Is There A Right Age To Get Married?

bride walking down aisle

When Justin Bieber made comments last year about hoping to married by age 25, Oprah had some advice: "25's too young" because your 20s are about "discovering who you really are, and you owe that to yourself." And maybe she's right – after all, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau from 2005-2009 the average age of first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men.

Never mind that the Bieber is Canadian, eight states had an average bridal age at or below 25, with the average gal in Idaho tying the knot as young as 23.2 (Washington D.C. fell at the other end of the spectrum with an average bridal age of 29.7). A closer look at the data shows that 44 states have an average bridal age that falls at or below the national average of 27, while the median age is 25.9.

I was a little surprised that my home state of Texas (coming in at 25.2) wasn't younger. After all, I'm used to a "ring by spring" culture that refers to girls getting engagement rings by the spring of their junior or senior year in college and planning weddings for the summer or two after. I'm not surprised, however, that my current state — New York, where careers trump marriage — comes in third to last with an average age of 28.4.

When it comes to the age variance, Larry Michael, dating coach and host of the Larry Love Show thinks looking at "education, occupation and the focus on establishing an occupation prior to getting married" could be some of the biggest factors. And Michael tends to agree with Oprah that age 25 is "pretty young for marriage, especially given the complexities with marriage these days," stating that "there's a huge growth curve that goes on through our entire life and to get married young complicates it."

While he thinks the 20s are a young age for marriage, Michael recognizes that if your priorities are focused on starting a family at a young age, that's another factor that affects marrying ages.

And, whether you agree with him or not, Michael asserts that since statistics show we're not very good at marriage and the average age has increased by a generation, "the idea of being with one single person, a perfect match, is just unrealistic." He puts forth the idea that maybe, just maybe, the person you're married to in your 20s, 30s and 40s isn't the same person you're meant to be married to later in life because we're constantly changing throughout our lives.

But regardless of what age you are when you get married Michael thinks the most important thing is to have serious talks about marriage with your partner first. "The biggest mistake people make is that they think they're committed, they think their love is all they need. It's a partnership, just like a business and you need to have conversations about how to do that."

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What do you think? Is there a "right" time to get married?

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