- Gender and Relationships
The Right Age To Get Married
Different people mature at different speeds and there is no way an across the board stroke can be made to cover all people.
That being said, I’m stating for the record that in general for the majority of people, it’s just not a bright idea to get married when you’re under 30 years old. In general 30 and over is the right age to get married.
The Centers for Disease Control has a tremendous amount of statistics on marriage and divorce. It’s staggering how high the odds of your marriage failing are, if you marry under the age of 30. The graph below is from Divorce Peers as presented by one of the top Google Answers researchers bobbie7-GA.
Age at marriage for those who divorce in the United States
There are many wrong reasons to get married: Pregnancy, financial reasons, or to get away from family. Compounding a bad situation or a mistake, with another mistake, is never wise. These mistakes happen more frequently before the age of 30: Wanting to get out of the parent's house and unplanned pregnancy especially.
Two significant events happen prior to turning 30. One is the development of frontal lobes. The other is the Saturn Return.
Frontal lobes are a part of the brain of mammals, located at the front part of the cerebral hemispheres. They can develop anytime between the ages of 18 and 24. For males, the development is later, and more dramatic. Frontal lobes are the center of our emotional being and personality. As they develop, a person becomes able to truly grasp concepts like long term commitment, and consequence. Additionally, the person develops their own feelings regarding these concepts.
Basically, it isn't physically possible for most 20 year old boys to grasp consequence, or know how they feel about commitments. Therefore, it's not actually possible for that boy to understand or know enough to enter into a contract that is supposed to cover the rest of his life. It has nothing to do with being emotionally mature, responsible, or in love. It's a physiological impossibility.
Anyone who's read my HUBS knows I've gotten many comments and emails from women claiming their boyfriends were all gung-ho on marriage and kids, then turned 21 or 22 and did a complete 180. That's because the guy grew up. His brain developed and he understood for the first time how really big a commitment marriage and children are. They stop romanticizing it, they stop overestimating themselves and underestimating how huge these steps really are. They began to look at reality correctly for the first time. They take it more seriously, and they reflect on what it actually means to be committed in a complete way, for 50 or 60 years.
The second major change occurs to people around the age of 27 - 28. It's called the Rites of Passage, or the Saturn Return. Recognized in many cultures as the true beginning of adulthood, this isn't a physiological change, it's a spiritual awakening. It involves accepting yourself and being able to focus in on what it is that you want to do with your life. Many times it brings with it confirmation of the path you've already paved, so it involves no obvious changes. But sometimes it is that moment that teaches you that you're on the wrong path, or with the wrong person, or that you just want something different than what you always thought you had.
Of course there are exceptions, but in general marrying prior to these two significant events is not the brightest of ideas.
There is a third life event, often referred to as the Midlife Crisis. This is when a person, usually in their 40's, re-evaluates where they are in life, what they have and what they've done. Regrets settle in. Fears of the future on their path become acute.
In general, if the Saturn Return a person goes through is a good one, the decisions they make afterward are the right ones. Thus, pretty much eliminating the Midlife Crisis.
However, if the decisions a person makes in their twenties were the wrong ones for them, the Midlife Crisis is where they crack. A woman may realize she has never been independent, never lived on her own and supported herself. Never studied things she was interested in, never had a career, or even a job she actually loved. A man may realize he never followed his dreams, or that he denied himself dating a variety of people and therefore doesn't know if the life he picked was the right one. The questions and what-if's can be crippling and cause depression, and instigate divorce.
It's not exactly the exception, as much as it is a wonderful chain of events, if you've gotten married way too young and it's worked.
The exact same phases apply, they just develop in an incredibly lucky way. So, it is possibly that you meet your life mate in high school. You marry at age 20. His frontal lobes develop and he realizes he is completely ready to take on forever, with you. You both go through your Saturn Return which does nothing but reinforce your focus on exactly what you've been doing all along. Yes, of course this is possible. But it's not the norm. Going through those 2 major life events to discover you've made all the right decisions for yourself, is absolutely possible, and wonderfully lucky. But I'm not writing this HUB for the wonderfully blessed. I'm writing a guide for the rest of us, the majority of us, who discover they've changed.
I've given you the facts, and now I'll give you my two cents too. I believe you need to be a complete person before you can be a good partner: Not only for your own best interest but also to be able to maintain the attraction and respect of your partner. You have to be self sufficient, independent, and strong. You have to love yourself, and what you do, and who you are. In my opinion, you can't really achieve that level of mature secure self prior to the age of 29 or 30. Trying to choose a life partner prior to achieving that sense of security and self-worth will surely lend to choosing wrong.
I also believe you should marry the person that you love, that makes you feel safe and secure and complete and beautiful. I believe if you have to talk them into it, it's wrong. I believe if you have to trick them, trap them, pressure them or otherwise coerce them, that you'll be very sorry one day.