I was browsing the internet when I came across this opinion piece by Kathleen Gerson titled “Women, Don’t Marry Young”. Gerson is responding to a statement made by Susan Patton a Princeton alumna who advised that “Princeton coeds find a husband before they graduate”. Gerson states that research consistently shows that delaying marriage is better for women and those who marry later are less likely to divorce and attain important life goals. Initially I was interested because marriage has been a frequent topic in my family lately.
My parents, sister, and I are pretty much the only people in our family that live in Michigan, everyone else lives in California. For the past couple of years the questions that all my family asks when I visit are “What’s your major again?” or “When are you graduating and what do you want to do?” Well over spring break, I went to California and the question was definitely a little different. The first thing my grandpa asked me was “So… is there going to be a wedding any time soon?” and that type of question was asked several times throughout my visit from my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I guess since I am about to graduate this spring and recently turned 21, getting married is the obvious next step in my life… right?
Although my boyfriend and I do plan on getting married in the near future, my decision is not based on what my family wants. In my opinion it doesn’t matter if you get married young or old, the only thing I don’t like is people telling me when I should get married. Just because research says that women are “less likely” to get a divorce doesn’t mean that it applies to everyone and the fact that my family thinks getting married is what needs to happen next doesn’t mean that it would be the right thing for me. I think that everyone should get married when they feel they are ready. People shouldn’t pay attention to what everyone else is saying, if they feel ready then do it, if they feel like waiting, well that’s fine too. It’s important to realize that people need to make decisions for themselves, I know that I didn’t want to get married until I graduated college and despite the complete disapproval from my parents, I want to live with my future husband before I marry him (you never know someone until you live with them). In the end what matters the most is that the decisions I make and whatever come from them are because I chose to do them.