Whether you’re still totally single or in a relationship that’s headed somewhere serious, the idea of getting married can be scary. Merge your entire life with someone else’s, and then hope it ends in death and not divorce? That kind of commitment is a lot to take on, and it goes without saying that it’s best to tie the knot with your significant other only when you’re both absolutely ready to dive into life together headfirst. But apparently, the age you get married can also determine whether or not you’re going to live happily ever after.
THE SWEET SPOT
If relatively recent studies are to be believed, the best time to get married is between the ages of 28 and 32. According to Time, a study done by the University of Utah revealed that marriages that begin during this time are more likely to last, and the older you get, the higher your chance of divorce increases. In fact, for each year after 32, the chance of divorce goes up about five percent, which is insane to think about.
“The odds of divorce decline as you age from your teenage years through your late twenties and early thirties,” Nick Wolfinger, the sociologist who conducted the study, said. “Thereafter, the chances of divorce go up again as you move into your late thirties and early forties.”
NOT TOO YOUNG…
It makes sense that getting married at this point in your life helps ensure a long-lasting, happy marriage. Thanks to endless Teen Mom marathons on MTV (guilty), we all know that getting married at a super young age is almost always a bad idea; it’s almost impossible to expect someone to be able to promise to spend their life with someone before they’re even done growing into the adult they’re going to be.
Before the age of 28, you’re going to go through so many big changes that will also change you — graduating college, living on your own, discovering new hobbies, making new friends — and that will definitely affect the way you see your future and the kind of person you want to spend your life with. It’s helpful to have those big growing pains out of the way before you get hitched, even if you and your partner date and grow together in the meantime.
NOT TOO OLD…
And on the other hand, getting married later in life can be tricky, too. After 32, you may have developed a routine that you really love. You may have found a job or a city or a house that you aren’t willing to compromise on, and marrying someone is all about compromising. Chances are that whoever you end up falling in love with will also have those non-negotiable things in their life that they don’t want to compromise, either. It makes sense that, after this age, people might be more likely to argue with their spouse and end up getting divorced because they aren’t able to meld their lives together with the way they might have if they were younger.
But if you get married outside of this time period, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re doomed to divorce and years of fighting and unhappiness. Statistics can help us understand things like when the best age to make a major commitment like marriage is, but people who conduct research also don’t know you or your partner personally. People can get married in that age range and still split up despite that, and they can get married outside that range and live happily ever after. The biggest factor in determining whether or not your marriage is successful is you and your partner, after all.
And of course, there are a lot of other factors that can help your marriage last — just like there are in any relationship. Keeping the lines of communication open, making sure you want similar things in the future when it comes to topics like children and where you want to put down roots, and finding a way to disagree with each other respectfully can all go a long way in making your future marriage last.
The moral of the story? Getting married between the ages of 28-32 won’t guarantee you’ll never get divorced, but it might be a good age range to shoot for while you’re planning out what the next few years of your life (and your relationship) will look like. But if you’re determined to make it work and are able to find a partner who loves you and is willing to put in the work, too, your chances at a happy, lifelong marriage are even higher.