My mom was 22 and my dad was 25 when they got married. It was pretty normal for their generation, since their friends were all getting married in their early 20s. Growing up though, I always thought, wow, that’s young.
Then I got married at the age of 24, right out of graduate school (my husband is 8.5 years older than me). A lot of my friends still thought I was fairly young. In talking with many of my Gen X peers, even if they were in steady relationships, the same principle often rang true: they wanted to invest several years in their career first and become financially stable before committing to married life. Some of the single ones wanted to date casually before settling down.
As with everything, there are several different perspectives on this topic. Marrying when you are young and in love may be romantic, but many people feel that they need to be single to take on the world without the new responsibilities that marriage brings. I felt the opposite. My husband and I were inseparable friends from day one, and I knew that together with him I was going to have adventures and opportunities I would not have had living with my family or alone – I actually felt more invincible and capable of trying new things together with my mate for support. I think this sense of inspiring and stimulating each other is part of what characterizes our relationship. However, there are reasons why most of the weddings we were invited to attend didn’t start happening until we were already married several years. Many of my girlfriends married between the ages of 28-30, when they and their spouses were more established in their careers and were able to buy properties, having worked for a while after college. They also planned to start families once they had reached certain other life goals – stability was important and waiting just seemed like the responsible thing to do.
Based on this article, the Millennial generation seems to be marrying younger, so the pendulum swings back some decades.
I also had the great pleasure to work with a bride this summer who was in her 50s and getting married for the very first time. I couldn’t have been more thrilled for her! 🙂
So the question is, what do you consider the ideal “right time” to settle down and get married? Does a “right time” exist? Ultimately each couple makes choices based on their own priorities. I’d love to hear your thoughts!