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Discussion in 'West Mall' started by Laphroaig10, Apr 27, 2009.
The fact that he has to state his own marriage at a young age ,as evidence of his theory, actually takes points away in my book.
And divorce rates are much higher for people marrying before 25.
I'm not necessarily disagreeing with all of his points, but one path in life is not for everyone. In the past, women didn't have many choices and now they have the ability to marry young or not-so young.
My fiancee and I will be 24 when we get married this July. We've been dating for 5+ years and have been engaged since last May. Out of our group of friends, only 1 other couple is in a similar situation.
I do think its remarkable how my generation has done a complete 180 from the habits of my parents' generation of marrying right after college. There are strong societal pressures towards delaying marriage and 'playing the field' much later into your 20's. We're not really a society that celebrates monogamy.
So many college students and twentysomethings spend time traveling, moving from city to city or country to country, it's quite difficult to stay 'tied down.' I agree that there is a perception among many people my age that they have to accomplish so many things (graduate degrees/career related success) before they can commit to something like marriage. And obviously the fact that cohabitation prior to marriage is largely looked upon as normal now has rendered the need for marriage much less important among many folks.
Laphroaig10 - what age did you get married?
My wife and I married when I was 21 and she was 22. We had great times going to bowl games and living in Austin while I completed my PhD. Not saying it would work for everyone but to me it was easier dealing with graduate school and getting to travel together than doing it alone.
The big problem with getting married later in life is the desire to start having kids for the husband and wife. If you want to be married for say 3-5 years before having kids, then that puts the husband and wife around 32-33 years old and getting pregnant at these ages is more difficult.
My wife and I got to be married for 5 years before having kids. We learned how to be married and now we are learning how to be parents. Imagine trying to learn how to do both of these at the same time.
We have noticed there are very few couples our age with kids. So it really narrows our pool of friends. We have to make relationships with couples in there mid-30s who are just starting their families.
I'm really, really glad I got married when I was 24.
I would like to see how this fits in with the delay in other large decisions by young adults today. There is a trend today called 'adultescence.' It is the general description given to the fact that kids are kids longer these days in many ways. The average age for moving out for good, buying your first car, and your first house, are now all later than ever. I wonder if marriage is just one more sign of delayed maturity.
I have to tell this story of a guy I know who graduated with a business degree and started work at a consulting firm. He had a coworker who was habitually late for work and got called out about it by his boss. That all seems normal enough, right? Well ,this early 20s kid must have told his mom about it in some way or another, and his MOM called the guy's boss to complain about him getting in trouble for coming in late for work!
Can you believe having your mom call your boss after you got reamed at work for coming in late?!
I'm with THEU on this one. When I saw this quote:
I think this is partly about women giving it up easier, and men not having to marry for regular sex in a long-term relationship ("buying the cow"). Or maybe men realized that ploy was a trap, but probably not because men are generally stupid in that area.
What ever the cause is, I don't see a clear way of reversing the trend.
To each his own. Everyone has a different story.
HOWEVER, I have met so many people who got married in their 20s and divorced by their 30s. It just seems to me that a lot of people really don't know who they are until they reach their 30s. Plus you get all that time in your 20s to enjoy single adulthood. You can still meet someone past 30 and have enough time to start a family. In fact, I might go so far as to recommend it. Another benefit is that you are old enough to know who you are but not so old that you are too set in your ways to make a marriage work (I have met several people past 40 who have that problem).
My advice: Use your 20s to figure out what you want from life. Use your 30s to find someone to share that life with.
Some things the author missed:
1. Marriage is no longer a pre-condition to living together. It's a pre-condition to having kids (at least planned ones). This is the main difference. I would guess that people are having kids earlier on in their marriage than a few decades ago.
2. The author argues that female value lowers with age because of fertility, while male value rises with age because of career, so women should get married younger. But the fact that the roles of caretaker and provider are blurring is what's making people tend towards those of the same age instead of the classic older man / younger woman.
3. In the very long-term view, reaching adulthood is taking longer and longer. You used to be an adult when you reached puberty. Not so long ago, you were an adult when you graduated high school at 18. Today in many circles you're just scratching the surface when you graduate college, and don't really attain adulthood until your career is started. The world gets more complicated, and there's more and more steps towards reaching adulthood. It's inevitable, and the shortening window between adulthood and the end of fertility is something we'll have to deal with.
Married at 24, had all 3 kids before my wife reached the age of 30 and I wouldn't change a thing. We are definately the youngest parents of the group we hang out with. Heck, I went on a father-son camping trip this past weekend and hung out with a guy who had his first child at age 48.
Personally, I think our generation is a little selfish considering only what they want out of life. Children often fall lower on that list of priorities which is why many wait until late 30's and 40's to have kids.
I wanted children when I can still enjoy them, coach them in team sports, throw the ball with them without injuring myself.
I am very glad that I'm married to my high school sweetheart. We had some very mild rough patches, but nothing near the absurdly-extended single life that so many of our friends have had.
We are expecting our first (I am 27, she is 28) and we actually waited a hell of a long time before starting considering our having been together for about 11 years now. Hanging out with single friends is difficult; listening to the same woman make the same complaints about men now (at 33) that she made when we first met her (at 23) is mind-numbing.
I would not argue that all single people over 30 are selfish or anything like that, but the whole conception of "finding yourself" or "knowing who you are" seems like a dog chasing its tail. Perhaps I was just born comfortable in my own skin, but our natures have not changed in the last few decades, so the only explanation that can possibly exist is in our culture and how it is shaped by marketing and mass entertainment. Men buying beauty products at absurd rates, fretting over ripped abs… my god. Women in their 30s and 40s acting like they've got all the time in the world before they even think about having kids… you do not. Once a woman hits her mid-30s her chances of having a kid with Down's Syndrome shoots up frighteningly. Men over 40 are well past their reproductive prime. If you want kids, then man up and have them at the right time.
I can see where this wave of anti-feminism comes from within the female group; the "please your man" group (led by angry divorcees, ironically) publishing books on how to be a compliant and gracious lady to your ruling husband. They might be blind to their own modern social natures, but their idea of getting involved and hitched young makes some kind of biological sense, at least.
What to do with the men? Is the real question here
Travelled the world in my 20's as a single man and wouldn't have missed those ladies for the world! Couldn't have done that if I were taken.
I'm 28 and working on it. It's not like it's easy to find the right person to marry.
Sheesh! This dude sounds like my mom.
It's interesting to look at this as someone trapped in a sort of college/high school like stasis. A number of people in my class are pairing off, though a substantial fraction are still unattached. I am a bad example, since I can't see myself ever marrying for personal reasons.
I think that there is quite a bit of merit in the delayed adulthood model based on the need for more education to attain basic competence as a worker. People who marry coming out of high school are looked down upon because it is understood that neither party can provide much in the way of financial backing to the union. These days, early marriages are in the middle to latter years of college. Late marriages come during professional school or in the first few years of a career (or residency).
I think that marriage still tracks the entry into adulthood, independence, fairly closely.
Marriage is like buying a car or making an investment. A good buy/investment is still a good idea the next day. If it's a bad idea, you'll figure it out.
There is nothing to be lost in waiting.
How about witnessing many marriages of friends and family falling apart and not wanting to make a mistake or the same mistake?
Maybe you can call it Scared Sheetless of making a huge financial blunder that could cost for many years to come.
I think there is a lot to say about marriage being a formative institution. Kind of goes with the "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" concept.
Adults ought to get marred when and if they want to.
I don't fully understand why anyone would have a well-formed opinion about when or if another person gets married.