real life

Bad news for people who got married after turning 32.

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.

new study suggests that those who marry after the age of 32 may actually be more likely to get divorced.

A new study suggests those who marry in their early thirties may not be headed for a happy ever after.

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.

Kim Kardashian walked down the aisle for the third time to marry Kanye West when she was 33. Image via Instagram.

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.

Sorry, Kristen Bell (who was 33 when she tied the knot).

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.


Couples who get together early, grow up together. With the right communication skills, strong motivation and commitment, each adapts to accommodate the other, moulding to fit with equal give on either side.

And for those who find love later, there are a few benefits. You choose better because age really does improve our judgement and, almost despite yourself, do end up wiser about who is right for you.

The older you are, the more likely you are to know what you want and if you’re even half decent at being able to articulate that to someone else, more likely to get it.

Plus, there’s an advantage to a slightly dampened libido – you’re less likely to cheat and know the difference between good sex and love. After the many breaks and bruises the average heart receives in 20-odd years of living and loving, you’re also quite appreciative when you do find a relationship that works really well.

There is also an age gap between partners that is supposed to be ideal. According to the people at (who we’re sure are a very, very reliable source *cough*), in an ideal relationship the man should be exactly 52 months older than the female partner (four years and four months). In fact a whopping forty per cent of respondents to this highly scientific study said that three to four years was an ideal gap and 33 per cent of women wanted a gap of five to six years.

Only one per cent of women thought the ideal relationship is with a younger man.

Studies, pfft! What do they know…

How old were you when you got married? What do you think of the study?

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If you found love at either of these ages, you’ll stay together.

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Is 22 too young to get married? 

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