In your grandparent’s and probably your parent’s generation, marriage was expected before age 25 with children shortly thereafter. For many in the 21st century, those expectations have changed. Although most still marry in their late 20’s and early 30’s, it’s becoming more and more common for people to marry in their 40’s and even 50’s. But what’s caused this change and is it a good or bad thing for our relationships?
One of the main causes for the change, is the evolution of gender roles and women’s independence. Women are attending college, joining the workforce, and cultivating careers of their own. Because of this, their main focus isn’t on socializing and meeting the right person anymore. Instead, many woman are focusing on their career and personal goals first and are putting marriage off until they’re more established.
Some will argue that getting married later in life is better, while others will disagree. There are valid points to both arguments, so let’s explore them…
Pros for getting married later in life:
If you’re getting married later in life, you’ve experienced more of life and learned more about yourself and what you want in a partner. You’re able to weed out people who you know won’t be able to meet your needs.
Chances are your career has already been established and you may be financially stable, or at least on your way there. Therefore, you don’t need to pair up with someone to feel secure of for monetary reasons.
Perhaps you’ve traveled, seen more of the world, or had other experiences and adventures and now you’re ready to settle down and have a family. You’ve been there, done that and now you’re ready to focus on different experiences.
If the reason you’re marrying later in life is because you’ve been divorced, you may bring a new perspective and knowledge from experience to your marriage since you learned a lot from your mistakes the first time around.
Cons for getting married later in life:
If you’ve lived on your own for a while, or maybe just lived in a variety of places and found the one that works for you, it will be harder to compromise on things such as where and how you live.
Likewise, compromise in general may be more difficult. The longer you live, the more you learn about what you do and don’t like. That goes for meals, friends, going out, what car you drive, all of it. But a big part of a relationship is meeting someone half way, and you’ll need to be prepared to do that.
Having a significant other in the picture means considering their needs along with your own. If there are children from a previous marriage, you’ll also have to add them and any possible ex-spouses into the equation.
Getting married later in life, means you have more assets at stake you may want to protect. A pre-nup may be something you want to consider.
Biological clocks don’t stop ticking just because you waited to marry. It’s more difficult to get pregnant later in life.
Some get married later in life by choice, others simply didn’t find the right person in their 20s or 30s. There are always pros and cons to everything in life. What’s important is that you proceed forward with a positive and optimistic attitude that your decision is the right one.
Marriage isn’t easy at any age, and a lot of the cons of getting married later in life apply to getting married early in life too. After all, nobody likes to live somewhere new if they’re already happy where they are and making room for another person in your life is always a transition. No matter what the age, if two people work at it and compromise, you can conquer anything at any time. The choice is up to you.
written by Tonia DeCosimo