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The "Appropriate" Age to get Married?


I'm not looking for the typical whenever it "feels right" or when you're "ready" answer. I'm looking for something more like ideally  in your opinion. Let me explain.

So my boyfriend and I were having a casual conversation about marriage, and what age is the right age. When he's gone off to college, he wants to travel and "experience the world" before he's ready to settle down, etc., because he wants a chance to enjoy life.
I, on the other hand, want something along the lines of the contrary. I want to settle down straight out of school (after I've gotten a job, etc.), and would like to be married with at least one or two children before I'm 30 (sorry if this sounds old fashioned!). I know that seems ridiculous, but my philosophy is his reversed. Both a marriage and children are a lifetime committment. I feel like starting early means finishing early, and with kids off your hands around age 50, you've got plenty of time left to "travel" or "experience" the world, etc.

We've been in the middle of a rediculous argument, seeing as he doesn't want to be engaged until we're 29, where I'd want to be engaged before I'm 25. Please understand that I'm not saying I'm going to marry him or anything, anything could change at any time, I'm just interested in your thoughts.

So, without all of that when it feels "right" or when you're "ready" stuff, ideally  believe is an "appropriate" age to get married, why?

Jul 02, 2012 @ 08:45 pm

15 Replies


You can never really plan life!

Honestly? It's when it feels right. That being said, you also need to make sure that you're both mature and ready. I got married and at 24, and looking back to when I thought we should marry. Neither of us were ready. We both had some growing up to do (living on our own) life to experience (travel) and things to do (college). I believe that every couple should live together before marriage (if personal beliefs allow) but I also believe there is a whole list of things one should experience before getting married, and more ideally, while being single. So, all in all 24 or older.
Jul 02, 2012 @ 08:51 pm

Take time to develop your relationship first

I think the most important thing to do is make sure YOUR relationship is stable and satisfactory before you start bringing in lifetime commitments or children into the mix. By jumping into marriage in an urge to just get the ball rolling, you could be missing out on the development and exploration part of a relationship. You never really know your partner until you've travelled somewhere alone together, gotten lost together or really relied on each other. I think that talking about the 'right age' is completely the wrong question. The question should be what's the "right time" in a relationship and I don't mean months/days or years :)
Jul 02, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

Ideally...and then not

Your boyfriend and I are so alike in the way that we want to be single for a while--enjoy and then marry and settle later in life. I set my own marrying age at 27. Ridiculously so, my ex-boyfriend and you are so alike that you want to marry earlier, just not after graduation but after being financially-able. I am now 33, married at 24. You see, it's really not about timing, or "feeling right". Personally I think it's about being mature enough (not just in age but in attitude towards life) and being with the right person. What happened? I never got to date another boy after my 1st boyfriend, we compromised..., we adjusted the "setting" of my marrying age, made it sooner actually. I can't actually say that I felt right then, but I knew I was with Mr. Right. Nine years after and two kids later, I am still with my ex-boyfriend. First and last. (That goes for him too)
Jul 02, 2012 @ 10:24 pm


I read the word compromise there! If and when the time comes that you can compromise with your boyfriend (given that the other factors like love, financial stability, etc are already present) then that's maturity. If you are 19 and you can do that, by all means go marry. But if you are 40 and can't do that...you need more time.
Jul 02, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

everyone is individual

I think it can be risky to set an age when you'd like to be engaged/married because you can be setting yourself up for disappointment, whether it's an earlier age or later age.

I always thought I'd wait until late 20s or so to get married, but as it turned out, I fell head over heels for my now husband in my late teens and we were married at a very young age. And we are still together and very happily married with several kids.

What we learned is that too often people assume that getting married means you have to sacrifice certain things. This is not true. You do have to make certain compromises for sure, but there is much you can still experience as a married couple.

For example, my husband and I traveled, went to university (Europe for him, Canada for me), blew our paltry life savings several times over on trips/cars, and much more. During most of this time we already had kid #1 and kid #2 arrived near the end when we finally decided it was time to get serious about starting our "conventional" married life. While we may not be as financially set as our friends who got serious about mortgages, retirement savings, etc early on, we have had a vastly richer life experience (in our humble opinion :)) than they. We may have lacked a little maturity, marrying as young as we did, but you know what? We grew up together, and there's nothing wrong with that.

The point is, don't set an age per se. Make the decision more about what you want to have from life - what you can do together, and what you should do while still unattached (i.e. those experiences in which being married might make the compromise difficult). For example, if one of you wants to travel while the other really wants to work on their career and there is no proper compromise solution, take some extra time before marriage to allow each partner to work on their goal and when you're ready to fully commit and do everything as a team, then it's time to tie the knot.
Jul 03, 2012 @ 10:55 am
Ali de Bold

I understand old fashioned

When I was younger I had the exact same plan for myself. I wanted all of my kids by 30. My Mom was 19 when she married and had all kids by 29. Many women in my family from her generation were married by 20. But she and my dad split up.

I got married at 26 and for me that was the perfect age.

While I understand completely the appeal of marrying young and building a life together, I honestly think it is better to wait a bit. Unless you are with someone who feels exactly the way you do and really wants to settle down right away, it would be bad to push it. Your boyfriend is clearly on another timeline and I think if you try to get married too soon he will always wonder 'what if'. You don't want a husband who is always wondering what life would have been like had he done things in his own time.

You change so much in your twenties. The person you are 20 is a lot less mature than your 25 year old self. It would be really sad to marry someone now who isn't ready and then years down the road one or both of you wants out of the relationship because you no longer feel compatible.

Of course there are some marriages that start really young and are rock solid. There is a lot of value in those because they don't have the baggage that comes from multiple relationships and broken hearts.

If I could give you one piece of advice that I hope sticks it is this: Focus on finding the right man for the rest of your life, rather than your timeline. If you are with the right person, it doesn't matter if you marry tomorrow or at 30. Better to marry the right guy at 30 than divorce the wrong guy at 30... with 3 kids.

If your boyfriend is the 'right guy', you need to respect his timeline too.
Jul 03, 2012 @ 11:18 am

Same Goals

I don't think there is a right age to get married. I'm turning 28 soon and am nowhere closer to married. I don't mind that though I do dislike it when other people seem to look down on me for that. . .

But anyways, I think it's important to marry someone who wants the same thing as you and marriage is one of those things. If you want to get married right away and he doesn't, I personally think that says something. If you guys compromise one of you might not be happy and that's not a good thing at all. I

f/When I marry someone it will be when he wants to marry me too. In your case, I wouldn't want to marry someone if he would rather go explore the world for 4 years. I wouldn't want to force him to marry me. If you are willing to wait that is another thing but then again, I don't know if that's a good either. To me this says that you both want different things right now and it's not a small thing, it's a big thing, so maybe this isn't right for you.
Jul 04, 2012 @ 12:51 am

Don't Sacrifice What You Want

Each person is different and there isn't a rule or a set of guidelines that can be followed for a successful marriage. I don't think that you can say that a marriage at 28 will for sure last longer than a marriage at 18. Of course that being said, with age comes maturity, stability and wisdom, all things that help to create a lasting marriage. You really just need to know the perfect age for yourself and feel that it is right.

I feel like you and your boyfriend are really on different paths right now and if you want different things, it may not be meant to be. In any case, you shouldn't have to sacrifice what you want out of life for him.The person you are meant to marry should want the same things as you do.
Jul 04, 2012 @ 10:16 am


No really. 25.
It's the Quarter of a Century Club age.
Ridiculous? Absolutely! There is no perfect age. Only when it feels right to you. You have to do what's in your heart and soul and be true to yourself.

My sister was exactly like you... met her guy early. Had all her kids before 30. It was her goal because she wanted to be a young mother.

I was like your guy - I thought I'd marry at 29-ish. I went to university and travelled lots. Problem was, I met the right guy are the wrong time...far too early. He SO messed up my plans... but I went with it and never looked back.

Life is not perfect. There is no perfect time for marriage. Just your own flawed, exciting, wonderful timing.
Jul 04, 2012 @ 05:02 pm

It depends d=

I agree that picking an arbitrary age can lead to disappointment. I also agree that you should wait until your specific relationship should be stablr, which is why it seems so silly when people pick a random age without a relationship. Um.. horse before the cart much?

Jul 05, 2012 @ 08:06 pm

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