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Best Age to Get Married: 26 Secrets, Pros, Cons, Stats & Signs You’re Ready!

What is the best age to get married? Everyone has their own opinions, so you should make up your own mind. But here are some things to consider before you pop the big question.

best age to get married

Everyone seems to have strong opinions about when is the best age to get married. You’ve probably heard people say that a couple is too young to get married. Or maybe that someone is now too old and will never find themselves happily married.

It also isn’t common to see an elderly couple get married. But despite all these opinions, you still have high school sweethearts together after 20 years and nursing home couples saying, “I do.” 

Is there really a sweet-spot age that will guarantee that your marriage will be happier and more likely to stand the test of time?

If you wait until you have your career established and purchased a home, will you have a more successful marriage? Or is growing together and handling hardships what makes a marriage last?

Well, yes and no to all of it.

[Read: The big emotional needs in a marriage that hold it all together]

What is the best age to get married?

According to statistics, the best age to get married is 28-32. At this age, marriages are statistically more likely to last longer than five years. 

Now, some might consider that a successful marriage. We all assume that by this age a couple is financially stable and has enough experience of being on their own to handle the responsibilities of marriage.

However, there are so many variables that go into a marriage. These statistics aren’t saying that a 34-year-old’s marriage will fail or that those who get married in their early twenties are doomed. [Read: Why we fall in love – a little science and a little fate]

It also doesn’t mean that everyone who gets married between 28 and 32 will have a long-lasting marriage. So, is there such a thing as the best age to get married?

Probably not. Sure, these numbers may make sense scientifically and mathematically. Yes, the brain reaches maturity at 25, so it would make sense that making that commitment after 25 would turn out better.

But everyone matures at a different rate. You, your siblings, and your ex all grow at different rates. Just because you feel ready for marriage doesn’t mean your partner is and vice versa. [Read: Are you ready for a live-in relationship?]

So, what is the best age to get married? There probably isn’t one. Is there a better age? A more likely to be successful age? A more practical age? Sure. But what does that mean?

Why is there a best age to get married?

Marriage is not a business deal. It isn’t something that needs to have a certain amount T’s crossed and I’s dotted in order to go through. You don’t have to be ready to have kids to tie the knot. Nor do you have to be living on your own or making a certain amount of money.

Sure, there are ages when you smooth these things out, and maybe a marriage after you’ve figured all that out is better in some ways. [Read: Healthy relationship expectations that define a good love life]

But just because statistically a marriage doesn’t end in divorce doesn’t mean it is happy. Although it can be reassuring to know you are tieing the knot at the statistically-reported age where marriages last longer, it isn’t a sure thing. A lasting marriage doesn’t define a happy marriage.

Despite that, 28-32 is still the time many people cling to as the most ideal age to enter a marriage. Why? Well, on average, once you’ve hit your late twenties you’ve had some experiences. [Read: How to make a relationship last – 19 love commandments]

You’ve taken on responsibilities, you know what you want, and are more confident in yourself. You are also old enough but not set in your ways. You can still compromise.

Marriage requires changes to your daily routine and accommodation for someone else. At a certain age, it can be more difficult to break out of your routines and adjust. 

This all makes logical sense, but that isn’t all that makes up a relationship.

The 37% rule

One theory about how to ensure your marriage is a happy one is the 37% rule. This rule supposedly helps you make many big decisions like finding the right job candidate, house, or partner. 

Basically, the best time for you to make your choice is when you’ve seen 37% of the options.

This rule would make age 26 the ideal time to find your perfect mate. But only if you are looking between the ages of 18 and 40. [Read: Cold feet or worse? The biggest signs you’re not really ready for marriage]

Although we may like to think so, at 18 most of us aren’t looking for our forever love. So if you push that age back a few years, the 37% rate would change.

Just like statistics, this theory doesn’t carry much weight. It doesn’t account for anything important, like love, emotional maturity, or how active someone is in looking for their life partner.

This theory, if anything, should serve as more of a loose guide than a solid piece of evidence. [Read: 14 unrealistic expectations that can ruin your love life

What makes a happy, long-lasting marriage?

The thing that helps relationships last isn’t just honesty and communication, but a desire to make it work and be together. That can come at any age. [Read: The secrets of a happy marriage that can make or break your romance]

Knowing whether or not it is the right time for you to be in a marriage shouldn’t be about how old you are. It should be about if it feels right. Do you feel safe? Do you feel happy?

These things are what make or break a marriage. Should you wait to move in with your boyfriend until you’re engaged because that has a higher success rate? No. [Read: Sex after marriage – 41 truths about how often married couples have sex]

Should you never consider someone that didn’t graduate college because divorce rates are higher among those that aren’t college educated? Absolutely not!

Pros and cons of marrying young

People can’t always choose when they get married, but maybe you’re young and trying to figure out whether or not you’re ready for marriage. Here are the pros and cons of getting married young you should consider first:

Pros

1. You can have kids when you’re young

Unlike people who have children in their 40s or even later, you will have a small age gap between your kids. That means that as they grow older, you’ll have the energy to run around with them. [Read: Naughty ways to keep the romance alive when you have kids]

You’re not going in your 60s when they graduate high school. You’ll have the whole second half of your life to enjoy as an empty nester.

2. You can spend your whole lives together

Is there anything better than going through your whole life with that one special person to love? That’s what marriage should be about, right?

Unlike people who stay single during their early adulthood, you’ll likely see your 50th or 60th anniversary *maybe even longer*. That is very special, not to mention quite an accomplishment! [Read: Happily ever after – the psychological benefits of marriage and commitment]

3. You might get to meet your great-grandchildren *or great-great grandchildren*

Because you have children when you are young, you will also be a young grandparent and great-grandparent. People who have children later in life might only get to see their grandchildren.

But you might get to see at least two *or more* generations that descend from you and your spouse. It’s very heartwarming to see all of those little loved ones that came from the two of you.

Cons

1. Finances

Depending on how young you are, you might have just started off in your job or career and not be making a lot of money yet. That limits your options for living expenses and other fun things to do. [Read: 17 brilliant yet simple ways to save money as a couple]

So, you might be scraping by in the beginning and for a while until you get your career on track and make more money. 

2. You are both going to change

No one stays the same for their whole lives. We all grow and change – hopefully for the better. So, who you are in your early 20s is not who you’re going to be in your 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond.

So, since you both are going to change, there is a chance that you might grow apart. Sure, you can grow with each other, but it doesn’t always happen that way. [Read: Clear signs you’re growing apart and don’t realize it]

3. You have less freedom

While other people in their 20s are out partying and living life to the fullest, you might be staying in every night because of a lack of finances or even a baby or two. You might become envious or resentful that you can’t do that.

Having children is not easy, especially when you are young. You don’t have as much experience and might not make the best parenting decisions.

4. You have less life experience

As you get older, you get wiser. Or at least you should! Older people have more life experience, have made more mistakes, and have learned from them. [Read: Life-altering lessons you can learn from regret]

So, if you wait to enter a marriage, you have more life lessons that you can use to make your marriage more successful. Of course, not everyone gets wise with age, but it sure is more likely.

Pros and cons of marrying older

If you’re wondering if you should wait to get tie the knot until you’re older, then here are the pros and cons of that decision:

Pros

1. You’re more settled with your finances and career

If you don’t get married until later, then that gives you a lot of time to focus on your career and making money and investments for the future. [Read: How to talk about money with your partner without fighting about it]

You won’t be as stressed out about finances and will be able to provide a better life for your family.

2. You’ve grown into who you are as a person

You’ve had more experiences than a young person, so you are more confident about who you are and what you want in life. Not only that, you have figured out who you want in a partner too – probably by trial and error.

3. You sewed your wild oats

Most likely, you lived life and had some pretty good times in your younger years. [Read: Wild and sexy drinking games for couples or friends at a house party]

Whether it was partying, traveling, having sex, or doing whatever makes you happy, you won’t be wondering what you’re missing because you already did it.

4. You’re more mature

You’ve made mistakes and you have learned from them. And if you have children, it’s likely that you will be a more patient and loving parent than you would be if you were young. You can teach your kids more life lessons.

Cons

1. Fertility problems

While men can have children at any age, women don’t have that luxury. Pregnancy over the age of 35 is considered a “geriatric pregnancy.” [Read: Getting married too young – 42 pros and cons and what age is too young]

So, when you get married and have kids younger, women’s fertility usually isn’t a problem like it is when they get older.

2. Less time to spend together

If you get married in your early 20s, you will have many decades to spend with your spouse. But if you don’t get married until your 40s or 50s, then the time you have left is greatly reduced. You lived a lot of your life already before you met.

3. You might not get to see grandchildren

When you get married older, you are likely to be an older parent too. So, the age gap will be larger not only with your children but with your grandchildren too.

You might be too old or tired to really enjoy being a parent and grandparent. [Read: 15 things to know before you get engaged that can make or break it]

4. Less time to spend with each other when you’re young and healthy

Let’s face it – people age. And when they age, their health usually gets worse. So, there is more of a chance for one or both of you to have physical problems, and the other person will have to take care of them.

When should you get married? Signs you are ready to get married at any age

Many people wonder if being 18, 19, or even 20 is too young to tie the knot. But there are so many things besides your physical age that you have to consider.

The right age to get married is a tricky way of looking at the problem. While the average age of marriage in several countries can give you some pointers, it’s not really enough to give you the right answer. [Read: Living together before marriage – 44 must-knows and how it affects both of you]

1. You have financial stability

Is this the right age for you to get married? Entering into a marriage is a commitment that’s beyond sharing popcorn and watching movies or going out for dinner dates. 

While your life doesn’t really change after marriage, marriage brings with it a sense of financial responsibility. 

You can’t really ask your dad to give you a week’s allowance or pocket money. So, are you ready to take on the burden of looking after yourself and your new family? [Read: Money management for couples and newlyweds]

Are both of you earning enough in steady, well-paying jobs to live comfortably and manage any sudden expenses that come along the way?

2. You are both emotionally mature

The average age of marriage in your country will not affect your emotional maturity. It’s for you to decide. You may be partying late, having a lot of fun, and not worrying about what you’re going to do the next morning.

But for two people to live with each other happily as a married couple, you need to be emotionally mature. [Read: How to be an adult – 27 mature ways to grow up and behave like one]

You may have had a lot to deal with over your teenage years, like college assignments, dating, errands, meeting your friends, and tons of other stuff. 

Now, you’re going to have to deal with twice as much, because you have a partner who is going to have their own share of problems too. 

Can you handle that? You can’t really shut your room door and lock yourself anymore. [Read: How to cheer up your partner]

Your mum isn’t going to be outside your room door after cleaning the mess you created. Once you’re married, no matter how difficult life gets, you can’t shut your problems away. 

You have to face it like a mature person. Are you ready for that? Is your lover ready for that?

3. You are ready to compromise in the relationship

Love your PlayStation? Love talking for hours on the phone? Or love just sitting back on the couch and swishing beer cans into the bin? [Read: Compromise in a relationship – 17 ways to give and not feel like you lost]

If so, are you ready to give it all up for the sake of your relationship? What about food habits, sleeping habits, and how long either of you take in the bathroom?

Many people in failing marriages say marriage is nothing but a compromise and a give-and-take relationship. But that’s far from the truth. [Read: Selfless love – 18 traits that set it apart from selfish love]

Marriage isn’t about compromise, love is. And it comes from the heart. 

You shouldn’t compromise to put up with your partner, you should do it only if it genuinely makes you happy. Lovers like pleasing each other with little acts of kindness and love because it brings each other more joy and happiness. 

Are you ready to compromise for each other? Remember, you’re going to spend the rest of your lives with each other now, and you’re going to be sharing a lot more than a few hours every day. [Read: 20 secrets to stop being selfish and ways to stop hurting and using others]

4. You can handle your lover’s shortcomings

Now, as perfect as either of you are, no one is entirely perfect. We come with our own packages of good and bad. The good is obviously wonderful and sweet. But can you handle the bad?

Can you handle it if your partner snores? Or gets up at three in the morning because they’re hungry? 

What about if they leave the toilet unflushed? Or perhaps, you or your partner feels lazy after work, while the other person likes to rest only after finishing all the chores. [Read: Should I give up on him? 25 signs he won’t change or be a good fit]

These are just a tiny part of the different shortcomings that we all come with. You may think you can definitely handle these things, but these shortcomings are actually the biggest reasons why relationships and marriages fail!

5. You can handle each other’s likes and dislikes

Over time, little details like their likes and dislikes can make sharing together time an unbearable pain. You like watching the game, while your partner likes watching a TV show. 

Or do you like Chinese food while your partner likes Indian food? While dating, these differences seem cute and adorable, but in a marriage, they quickly become less-than-cute and more annoying. [Read: 25 deep questions to ask a girl to see if you’re compatible together]

You have to deal with your differences and make compromises every single day. To get over these little annoyances, you’ll both have to adjust your own likes and dislikes to match that of your partner. 

Can you handle that?

6. When you’re ready to take the responsibilities

As you already know, being an adult comes with a lot of responsibilities. No longer can you just rely on your parents to take care of you and have not a care in the world. [Read: Long-term relationship requirements]

Well, if you think adulthood is difficult, just wait until you experience marriage! It’s not that marriage in and of itself is difficult. It doesn’t have to be. It depends on the two people involved and how well they communicate.

But usually, married people buy houses, combine finances, have children, and so much more. Those are a lot of responsibilities. 

So, if you’re still living with a roommate and like your carefree lifestyle, then you might not be ready for marriage. But if you’re ready to take adulting to the next level, then you are. [Read: 25 marriage myths people blindly believe that ruins love forever]

7. When you’re ready to grieve the end of being single

Speaking of a carefree lifestyle, are you ready to give up your single life? Some people hate being single and would rather be in a bad relationship than be alone.

But others like the freedom that being single has to offer. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. And you don’t have to consult with another person about anything, including your whereabouts.

So, if you really enjoy the single life, you really need to think long and hard about whether or not the marriage lifestyle is for you. And if it’s not, that’s okay. It’s not for everyone. [Read: Are some people meant to be alone and single? 18 signs you’re that one]

But you shouldn’t want to get married for the wrong reasons. If you’re going to mourn your single life, then don’t do it.

8. You have a healthy way of handling conflict

Whenever two people are in a romantic relationship – especially marriage – they are going to have conflict from time to time. It’s just inevitable.

And conflict in and of itself isn’t necessarily negative. You can grow as a couple if you know how to work through your problems effectively. [Read: How to resolve conflict – the 15 best ways to cut out the drama]

So, if your attitude toward conflict is that you have a “win-lose” mindset and you refuse to compromise, then you are not ready for marriage. Even if you would prefer to avoid conflict, that’s not good either.

Spouses need to have a “team” or a “we” mentality, not a “me” mentality. You need to work together to come up with solutions that are good for both of you – not just yourself. If you can’t do that, then your marriage won’t make it.

9. You understand the difference between real love and infatuation

Everyone knows what infatuation feels like, right? It’s the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling that you get when you’re with or thinking about your crush or someone you’re dating. [Read: What is true love? 58 signs and ways to tell if what you’re feeling is real]

But do you know why you feel that way? Because when you feel infatuation, your brain floods you with tons of feel-good chemicals. It is almost identical to being high on cocaine – and that’s not a joke. Brain scans say that’s true.

However, that “high” that you get from infatuation wears off after a while. That’s why they call it the “honeymoon stage.” After a while, your brain settles down and you’re not as obsessed with the person as you once were.

So, if you marry the object of your infatuation at that stage, you might have a rude awakening when it wears off. That’s something very important to consider. [Read: What does love feel like? 33 signs what you’re feeling is true and real]

But if you realize that infatuation can and does turn into real love, then you might be ready for marriage. And most of all, if you know that your infatuation has turned into something real, then start making plans to walk down the aisle.

10. Your reason for wanting a marriage has nothing to do with trying to feel secure, accomplished, successful, or free

You have to get married for the right reasons. So, what are the right reasons? [Read: Women who don’t want children – the valid reasons behind their choice]

Well, you have to truly love your partner. And you have to not be able to imagine a future without them. If you aren’t fully in love or can imagine yourself single or with someone else, then don’t marry this person.

Also, if you’re considering marriage because your family and friends are pressuring you to, then that’s a terrible reason too. They don’t know what goes on in your relationship. 

And they don’t know what’s in your heart. You have to live with your partner, not them. [Read: Interfering parents – all the ways they can affect your love life]

You also don’t want to get married if you’re “keeping up with the Joneses.” In other words, if all your friends are tieing the knot and having babies, you might feel the need to do the same thing. But you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people.

11. Your core values are in alignment

This one is probably the most important one of all. If the two of you don’t have the same worldview, morals, ethics, lifestyles, and personalities, then you won’t be happy.

For example, if one of you is very conservative and the other is very liberal, then the two of those ideologies don’t match up very well. [Read: 17 most important things in a relationship that hold it together]

Not that it can’t work, but you won’t understand each other as much as if you were both in agreeance with the same thinking.

Or if you are from two very different religions, that can be tricky too. Sure, you might be willing to compromise, but if you don’t understand your partner’s religion and vice versa, you could end up fighting about it.

Even compatibility in terms of personality and things you like to do are important for a marriage. Yes, they say opposites attract. And it could be true for some, but people who are more alike tend to get along better than those who aren’t. [Read: Sexual compatibility – 47 signs to tell if you’re incompatible and ways to fix it]

So, what’s the right age to get married?

Now that you know what it takes to hold on to a successful marriage, ask yourself the same question truthfully. Is this the right age to get married for you? 

Leaving the average age of marriage out of this, are you and your partner really ready to move in together and live as a married couple? [Read: How to be happy in life]

These questions can seem really simple. 

But unless you give them serious consideration, you might come back to this page a few months later and wonder how such small things became such unbearable issues that are tearing your marriage apart. [Read: Healthy relationship – 27 signs, qualities, and what it looks like in real life]

So always be cautious. Take time to decide, and give it enough thought. It’s easy to take a plunge into the ocean of love. But are you going to like the pleasant sensation or will it be a shocking and icy chill? These questions will give you the answer.

[Read: 18 emotions you shouldn’t feel in a healthy relationship]

So, what is the right age to get married for you? Now you know the answer, and really, that the average age of marriage makes no difference, it’s these questions that divide happy marriages from failed ones.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...