I cannot even count the amount of times my mother has said to me "don’t get married as early as I did ... not everyone is as lucky as your father and I." This past December was their 27th anniversary, after getting married at a whopping 22-years-old. Granted, my parents were indeed some of the lucky ones, as conventional wisdom contends that those who get married at a young age simply do not last. Similarly, age is an important factor when considering marriage, especially with today’s divorce rate being through the roof. In fact, the Huffington Post found that divorce at a younger age hurts people’s health more so than divorce at an older age.
Being that my generation is filled with those who are next in line to get married, I compiled the following quotes from people around my college campus with their thoughts on this marriage age question. I asked both genders, all races, friends, random people in the library, and of course those from all four years of study. Let’s see what they had to say:
When is an appropriate age to get married?
General consensus was that the late 20s or early 30s was the prime time to get married. Kayla, a junior, said "29 is the perfect age."
At what age to you consider it to be an inappropriate time to get married, or how young is "too young?"
Perhaps it was the way I phrased the question, but the most two common responses were "age 18" and "anytime before 25 years old." Interestingly enough, it was the males whom I asked that answered the latter, and more females who answered the former.
Conversely, are people ever too old to get married?
There was a unanimous answer of "no" to this question. Hugh Hefner was obviously the exception.
Do you think marriage is considered to be of importance to our generation?
The majority of respondents answered yes to this question. Sam, a sophomore, thinks it's important to our generation "primarily because it is a right for which the LGBTQ community is currently fighting." It was, argued, however that our generation deems "marriage as less important than it used to be," said Tom, a freshman.
At what age would you like to get married?
Everyone questioned gave an age of 26 or above as the age they would like to get married. The majority had parents who were married between the ages of 21 and 23.
At what age did you parents get married? Are they still together or divorced?
"My mom was 21 and my dad was 22. They’re recently separated." – Mandy, 20
"My parents were 21. They are still together." – Allison, 19
"28. Divorced." – Mike, 21 (Ah, Mike - you're AGE TWENTY ONE! You might be married soon.)
"Early twenties, they’re still together" – Sam ,19
"23. Still together" – Kayla, 18
Disclaimer: Are those still together as "lucky" as my parents were?
What reasons might people have for getting married at what you consider too young of an age?
Everyone pretty much said the reason would be unplanned pregnancy or their loved one going into the military. Others touched upon certain cultural orreligious reasons. Less daunting justifications were also provided. Sam said, "People who get married at too young of an age perhaps want to start a family earlier." Kayla said that "People get married too young because they dated the same person their whole life and never were with anyone else."
And my best friend felt the need to provide an extra anecdote for us:
"On Facebook, I keep on seeing people who graduated with me from high school two years back getting married. I think if you know you love each other so much, what is waiting a little longer going to hurt?" – Allison, 19
Before I leave you all to decide whether or not you agree with my fellow college mates, I want to quickly throw in what this topic made me realize. To even be writing an article about such a subject puts pressure on the whole institution and creates "right and wrong" rules for arguably the most complicated, yet sacred act a human can commit. Just something to think about.