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When should you get married?


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.



  1. rghannam says:

    Marriage is pretty variable, especially when you consider culture. For example, my cousin laughs about this (female) even though her grandmother used to tell her that if she hasn’t been married before 25, she’ll be expired. It’s pretty funny how a person is compared to a can of Campbell’s soup in that regard, although with preservatives these days there are cans that can last longer than 25 years now that I think about it. Also, I didn’t read the article by Kathleen Gerson (you gotta love honesty) but I think an opinion can still be valued when I say articles like these aren’t to be taken seriously, literally or otherwise even if supplied with empirical evidence supporting why women shouldn’t marry young.

    We’re not talking about an article on carcinogens that cause cancer provided by evidence, we’re speaking of true bias and literature that was inspired through hardship of the author or others and their personal experience with marriage.

    What’s really shocking is that marriage is more complex than oncology.

  2. nabbas2013 says:

    I agree with many of the statements that you have made. Marriage is complicated and varies in many cultures. However, it shouldn’t be decided for us by other people, especially not the media. It shouldn’t be decided for us based on some research done that may have given them enough “statistics” to be applied to everyone. There have been many couples that got married at a young age and are still going strong. Although statistics may show that many young married couples get divorced in the future, there is also that majority that have a successful marriage and do not get divorced. There are still many men and women getting married young today. There are also many couples that decide to wait and get married later in their lives. Either way, it is the couples decision to decide when to get married. It is not someone else’s decision to make.

  3. zhassan2013 says:

    I think marriage has lost a lot of its value. Not that it’s a bad thing, but so many couples are cohabitating these days that there really is no difference after getting married. It is just in a way a celebration and some legal changes. So the question shouldn’t be when should I get married, it’s, “Does it even make a difference?”

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