General Question

captaindh00m's avatar

What age is respectable to be married at?

Asked by captaindh00m (101points) June 19th, 2008

For example, is it reckless to get married once you’ve graduated from high school, even if you’ve been with the same person for 3–4 years? Is it reckless to get married before graduating from college? I’m not asking about the steady-ness of the relationship, so just assume people involved are as in love as they ever could be. The old ‘standard’ used to be could you provide for your family, but it seems like that’s faded since people are getting married before grad school/when they don’t have a secure job yet.


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23 Answers

lefteh's avatar

Personally, I look at people funny if they say they got married before their mid-twenties.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t know if there is a standard age any more. It’s definitely something one wants to be sure about since the divorce rate is around 50%.

It seems like many people are waiting longer in life. Is that better? Who knows? I think there are pros and cons.I think it depends on the people.

Some high school sweethearts stay married for 50, even 75 years. Others break up in 2 or 5 or 7 years. In general, I think people change a lot between high school and, say, 25 and that amount of change is probably harder to go through and stay a couple.

On the other hand, people in their 30s who are established personally and professionally and somewhat set in their ways may find themselves having difficulty making the kinds of compromises that serious relationships and marriage require.

playthebanjo's avatar

marriage requires compromises? ~

mzgator's avatar

Wait to marry until you are twenty five at least. You change so much from eighteen to twenty five. Both my husband and myself married young to other people. We both were divorced . We were just too young. We got married to each other at the age of twenty four and have been
married almost sixteen years. We were almost twenty five. We were better equipped emotionally, financially and maturity wise to commit to a lifetime of marriage. We knew what we didn’t want In a marriage, because we had both experienced a bad marriage. Now I look back on my reasons for marrying my first husband so young, and I truly realize what a horrible mistake it was.

jlm11f's avatar

is it reckless to get married once you’ve graduated from high school, even if you’ve been with the same person for 3–4 years? – Yes, I think so. Like others stated, you mature a lot since high school and you couldn’t possibly know how your partner is going to change and what their hopes/goals will be 10 years from now. Personally, I am not a fan of high school relationships in general (i will probably get hate mail for this), I feel the kids are just too young (and stupid), and I think they should be focusing on their education and career goals instead of (for example) a guy who puts way too much gel in his hair to give it a particular look. If someone tells me he/she is in a relationship in high school, i admittedly think to myself “now that’s not going to last”. Like Marina said, some high school relationships last, but I think the %age of those relationships that make it is low.

Is it reckless to get married before graduating from college? – College is a time where you have some of the best experiences of your life and meet some of the best friends. You could start a relationship in college but I don’t see the hurry in getting married. I do (sort of) agree with the old adage that dictates financial security before getting married. I feel that since marriage itself, takes a lot of work, having additional financial stress can cause a relationship to crack. I can see people getting married while going through grad school though. They might not have the finances all worked out, but if they have been together through college and don’t hate each other, I think grad school should be fine. For me, the ideal marriage would be post grad school. Oh and I should point out that I am 19 years old, so I am not someone old who is trying to cling to their generation’s ideals. I just honestly believe that those ideals work.

captaindh00m's avatar

no I totally feel you on the high school relationship hate—I have two good friends of mine who are getting married this summer, while still being in college from a high school relationship and I just don’t see it as working out for them, considering they don’t have jobs/a means to provide for themselves nor the knowledge of the world to know for sure what they want now, or even what industry they’d like to work in.

I guess I’m just curious where the bright line comes in that makes after college okay—even when important things have yet to be figured out, yet high school marriages are somewhat ridiculous and an unmarried woman in her 30’s is ‘sticky territory’.

So I’m not so much asking on the merit of the relationship, as much as the societal standards and practices. Some people (country folk/extended family of mine) have accused me of old-maid-dom since I’m 20 and not tied down, yet my friends getting married are way too young. So is there an age that’s acceptable or is there always a limbo of too old/too young going on. Also, reproductively, unless the marriage is going to ensue ‘shot-gunning’ out children as fast as you can, women don’t have a long shelf-life in the matters of baby-making, so waiting until fiscal responsibility has occurred (30’s usually) seems like it limits other choices.

so yeah, I guess what’s your vote on my 21 year old friends who are getting married mid-junior year of college?

mzgator's avatar

@PnL: Great wisdom for someone your age! I wish I had been as wise as you. I learned my lesson the hard way!

I have tried to instill in my girls the importance of education first! Two out of the three have learned and listen. They are 19, 17 and 14. The oldest are my stepdaughters that we have raised. The oldest…. Boys come first….parties second and school last. Hopefully she will wise up soon!

SuperMouse's avatar

WAIT! I don’t think anyone should get married anytime before they have hit their mid-twenties. I was married at 21, and that was wwwwwaaaaaayyyyyy too young.

Trance24's avatar

I would say like 24 because by then you are set into a career, or just getting out of college and getting a career. The other key would be, being with the person for a while. But you never want to jump into anything until you know you are stable.

beast's avatar

Back in the old days, the age was 17–18. Now, it’s respectable to get married in your mid-20’s.

jlm11f's avatar

@ captain – ah, i see where you are coming from. I agree there isn’t a specific age that once you hit it you can say “aha! i am now ready and mature enough to be married”. I don’t think we can make a blanket statement about one age being the perfect marriage age since we all mature at different rates. But I do think we can make a generalization by saying that anyone marrying before their mid twenties will have a harder time maintaining their relationship. So for your question, yes i think 21 is too young unless your friends are exceptionally mature for their age. Once both people in the relationship are able to make smart, responsible choices not just about their relationship but about other things in their own life (family, finances etc), then I think they will be ready for marriage. Another way of putting this would be that once the person is past the “who am i? what do i believe?” stage (or the “it’s all about ME stage) and has some clear, basic principles down about life, they would have an easier time understanding their partner and compromising.

@ mzgator – thank you! I would have to attribute my values/principles to my mother too. She taught me to be able to step back from my emotions every once in a while to look at a situation analytically/objectively and make a realistic decision about things such as this. Some of my friends have mothers who keep asking them why they aren’t in a relationship yet and encourage them to put on makeup to impress guys. I am grateful that my mother instilled a sense of independence in me and wanted me to be able to take care of myself financially before I get too involved with someone else.

flameboi's avatar

the age you marry is.. i dunno, my parents were really young when they married, 18 or so, they’d been 25 years together, and it is true, they didn’t go to college and didn’t fullfil whatever they ever wanted to fullfil but I see them and they are happy, happier than any couple I’ve seen, I wouldn’t do it because I think it’s carzy, I guess a good age to say yes could be 27 (not that I believe in marriage, actually, I don’t) but, you have to explore yourself first, and enjoy your life and do the things you know you wouldn’t be able to do after you get married… I guess when the time comes, you will know, so don’t think about it much…

wildflower's avatar

It’s reckless to get married before you know this is the person you want rather than anyone else, that this is the one you fit best with, the one you can last the longest with, and so on – personally I don’t believe you can know that in your first relationship because you have no point of reference. I also think anytime before mid-twenties is a bit early because your adult life is still taking shape.

autumnofage's avatar

based on statistics alone I’d say its not the best idea to get married right after high school and in your very early twenties. based on my views..I think it’s for the most part stupid. Although I won’t deny the fact that some early in life marriages do work out but I think too many people have the mentality of “we’ll be the ones to last”. Live and learn….

scamp's avatar

I think it all depends on the maturity level of the people considering marriage. some people aren’t mature enough for making a life long comittment even in their 30’s. while others seem to have it all together much younger.

nikipedia's avatar

I’m not convinced any age is a good idea.

Zaku's avatar

24 seems to me the earliest recommendable age, not just because of life situation changes people have mentioned, but because your brains are literally still developing in areas that impact your capacity for social responsibility. That is, it is not just another stupid truism that you will be a different person in a few years.

Consider that if you think you are committed enough to be married, then why do you feel a need to be married so young? If you love each other, consider giving each other the gift of making that life-long commitment only when and if you’re fully ready for it. You can still be committed to each other, and (assuming your culture is typical urban American and your families won’t get upset) you could try living together to see how that works out.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

seems like you have 3 types:

The ones right after high school which I don’t agree.

The ones right after college and you start your life together.

The ones by the age of thirty which was the lone wolf and are pretty established in life.

bridold's avatar

I would think sometime in your twenties… but my sister’s situation is one that looks bad on paper, but she has one of the best marriages ever.
She got pregnant at age 17 by someone almost twice her age, but they’ve been happily married for over 12 years now. They’re the happiest couple I know.

It just goes to show that you never know. It depends on the people and what life throws at them. Everyone and every couple is different.

I’m sure there are people who have been together for 10 years, got married when they were 30 and got a divorce 5 years later, but at the same time there are people like my sister who got married and pregnant at 17 and have a wonderful marriage.

Zaku's avatar

Very true, bridold.

And having children may affect the decision.

However, I’d say that very young couples considering marriage should consider waiting for the marriage part until at least say 24. What’s the rush to that particular ritual?

delirium's avatar

My boyfriend and I have been together a long long time now (years) and he doubles as my best friend. I could honestly see myself marrying him. BUT we agreed a long time ago to not even consider it until we both graduate from college and are functioning in the real world + going back to school for the next step in our chosen fields. School first.

Zaku's avatar

Sounds swell. :-)

yvette05555's avatar

when you have known eachother long enough have finished schools and love each other enough wich would probably be around 25 years old

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