Over the past few weeks, there has been an ongoing debate on Slate and all over the Internet about the age women should marry. Susan Patton wrote a letter to Princeton University girls saying they should lock down the good boys now. Two writers at Slate debated this same issue, with Julia Shaw saying all women SHOULD marry young and another writer saying the opposite. It's no wonder women are confused.
But the reality is, whether you marry at 19 or 38, there is only one recipe for happiness and contentment and it has nothing to do with age. It's not what age you marry. It's who you marry. Period. End of story.
Who you marry is the person that keeps you warm at night, comforts you through all your sadness, and holds your hand as you birth children and grow old together. Marriage is a beautiful thing that shouldn't be rushed into and shouldn't be forced because you reach "a certain age." Here are seven reasons age doesn't matter in marriage:
Not everyone wants kids: Half the reason most people give for expecting people to marry young is kids. But what about couples who want a soul mate but no babies? They do exist! How do they fit in? Why can't they marry when THEY -- not their biological clock -- want to marry?
Not everyone matures at the same rate: Not to say that you must be mature to marry. But people get "marriage ready" at different times. There is no rush or prize for being the first to the altar. Do it when you are ready. Period.
There is no time limit: It's not like parenthood for women, where we know our eggs expire at a certain age (and don't we know it given we are told every other second). Marriage isn't meant to be rushed into.
It takes time to meet the right person: I know I lucked out in my husband search. I got engaged to a man at 24 (and married him at 25) who turned out to be a truly amazing partner and friend and father. This is something I know 10 years down the line. But at 24, I knew nothing. So much of it was luck. Also, it could have been different had I not met him. Don't look to get married. Look to marry the RIGHT person.
Some people need to be wild: You know those people who get married at 23 and end up divorced by 28? That's because they didn't have the time to live their lives separate for a while. Enjoy your 20s single or enjoy them married. Just enjoy them the way YOU think is best.
Social pressure isn't a good reason to marry: Sure, it sucks to be 29 and unmarried with no prospects. But it's a hell of a lot better than succumbing to social pressure and jumping into bed with the wrong guy. You are still young. Marriage and babies can still happen.
No one else knows your relationship: People never thought my husband and I would last. Typically when you start dating at 22, that's how people treat you. But we did. Some who marry young will. Some won't. But age when you marry doesn't really have to be the deciding factor here.
When did you get married? Was age a factor?
More from The Stir: