The right age for getting married: is there one?

Imagine a typical scene of parents talking to their adult child about getting married. Do you have the vision of the older generation pressuring a young couple to tie the knot? Researchers from Brigham Young University have found that the truth is actually the reverse.

“The assumption has been that the younger generation wants to delay marriage and parents are hassling them about when they would get married,” said Brian Willoughby, the lead author of the study. “We actually found the opposite, that the parental generation is showing the ‘slow down’ mindset more than the young adults.”

The university students polled for the study reported 25-years-old to be around the right age to get married, while their parents tended to advise waiting a few years until their late twenties. In reality, the average age for marriage has been slowly increasing since the 1960s and now is around 27-years-old. The study did not include students from BYU since most are Mormon and tend to have earlier marriage rates than the general population.

Parent’s advice may come from wise instincts. Getting married at younger ages is associated with higher rates of divorce and marital dissatisfaction. This may be because young adults under 25 are still growing and changing as people. Spouses are apt to change considerably over the next few years and grow into people who perhaps wouldn’t have decided to get married if they had met later in life.

When is the right age to get married? There is no universal answer. Many couples who have married young have had long, happy unions, while many who have waited to marry have ended up divorcing. Whatever age you decide to tie the knot, make sure you are getting married for the right reasons (a post on that next week), pay attention to any wedding jitters, and learn top-notch marriage skills. Check out our main site for helpful activities to strengthen your marriage.

elderly couple getting married