Posted by: deerharas | February 7, 2006

02.07.06

What’s your E-Harmony age?

Over Christmas break, I joined in a discussion with a couple of friends on this very topic.  One friend said 30, while the other though that was way too late.  She wanted time to really get to know her future mate before they married with a few “cushion years” before they had kids.  It reminded me of that Friends episode where Rachel turns 30.  According to her calculations, in order to get everything she wanted out of life (which included a husband and children), she would have to meet her future husband by the time she was 30.  Unfortunately for her, this meant ending a going nowhere relationship with her much younger, and to borrow a Seinfeld term, mimbo boyfriend.

What do you think is the ideal age to get married?  Obviously, different things work for different people, but generally speaking, is it better to marry young or marry old?

When it comes to marrying young (and by young I mean early 20s) one advantage I see is the opportunity to have common formative experiences.  You go through life together, being shaped and molded in similar ways much of the time.  You learn together … figure things out together.  That must bond a couple together tremendously.  Another thing to consider is the opportunity to be together at the peak of one’s physical attractiveness.  Although I certainly plan to look better in my 30s than my 20s, it’s kind of sad to think about missing out on some of those years.  Maybe that sounds superficial, but I can’t help but think that Solomon might have been thinking at least partially on physical lines when he wrote “may you rejoice in the wife of your youth” in Proverbs 5:18, especially considering the following verse.  And it goes beyond physicality; people who marry younger have more years to spend with their spouse … thoughts to consider. 

On the negative side, many lack the maturity and selflessness essential to marriage (although I’m not sure this is necessarily an age issue).  I’m not really up on marriage statistics, but I would venture to guess that several marriages entered into by young individuals end in divorce.  Speaking from a Christian perspective, I think many young women get caught up in the planning of a wedding, while many young men get caught up in sexual impatience.  Both enter into a marriage with skewed views of what marriage is really like.  Now I’m not married, and I’m not pretending to be an expert in any of what I’m writing about.  I am blessed, however, to have been around and learned from several successful couples of all ages full of advice and life experiences to share. 

So what are the advantages to marrying later in life?  Obviously, there’s the whole maturity thing (hopefully age brings a little more maturity).  I am thankful for my years as a single person; I feel like I’ve had the freedom to become who I want to be … who I’m supposed to be, without basing decisions on someone else.  There’s an absent worldly security in singleness that has served to draw me closer to the Lord.  There are also the practical considerations such as the opportunity to get a good education, undistracted by the demands of marriage.  For the most part, older individuals are more financially stable than their younger counterparts.  Education and money: both good things to bring to a marriage, but not everything.

I heard a preacher say recently that as a trend, people are getting married later in life, with less success and more reservations.  I think sexual promiscuity has a lot to do with that.  People “play marriage” partaking in all of the blessings of intimacy without a real commitment.  I’ll avoid the “cow” and “milk” cliché, but it’s really no wonder why so many men are perfectly content to go years and years in a noncommittal relationship with no intentions of marriage.  I read an article recently arguing that the anticipation of sexual fulfillment is a very strong driving force toward marriage for young men committed to sexual purity.  Which makes sense to me … I mean, marriage is a good thing.  It doesn’t surprise me that God would create human beings in such a way that would drive them toward that union. 

Hmm … two contemplative posts in a row.  I usually try to alternate between deep and fluff.  Here, I’ll leave you with a little fluff:

Did anyone else watch Oprah yesterday?  My cousin told me to watch because it was Tony Parker and Eva Longoria’s first interview together.  He’s a man of few words, that Tony … or at least English ones.

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