Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Don't postpone marriage beyond mid-20s

From a study of one of the country's leading family researchers (and colleagues):
The research reported here used measures of marital success based on both marital survival and marital quality to assess how well first marriages entered at relatively late ages fare in comparison with those entered younger. Analysis of data from five American data sets indicated that the later marriages fare very well in survival but rather poorly in quality. The greatest indicated likelihood of being in an intact marriage of the highest quality is among those who married at ages 22–25, net of the estimated effects of time since first marriage and several variables that might commonly affect age at marriage and marital outcomes. The negative relationship beyond the early to mid-twenties between age at marriage and marital success is likely to be at least partially spurious, and thus it would be premature to conclude that the optimal time for first marriage for most persons is ages 22–25. However, the findings do suggest that most persons have little or nothing to gain in the way of marital success by deliberately postponing marriage beyond the mid-twenties.

38 comments:

Saint Louis said...

"Analysis of data from five American data sets indicated that the later marriages fare very well in survival but rather poorly in quality."

I.e. They've settled. The relationship might not be the greatest, but with every year that passes it becomes more difficult and less worth the hassle to call it quits. If you're already 40 and just got married, what's the point in starting all over again.

There's nothing wrong with settling, of course. I think our society is far to wedded (no pun intended) to the idea of romantic love being the prime factor in marriage.

By the way, I was 25 when I married and my wife was 23. I guess we hit the sweet spot.

erranter said...

I screwed up my last relationship, of 3 years, from ages 20-23, so it looks like it'll now be a while before I marry, especially since not much has happened over the last year. I was lucky to catch one in college, but it didn't work out. So now I'm competing with Alphas at bars in urban mid-20s existence, and it isn't very nice. No girls are looking to marry, let alone for boyfriends. They're too busy with jobs and whatnot. They'll just be contented to sort of "date" Alphas or poseur-Alphas and people who don't want to give up a large part of themselves to put on that act get left out. Or at least that's my current rationalization for this streak of bad luck.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Maybe so, but I'm still setting a minimum threshold of "the age where I'm able to attract a decent wife."

TGGP said...

How did they define "quality"?

Dahlia said...

This is a conclusion I've come to myself lately, though I've been happily married with no problems since I was 21.
This was in response to the problem of misogyny I see in the Steveosphere (not his own blog so much) with infamous commenters like Whiskey et al.
These men are absolutely poisoned with bitterness and/or hatred. Many single women are the same way, though replacing men's volcanic anger and misogyny with self-hatred and misandry.
I've come to the conclusion after encountering and listening to these men (and women) so much that the issue is mostly age. It is not good for people to be alone well into their twenties.

Adding to this, I've come to believe that certain types of people, narcissists, will have a harder time finding the right person during their late teens, twenties and will react with more hatred and malice due to their shallow moral development. Display sociopathic behaviors in other words.
To explain this further: unless one is shy, withdrawn, or very high IQ making finding a similar person difficult, there is no good reason to not find the right person before the age of 30. If one hasn't done so then it most likely means the person assessed himself too highly and was going after the unattainable. Being a narcissist, they conclude the problem is with the opposite sex appraising itself too highly.

I know one guy who is having trouble with his love life, age 28. His bitterness is growing, but I don't see him becoming a sociopath, especially since he was less a narcissist and more just ignorant. Way too good looking for his own good (nicknamed "GQ"), has the ladies in line, etc., but every single one of them has been around the block. What he didn't understand was that since he's also been around the block, finding a virgin who is fine with his history is an almost impossible task. He even dated my baby sister, admitting later he thought she had my values and was a virgin, and dumped her when he learned otherwise. In desperation, he has started seeing a secular Muslim woman who just moved to the U.S. after high school.

erranter said...

Why the hell did he need a virgin?

erranter said...

Since I have a high IQ, am withdrawn and am shy, I can assume that explains why I haven't found the right person. Funny, most people I know--who aren't any of those things--are in the same case as I.

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