Over at the New York Times, a young woman named Julia wrote in to ask readers of the Motherlode blog whether they thought that, at 25 (she’s 23 now), she’d be too young to get married. The question was prompted by her mother, who, says Julia, is adamantly against her daughter getting married at what she thinks is such a young age.
Listen — I’m not going to hold back here, even if it may undercut the integrity of my otherwise very scientific poll. Once a person is of the legal age of consent (which, frankly, I might be inclined to lower if I had the power…but that’s another post for another day) I absolutely do not think that there is a “right” or “wrong” age to get married. I think this because I do not know everyone in the world, and that means that I do not know what’s best for everyone in the world. In fact, let me take that one step further — I do not know what’s best for anyone besides myself. And neither does anyone else.
All these articles about when to get married and when not to get married are nothing more than speculation, and often, people presuming to apply their own experiences to others. And it doesn’t work. Logical people should know that it doesn’t work. Yet there is no dearth of unsolicited, ill-informed marital advice…if only you look hard enough. Sometimes, I’ll grant you, the “advice” is backed with data. But it’s data that generalizes, and rarely takes into account the many factors that lead relationships to fail.
Now, don’t get me wrong — I love data, and I think that looking at marital trends and gathering information about people and knowing what the fuck is going on in the world is very valuable. But no data can tell you what to do with your life, and no other person can, either (once you’re an adult). Not even — sorry, Julia — your mom.
So, now that you know what I think, do you disagree? I welcome a lively discussion about this topic. And answers to my poll.