Waiting until your thirties to say “I do” may not be a good thing.
Friends and family can be unkind to people who marry young, writing off their decisions as silly and immature. “You’ve got your whole life ahead of you,” they say, “why the rush?”
But what is the best age to get married? It’s generally been accepted that one should go and sow their oats during their twenties before choosing a partner to settle down with.
A new study suggests that those who marry after the age of 32 may actually be more likely to get divorced.
Nicholas Wolfinger – a sociologist from the University of Utah – has analysed data from the National Survey of Family Growth and came to the surprising conclusion that people who marry later in life are more likely to divorce.
It’s a big change in statistics that have long been accepted as the norm, with Wolfinger writing:
To the best of my knowledge, it’s only recently that thirty-something marriage started to incur a higher divorce risk. It appears to be a trend that’s gradually developed over the past twenty years.
Wolfinger also believes that the statistics are based on what he calls the “selection effect”. That is, couples who have waited until their thirties to get to the alter may just not be the marrying types.
The study also acknowledges other reasons that people hold off on getting married. For many, it’s the rising cost of weddings. For others, the fact that an increasing number of people are living together before getting hitched and engaging in pre-marital sex, means that many do not feel the societal pressure to rush down the alter.
As for the ages that DO work for marital bliss and longevity, science says it’s the early birds (got together in high school or university) or late lovers (got together age 45-plus) who tend to go the distance.