“I was too young,” lamented a young woman who married a 30-year-old man when she was 23. “We simply couldn’t make it work. We became different people from who we were when we first met and had a fairly amicable split. One of our main problems was that we had never really discussed the future properly (in detail, not just ‘Oooh, won’t it be nice when we’re old!’) and I think we both assumed a lot about each other’s priorities. For example, I am very urban and he wanted us to move to the countryside. Neither of us was ‘wrong,’ we simply weren’t right for each other.” Yes, they got married too young.
Fortunately, this misstep is not as common as it once was. Men and women are pushing back marriage – if they’re even getting married, that is. While our parents may have married in their early 20s, most women nowadays are marrying at 27 and most men at 29.
For a woman, postponing marriage has economic and professional advantages. Women accumulate more wealth if they wait until they’re 30 or older to marry – about $18,152 (nothing to sneeze at). Postponing marriage generally makes for a more stable marriage, thus driving down the divorce rate. Couples who marry in their early 20s or even younger are more likely to divorce.
Postponing marriage, however, can become problematic if the couple wants children because the older women are, the harder it is for them to conceive.
Young couples should remember that marriage is not always “a walk in the park.” Marriage means serious work and effort from both partners because the honeymoon does not last forever. Young people should think about what each wants in the future and make sure both genuinely share a compatible vision of the future.