• Tue, Nov 30 2010

Poll: Did You, Or Will You, Wait To Get Married Later In Life?

via Defining Beauty

An article in Marie Claire discusses the dilemma that women today face:  marriage and children vs having a career.  Though some women manage to have both, others struggle with the timing.  Women are attending college and persuing careers in record numbers, and many feel that their success in life is determined by their career.  It has now become the norm for women to seek careers; it is becoming increasingly rare to find women whose primary interest is getting married and settling down with a family at a young age.  According to an article written by Hannah Seligson, “The median age for a first marriage is the highest it’s ever been in the United States, and couples are dating for longer periods of time. No one wants to give ultimatums, but no one wants to waste years, either. Women used to offer up their virginity; now it’s their time that is the most precious conjugal commodity of the 21st century. How long should you wait? And when does waiting become foolish?”

Though it may sound glib, I tend to think that the age to marry is different for every woman.  I’ve been in a relationship for nearly three years, and, while I’ve heard people talk about how they would like to experience being single while they are young, I disagree.  I don’t regret the last three years of my life, because they are the happiest I’ve ever been.  I was single my freshman year in college, and didn’t enjoy it.  Being in a relationship hasn’t held me back at all; my boyfriend and I have traveled, persued careers, explored our interests, and maintained healthy relationships with our friends during our relationship.  I understand that some women crave independence and cannot feel self-sufficient while in a relationship; however, I tend to think some woman my age also feel that they “should” be single in their 20s, to fulfill what’s now sociologically expected of them.  I, myself, have often wondered why I don’t find myself craving a Carrie Bradshaw-esque lifestyle; the truth is, I would much prefer a laid-back atmosphere surrounded by my boyfriend and close friends, rather than go to a trendy club just to be “seen.”  I’ve had friends who really like the guys that they’ve been casually dating, but feel that they don’t want to get into a relationship because they feel like they should be single, rather than that they actually want to be single.  I also have friends who actually enjoy being single, and I’m fine with that.  I think it’s always better to follow your heart than follow some arbitrary guidelines defined by modern society.  So if you like being in a relationship, that’s great!  If you want to date for 10 years before getting married, go for it!  If you want to be single forever, and never get married,  I say, congratulations on knowing what you want out of life!  Do what feels right to you, because everyone is different.  To quote Jersey Shore, as I often do in situations of dire uncertainty:  “Do you.”

What do you think?

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  • Sam

    Well, actually, I’m married. Both me and my husband are career people. I’m 19, if you’re interested. We’re not having kids for a long, long while.

    Marriage doesn’t necessarily mean having kids.

    What’s more is marriage doesn’t necessarily mean “settling down.” We still do a lot of work, are both socially active, etc.

    Really. It’s a lot like having a boyfriend. Except infinitly better, much more secure both emotionally, financially, etc.

    And no, the sex doesn’t stop after marriage, it only gets immeasurably better.

    • Sunny

      I agree with you Sam
      I always saw marriage the same way but unfortunately men don’t seem to. I wish they did they though and maybe I would also be married buy now (I’m 21). A lot of them are scared of marriage for some reason and see it as a trap or something they do when they’re 40.
      I always said marriage doesn’t mean settling down and having kids straight away. Its like living together but legally (if you’re religious like me and don’t believe in it before marriage)

  • Eve

    Thank you, Sam, and I agree wholeheartedly. I was actually having a rant about this just the other day. The idea of women having to choose between marriage and a career is incredibly sexist– men don’t! I am engaged, my fiance and I are not planning on having kids, and are supportive of each others’ careers. In fact, having him as emotional support has made it easier for me to take risks (like moving to another city for eight months to work) that I might not have taken otherwise.

  • Judy

    I was married at 18; dropped out of college and wanted kids and everything. Turns out, the guy really wasn’t worth it. I was divorced by 23, wound up in another lousy relationship with a guy and his kid. I went back to school, got my degree and I’m focusing on my career. Not sure if I’ll ever get married again, or have kids of my own, but I have some time before I have to have everything figured out (I’ll be 30 this weekend).

  • Sunny

    i honestly dont see why you cant have both a career and get married. how does marriage hinder you in any way? if anything it provides all kinds of support like Eve said. i dont see why it has to be a choice between the two