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British Women Want to Wed Earlier Because of Bridget Jones

Bridget Jones Syndrome? UK Women Might Want to Wed Earlier

Twenty-something women who answered the recent Marriage and Wedding Survey in the UK said the ideal age for marriage is 26 and the ideal age for a first child is 27. That's not much of a newlywed period! Those behind the survey say findings a decade ago put the ideal age of marriage after 30. Why the change?

The Daily Mail points the finger at Bridget Jones, saying: "A fear of turning into Bridget Jones and viewing the future through an empty wine glass has prompted a return to traditional values." Could you read that without laughing? Other factors must impact when a woman decides to get married more than a fictional character who likes to drink wine, watch Fraiser, and rock out to Celine Dion (sound fun, right?). Well statistics back me up. Despite the alleged dread of ending up like Bridget, the average age of first marriages in England and Wales is 31 for men and 29 for women.

So while these British women in their 20s say the "ideal" age of marriage is 26, they're not actually getting married then. Are you surprised by this discrepancy or the overall downward shift in the perceived "ideal" age of marriage?

Join The Conversation
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I'm not surprised at what was considered the ideal age... I'm approaching my mid twenties and more and more people I know around my age getting engaged, married, starting families. But I'm also not surprised there's a discrepancy between ideal and reality. Ideally, I'd be out of school by now. With a fabulous job. And a million bucks.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
Right on, Jazzy! I had a friend- guy, actually- he told me, "I'm 24 and I'm not married... I don't think I'll ever find a wife." And then every girl he meets, he says, "She's nice, but I don't think she's the one." And then he would dump her after 3-4 dates.
dexaholic dexaholic 7 years
I agree completely with jazzytummy. Putting an age target on things just sets you up for failure, and rushing into a marriage just because will never end well.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
I think putting an exact age on when a major life event should occur is asking for trouble. If people just took their time and figured themselves out before committing to another person, instead of being stressed that they are single when all of they friends are married, there would be alot fewer divorces. People just need to chill and do what feels best for them, even if it means being the only single one in your group of friends for awhile, and even if it means meeting other people who are single when everyone else is pushing out baby after baby.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
When I was in my early 20's I really wanted to be married by the time that I was 28 (although I've never wanted kids so that bit doesn't apply). Well, I'm 28 now and it probably won't happen for another 2 years or so. Basically, it doesn't surprise me. We want different things when we're younger, but it doesn't always pan out.
Sundaydrive Sundaydrive 7 years
Since its women already in their 20s that are being asked this, I'm sure it has a lot to do with what their situation is right now. People in a relationship are probably putting their ideal age at within a few years, while those that are single would add some time to that ideal age.
xgreenfairyx xgreenfairyx 7 years
I'm more surprised the numbers aren't younger. The dip was probably due to the population of 16-year-olds pushing prams down my street.
bryseana bryseana 7 years
I don't believe in marriage. I'll probably never be a mom either. I don't have the patience for it. Moms and dads have the hardest job ever (parenting). Forget brain surgery or rocket science...raising kids wins the prize for difficulty. I admire people who do it.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I'm surprised. I find wanting to have a baby at age 27 even more surprising, I guess because my parents had me when they were in their 30s and so did all my friends' parents.
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