The Best Age to Get Married
Studies reveal that you should reach a specific age before you get married
We doubt you were shocked when Avril Lavigne recently announced she was splitting from her husband of three years. But while it's tempting to assume the cause was her bratty persona or rocker lifestyle, comments from her friends suggested that something more universal was at play: She was only 21 when she tied the knot and later told pals that she realized she'd been too young to make such a life-altering decision. Could fellow young celebrity divorcées Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, and Britney Spears have also hit the same age-related issue?
The Magic Number
There are practical reasons for the mid-20s dividing line, and most of them boil down to two biggies: education and money. Turns out, the more years of higher education a woman has under her belt on her wedding day, the lower the chances that she'll get divorced - and by 25, you're more likely to have earned a degree or two. "Educated women tend to be more confident about who they are and less willing to settle for a man who doesn't meet their standards," explains Terri Orbuch, PhD, author of Five Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great.
Also check out:
Odds are that by 25 you're also supporting yourself, so there's less incentive for you to rush into marriage because you're seeking financial security from him.
But the marriage-related benefits of working and having money of your own go beyond feeling secure, says Pepper Schwartz, PhD, author of Finding Your Perfect Match. Learning to budget your cash carefully when you're single will help you avoid financial problems—one of the main causes of couple fights—for the rest of your life. And juggling responsibilities, dealing with differing personalities, and resolving conflicts on the job force you to develop skills that are necessary for maintaining long-term love.
Knowing the Real You
At 25, you've had time for some crucial life experiences, including a relationship or two that may have improved your Mr. Right radar. "You've probably dated enough to have a better idea of what you don't want in a man, which makes it easier to know what you can live with and can't live without," says Orbuch.
Perhaps the most important aspect of waiting is that you'll know what your goals and values really are, says Paul Coleman, PsyD, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Intimacy. While you don't want to marry someone just like you, marriage is a lot easier if you two share a similar outlook on life.
24 and already married to the man of your dreams? Don't worry: Many young marriages survive. But given the choice, you might consider putting off the big day until your mid-20s or later.
More from Cosmopolitan
- How to Be a Good Girlfriend
- 5 Signs He's About to Propose
- What Makes Men Fall in Love
- What His Cuddling Position Means
- 30 Ways to Touch a Naked Man
I'm afraid too many people treat marriage (true ESPECIALLY for men, but a large percentage of women) as something like an XBox achievement: TADA! look at me! I got married! People spend thousands of dollars on a glorious wedding celebration... and spend the next years of their life NOT celebrating the fact that they are married. It's not a notch on the gunbarrel, folks!
Think of it this way: Wedding is to college registration as marriage is to career. A wedding is a short event marking the beginning of the rest of your marriage. It takes WORK. It takes SWEAT. It takes TEARS. It takes TIME. If you are unwilling to invest these commodities, at any age, GUARANTEED the marriage will fail. There are 18-year-olds that are ready to maintain a marriage to a single person for their entire lives, and there are also 35-year-olds that can't even maintain a three-week honeymoon.
Maturity has far more to do with a successful marriage than age... Perhaps ON AVERAGE people that are 25 or older have managed to grow up all the way and become mature. The important thing is that maturity needs to be coupled with total devotion, through good and bad (can I get a wedding vow? lol), and a careful, thoughtful decision on whom that devotion will be toward.
Maybe we should stop having the big shindig with the dress and the tux and the cake and the dancing and the two-week cruise to Hawaii at the BEGINNING of the marriage and start having it at a later date... say when all the kids are grown up and moved out. You know... when a couple has really earned it!
I was 20 when I met the man of my dreams. That was 26 years ago. Then I thought marriage was going to be a snap. As a parent I tell my kids, it is a good idea to educate yourselves, whether through school, trade or travel. However that is not going to make you a wiser candidate for marriage. It may make you more selfish. Many young people are so focused on themselves that they forget that marriage is about two people. Nothing prepares you for marriage. It is work, a lot of work, just living with the same person for years. Not to mention the added bonus of financial strife, children and extended family (Yes when you marry that person you are marring their family too). Also few think about how we change. Our ideas goals and interests.
Would I have done things differently? Maybe, but I probably would never have met this wonderful person that I have shared all of my adult life with. It is never perfect, nothing in life is. All I can say is I am glad I made the choice I did and we worked through the tough stuff.
...also, for those who are engaged, premarital counselling! we took a few classes and i think it stopped a lot of fights that would have happened...we talked about everything from our expectations of each other (who would cook, clean, etc) to how many kids we want, to our financial goals...
people divorce because they don't ask the tough questions before they say "i do". or if they do ask the questions, when they dont get the answers they want, they assume wrongly they will change their spouse.
i was 22 when i got married to my husband ...two months later found out i was pregnant! we were both in school (and still are). i did everything wrong apparently. but in my opinion have one of the better marriages out there.
i dont think its about age - i thinks its about commitment! commitment to each other and commitment to your marriage. when you say (and mean) divorce is not an option, then it isn't...even though we have friends who are getting divorced, we don't entertain the thought.
here's a new idea - work through problems! (gasp). talk about problems. communicate and put each other first - not friends, not money, not anything (except God).
selfishness is the root cause of divorce (unless their is adultery or abuse going on). so lets stop being selfish.
Just marry the barmaid.
She's seen it all and knows a nice guy when she sees one.
Also she won't screw around because she already knows what's out there.
Forget about the age because all people are different. But waiting till the ripe old age of 25 would still be the smartest thing to do.
Shacking up is most likely the best test drive you can get.
One of my brothers shacked up with the barmaid then married her a few years later and after almost 40 years they are doing just fine.
The other brother did things properly (matter of opinion) and after a few years and kids later everything went to hell. She was a b*tch and he was a jerk but they were pillars of the community. (In their own minds) Funny how money makes people think they are better than the average Joe.
Anyway after many years of court battles he is still paying and will be for some time to come. She is enjoying the good life and he is working his **** off just to pay her so he can keep what he worked for.
Think twice before you jump because it's all uphill to climb back out.
Part 1 of 3
Part 2 of 3
Part 3 of 3
I have met many responsible young people and many baby boomer + people who still only think of themselves so it would appear that chronological age of marriage is a non sequitur.
People tend to reflect the behaviors of those around them, so if you are seeing faults a good place to start finding one source is in the mirror.
BTW since when have attention seeking celebrities been known for relationship stability?
+120,000 Hotels Worldwide---Up To 70% Off Hotels Instant Confirmation, Book Now
Save between 15-30% by choosing an Independent Car Rental Agency for cheap car rentals
Get great cruise deals on all ships and cruise lines
Save Up to 60% on Hotel Rooms! Compare Hotel Deals from Top Sites
Super Cheap Tickets--- Lowest As $1
Cheap Flights Still Available You Wont Find Lower Fares!
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (along with adorable Prince George) are on tour in Australia and we can't get enough of Kate's fashion. How do you feel about her style choices?
Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results
- I love them
- She could do better
- Who cares about Kate, I love Prince George!
- I don't care