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Has Marriage Become a "Waiting Game?"

Has Marriage Become a "Waiting Game?"


This month's big royal engagement story has created a flurry of interesting articles about the state of marriage in the U.S. and around the world. The latest one comes from Daily Beast writer, Hannah Seligson, whom I've mentioned before in my blog. She talks about how difficult it's become for modern women to engineer a marriage that is well-timed — one that happens late enough in a lifetime that a woman has had time to develop personally and professionally, but not so late that her biological window has closed.

Hannah points out that the median age for a first marriage is the highest it's ever been in the nation, and couples are dating for longer periods of time. She goes on to say: "More couples than ever are playing the waiting game, a game that, for women, is something of a gamble. Marry too early and your career — and your marriage — could suffer." (Why does she say that, about the marriage suffering? Because studies have shown that those who marry younger are at a greater risk for divorce.) On the other hand, waiting too long is problematic as well. It means it will be "tougher to have kids (not to mention find another husband if your beau jumps ship)," says Hannah.

Modern women, how do you feel about all this? Are you very concerned about timing — or do you feel like there's not all that much you can do to make a marriage happen according to your stopwatch? That things will happen when they happen?

I tend to think you gotta do what you gotta do — and if you're taking the time to figure yourself out or work on some personal stuff, so be it. Don't rush into anything, or force anything. Thanks be to feminism, you have choices. Sure, getting married in your 20s and 30s would make bearing your own child easier, but adoption is always an option. So is getting married to a partner who doesn't want to have children. So are all sorts of alternative parenting arrangements. (There's also an argument to be made for marrying Mr. Good Enough, but I find it hard to accept.)

What do you think is the ideal age to marry? If you could choose, would you tie the knot sooner or later?

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