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Is There a Perfect Age to Get Married?

In a recent Washington Post article, writer Mark Regnerus discussed the value of getting married young.

I took some issues with his piece, including the idea that as a woman ages, her "market value" drops, but Regnerus did make a coherent argument that marriage works "best as a formative institution, not an institution you enter once you think you're fully formed."

Regnerus maintains that marrying young allows a couple to pool resources, adds stability for the community, and benefits a person's emotional well being more than racking up the number of casual dating partners does. He laments the fact that the average age of Americans getting married has climbed to an all-time high of 28 for men, and 25 for women.

Of course, many people disagree with this argument, and encourage young people to focus on their careers and education while they're young, and avoid rushing into marriage lest it end in divorce.

If you see yourself getting married one day, or already have, do you think there's an ideal age to walk down the aisle? If so, what is it?


oxykisses oxykisses 8 years
I know tons of couples who got married young, and are still together after 25+ years...but times have also changed and temptations are at an all time high. I think it all depends on your outlook on life and your maturity. Some are mature in their early 20's while others mature in their 30's or even later. For me personally, i think 25-27 is a good age to get married. Also living together for a while lets you know if you're ready. You can tell a lot about people when you live with them.
cdelaney cdelaney 8 years
everyone is different. what works for someone doesn't necessarily mean it will work for someone else. it is all relative. my husband and i married two years ago at 22, fresh out of college. we were together for four years prior to getting married, and lived together for three of those years.
northernstar northernstar 8 years
Yes 25 and 28 is perfect if you are lucky to find the love of your life by that age! That is if you want to have kids - women over 30 and men over 35 who have their first child put their baby at risk for numerous health problems. I was one of the lucky ones, I got married at 23, my husband was 29. I think a few years of living together without kids is great, and we don't have to worry about being the old parents either. So I still think as marriage as the next ideal step after finishing college, if you are the type of person who wants to get married and raise a family.
danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
I think it depends on the couple and situation, there is no "right age" for everyone. I'm 23 and my boyfriend is 24. I'm ready to get married, we've been together for almost 4 1/2 years, but he doesn't feel "ready." It's something that shouldn't be rushed. I feel the rush a bit because he's in the military and I just lost my medical insurance yesterday (on my birthday). He wants me to move with him across the country, I want at least an engagement ring on my finger.
sweetescape sweetescape 8 years
I think 25 is good..or actually whenever you're ready. Yeah.
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 8 years
Ideally, late 20;s to early 30's because that would give them time to really know who they are, what they want, & time enough to obtain a college degree &/or career path before settling down.
sourcherry sourcherry 8 years
I don't think there is a right age, but for me it would never be as young as the article sugests. There's so much experimenting to do in your early twenties (and I'm not even talking about experimenting in the dating world) that I could never be married at that time. And to be perfectly honest, most people I know married that young because they thought it was the most logical step. Kind of "what's left now?", and I think that's the most unromantic thing ever. I want to marry the right person, not the person that I happened to be dating at the time.
erocka erocka 8 years
I would argue that my market value is MUCH higher now than it was when I was in my early 20s! Believe it. I know there are plenty of women out there who feel the same way. Maybe my skin isn't as tight, but my mind is better equipped... I would tend to think that would be a bigger influence on a successful relationship/marriage.
dubalicious dubalicious 8 years
I'm 25 and I've been dating my boyfriend for 5 years. I am JUST getting to the point where I can think about marriage without having a panic attack. It has nothing to do with my partner and everything to do with me. If I had gotten married right out of college it would most likely end in divorce. (obviously I have no way of knowing) but now that I'm mentally ready my bf and I are both going back to school full time, so it will probably be a few more years and I think that is just fine.
AZDaisy AZDaisy 8 years
I don't understand what the big rush to getting married is's supposed to be a life-long commitment, why rush it? Plus, when I think about the guy I was dating when I was 20 and thought about marrying...well, hah, thank goodness. At the rate I'm going now, I'll be at LEAST 30 before I get married, and that's just fine with me. I've had some wonderful experiences on my own, such as working and living in London for 6 months, which I know I wouldn't have done if I had been in a relationship at the time. But, to each her own, I suppose.
clareberrys clareberrys 8 years
I feel like for me, 24 or 25 is a good age. I am 22 now, and my boyfriend is 25 (so he will be 27 or 28). We started dating when I was 19 and I always wanted to be with the person I marry for at least 5 years before getting engaged.
sidra5397 sidra5397 8 years
^ Agreed. My parents married at 30 (my mom) and 35 (my dad) and they have been together for 20 years. They are both people who continued to develop when they married, rather than enter fully developed as you might presume from their ages. They really grew together and made each other better people. They continue to do that and they are my example of a well funtioning relationship. It's all a matter of two individuals who are ready to commit, compromise and work together to stay happy... Age is only a factor when you let it become one in your mind.
ella1978 ella1978 8 years
My parents got married at 20 & 23 as well, and after 34 years of marriage got divorced. For me, it wasn't about getting married quickly, it was about finding the perfect person for me. Someone who loved me regardless of anything, loved me for who I was. Someone who would appreciate all that I would do for them, and would reciprocate. Someone willing to share household duties, and someone who would make a great father to my future children. All of this was much more imporatant to me than getting married at the "ideal age". We are getting married next summer. I'll be 31 & he will be 28.
SanDiegoLove SanDiegoLove 8 years
The 'perfect time' isn't an exact age, it's whenever you meet your other half and are in a place to get married. For me, this happened at 19. My best friend on the other hand, is almost 28 and hasn't come close. No big deal for either of us. We're both successful college graduates who love our lives.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Hainan - Someone can be the "marrying type" and still be completely wrong for you - I only have ever dated with marriage in mind so I don't get this criticism.
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