Is Marrying In Your 20's Smarter than Marrying in Your 30's

Evidently, when you’re a dating coach, everyone wants you to see the latest tragedy, so as a result, this article has already been forwarded to me a few times.

A new study states that you have a greater likelihood of divorcing if you marry in your mid-30s than if you marry in your late 20’s. The conclusion, of course: Get married right away! Your clock is ticking! Soon, there will be no men left! Panic! Panic! Panic!

I’m generally not one to question the veracity of studies – as a non-scientist, it would be like a politician questioning the merits of climate change – but something about this study rubs me the wrong way, in that it’s essentially trying to grab headlines.

Get married right away! Your clock is ticking! Soon, there will be no men left! Panic! Panic! Panic!

Dive a little deeper, and here’s what you see:

“Looking at the raw divorce rates, for instance, Wolfinger found that people who married at age 35 or greater had a 19 percent risk of divorce, compared to a 20 percent risk for those aged 20 to 24, and a 32 percent risk for those who married before they were 20.”

Dive even deeper, by going to Wolfinger’s website and you’ll see that this study covers the divorce risk only for “first marriages within the first five years of marriage.”

In other words, it doesn’t describe the seven year itch that may occur for a 28-year-old who married too soon and is trapped in bad relationship. It doesn’t describe my wife who remarried at age 38 after a failed first marriage and likes to think she made a good decision the second time around. Which is to say that, while it’s a splashy idea that marrying younger is “better” than marrying older, I think there are far too many variables that contradict such a simple narrative.

While it’s a splashy idea that marrying younger is “better” than marrying older, there are far too many variables that contradict such a simple narrative.

Don’t trust my experience: trust your own.

At what point in your life did you feel most capable of making smart, healthy, long-term decisions? Age 27? Or whatever age you’re at now?

The defense rests, your honor.

Your thoughts, below, are always appreciated.