren’t looking for our forever love. So if you push that age back a few years, the 37% rate would change.
Just like statistics, this theory doesn’t carry much weight. It doesn’t account for anything important, like love, emotional maturity, or how active someone is in looking for their life partner.
This theory, if anything, should serve as more of a loose guide than a solid piece of evidence.
What makes a happy, long-lasting marriage?
The thing that helps relationships last isn’t just honesty and communication, but a desire to make it work and be together. That can come at any age.
Knowing whether or not it is the right time for you to be in a marriage shouldn’t be about how old you are. It should be about if it feels right. Do you feel safe? Do you feel happy?
These things are what make or break a marriage. Should you wait to move in with your boyfriend until you’re engaged because that has a higher success rate? No.
Should you never consider someone that didn’t graduate college because divorce rates are higher among those that aren’t college educated? Absolutely not!
Pros and cons of marrying young
People can’t always choose when they get married, but maybe you’re young and trying to figure out whether or not you’re ready for marriage. Here are the pros and cons of getting married young you should consider first:
1. You can have kids when you’re young
Unlike people who have children in their 40s or even later, you will have a small age gap between your kids. That means that as they grow older, you’ll have the energy to run around with them.
You’re not going in your 60s when they graduate high school. You’ll have the whole second half of your life to enjoy as an empty nester.
2. You can spend your whole lives together
Is there anything better than going through your whole life with that one special person to love? That’s what marriage should be about, right?
Unlike people who stay single during their early adulthood, you’ll likely see your 50th or 60th anniversary maybe even longer. That is very special, not to mention quite an accomplishment!
3. You might get to meet your great-grandchildren *or great-great grandchildren*
Because you have children when you are young, you will also be a young grandparent and great-grandparent. People who have children later in life might only get to see their grandchildren.
But you might get to see at least two or more generations that descend from you and your spouse. It’s very heartwarming to see all of those little loved ones that came from the two of you.
Depending on how young you are, you might have just started off in your job or career and not be making a lot of money yet. That limits your options for living expenses and other fun things to do.
So, you might be scraping by in the beginning and for a while until you get your career on track and make more money.
2. You are both going to change
No one stays the same for their whole lives. We all grow and change – hopefully for the better. So, who you are in your early 20s is not who you’re going to be in your 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond.
So, since you both are going to change, there is a chance that you might grow apart. Sure, you can grow with each other, but it doesn’t always happen that way.
3. You have less freedom
While other people in their 20s are out partying and living life to the fullest, you might be staying in every night because of a lack of finances or even a baby or two. You might become envious or resentful that you can’t do that.
Having children is not easy, especially when you are young. You don’t have as much experience and might not make the best parenting decisions.
4. You have less life experience
As you get older, you get wiser. Or at least you should! Older people have more life experience, have made more mistakes, and have learned from them.
So, if you wait to enter a marriage, you have more life lessons that you can use to make your marriage more successful. Of course, not everyone gets wise with age, but it sure is more likely.
Pros and cons of marrying older
If you’re wondering if you should wait to get tie the knot until you’re older, then here are the pros and cons of that decision:
1. You’re more settled with your finances and career
If you don’t get married until later, then that gives you a lot of time to focus on your career and making money and investments for the future.
You won’t be as stressed out about finances and will be able to provide a better life for your family.
2. You’ve grown into who you are as a person
You’ve had more experiences than a young person, so you are more confident about who you are and what you want in life. Not only that, you have figured out who you want in a partner too – probably by trial and error.
3. You sewed your wild oats
Most likely, you lived life and had some pretty good times in your younger years.
Whether it was partying, traveling, having sex, or doing whatever makes you happy, you won’t be wondering what you’re missing because you already did it.
4. You’re more mature
You’ve made mistakes and you have learned from them. And if you have children, it’s likely that you will be a more patient and loving parent than you would be if you were young. You can teach your kids more life lessons.
1. Fertility problems
While men can have children at any age, women don’t have that luxury. Pregnancy over the age of 35 is considered a “geriatric pregnancy.”
So, when you get married and have kids younger, women’s fertility usually isn’t a problem like it is when they get older.
2. Less time to spend together
If you get married in your early 20s, you will have many decades to spend with your spouse. But if you don’t get married until your 40s or 50s, then the time you have left is greatly reduced. You lived a lot of your life already before you met.
3. You might not get to see grandchildren
When you get married older, you are likely to be an older parent too. So, the age gap will be larger not only with your children but with your grandchildren too.
You might be too old or tired to really enjoy being a parent and grandparent.
4. Less time to spend with each other when you’re young and healthy
Let’s face it – people age. And when they age, their health usually gets worse. So, there is more of a chance for one or both of you to have physical problems, and the other person will have to take care of them.
When should you get married? Signs you are ready to get married at any age
Many people wonder if being 18, 19, or even 20 is too young to tie the knot. But there are so many things besides your physical age that you have to consider.
The right age to get married is a tricky way of looking at the problem. While the average age of marriage in several countries can give you some pointers, it’s not really enough to give you the right answer.
1. You have financial stability
Is this the right age for you to get married? Entering into a marriage is a commitment that’s beyond sharing popcorn and watching movies or going out for dinner dates.
While your life doesn’t really change after marriage, marriage brings with it a sense of financial responsibility.
You can’t really ask your dad to give you a week’s allowance or pocket money. So, are you ready to take on the burden of looking after yourself and your new family?
Are both of you earning enough in steady, well-paying jobs to live comfortably and manage any sudden expenses that come along the way?
2. You are both emotionally mature
The average age of marriage in your country will not affect your emotional maturity. It’s for you to decide. You may be partying late, having a lot of fun, and not worrying about what you’re going to do the next morning.
But for two people to live with each other happily as a married couple, you need to be emotionally mature.
You may have had a lot to deal with over your teenage years, like college assignments, dating, errands, meeting your friends, and tons of other stuff.
Now, you’re going to have to deal with twice as much, because you have a partner who is going to have their own share of problems too.
Can you handle that? You can’t really shut your room door and lock yourself anymore.
Your mum isn’t going to be outside your room door after cleaning the mess you created. Once you’re married, no matter how difficult life gets, you can’t shut your problems away.
You have to face it like a mature person. Are you ready for that? Is your lover ready for that?
3. You are ready to compromise in the relationship
Love your PlayStation? Love talking for hours on the phone? Or love just sitting back on the couch and swishing beer cans into the bin?
If so, are you ready to give it all up for the sake of your relationship? What about food habits, sleeping habits, and how long either of you take in the bathroom?
Many people in failing marriages say marriage is nothing but a compromise and a give-and-take relationship. But that’s far from the truth.
Marriage isn’t about compromise, love is. And it comes from the heart.
You shouldn’t compromise to put up with your partner, you should do it only if it genuinely makes you happy. Lovers like pleasing each other with little acts of kindness and love because it brings each other more joy and happiness.
Are you ready to compromise for each other? Remember, you’re going to spend the rest of your lives with each other now, and you’re going to be sharing a lot more than a few hours every day.
4. You can handle your lover’s shortcomings
Now, as perfect as either of you are, no one is entirely perfect. We come with our own packages of good and bad. The good is obviously wonderful and sweet. But can you handle the bad?
Can you handle it if your partner snores? Or gets up at three in the morning because they’re hungry?
What about if they leave the toilet unflushed? Or perhaps, you or your partner feels lazy after work, while the other person likes to rest only after finishing all the chores.
These are just a tiny part of the different shortcomings that we all come with. You may think you can definitely handle these things, but these shortcomings are actually the biggest reasons why relationships and marriages fail!
5. You can handle each other’s likes and dislikes
Over time, little details like their likes and dislikes can make sharing together time an unbearable pain. You like watching the game, while your partner likes watching a TV show.
Or do you like Chinese food while your partner likes Indian food? While dating, these differences seem cute and adorable, but in a marriage, they quickly become less-than-cute and more annoying.
You have to deal with your differences and make compromises every single day. To get over these little annoyances, you’ll both have to adjust your own likes and dislikes to match that of your partner.
Can you handle that?
6. When you’re ready to take the responsibilities
As you already know, being an adult comes with a lot of responsibilities. No longer can you just rely on your parents to take care of you and have not a care in the world.
Well, if you think adulthood is difficult, just wait until you experience marriage! It’s not that marriage in and of itself is difficult. It doesn’t have to be. It depends on the two people involved and how well they communicate.
But usually, married people buy houses, combine finances, have children, and so much more. Those are a lot of responsibilities.
So, if you’re still living with a roommate and like your carefree lifestyle, then you might not be ready for marriage. But if you’re ready to take adulting to the next level, then you are.
7. When you’re ready to grieve the end of being single
Speaking of a carefree lifestyle, are you ready to give up your single life? Some people hate being single and would rather be in a bad relationship than be alone.
But others like the freedom that being single has to offer. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. And you don’t have to consult with another person about anything, including your whereabouts.
So, if you really enjoy the single life, you really need to think long and hard about whether or not the marriage lifestyle is for you. And if it’s not, that’s okay. It’s not for everyone.
But you shouldn’t want to get married for the wrong reasons. If you’re going to mourn your single life, then don’t do it.
8. You have a healthy way of handling conflict
Whenever two people are in a romantic relationship – especially marriage – they are going to have conflict from time to time. It’s just inevitable.
And conflict in and of itself isn’t necessarily negative. You can grow as a couple if you know how to work through your problems effectively.
So, if your attitude toward conflict is that you have a “win-lose” mindset and you refuse to compromise, then you are not ready for marriage. Even if you would prefer to avoid conflict, that’s not good either.
Spouses need to have a “team” or a “we” mentality, not a “me” mentality. You need to work together to come up with solutions that are good for both of you – not just yourself. If you can’t do that, then your marriage won’t make it.
9. You understand the difference between real love and infatuation
Everyone knows what infatuation feels like, right? It’s the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling that you get when you’re with or thinking about your crush or someone you’re dating.
But do you know why you feel that way? Because when you feel infatuation, your brain floods you with tons of feel-good chemicals. It is almost identical to being high on cocaine – and that’s not a joke. Brain scans say that’s true.
However, that “high” that you get from infatuation wears off after a while. That’s why they call it the “honeymoon stage.” After a while, your brain settles down and you’re not as obsessed with the person as you once were.
So, if you marry the object of your infatuation at that stage, you might have a rude awakening when it wears off. That’s something very important to consider.
But if you realize that infatuation can and does turn into real love, then you might be ready for marriage. And most of all, if you know that your infatuation has turned into something real, then start making plans to walk down the aisle.