While tying the knot at a younger age may have its benefits for many who choose that path, the benefits for those waiting to settle down are outstanding.
OLDER FIRST-TIME MARRIAGES
The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare reported that in the 1950s, the average age for first marriages in the United States was 25.9 years old for men and 23 years old for women. In comparison, 2008’s average age for men was 30.2 years old, and 28.5 for women. As the age for first time marriages has increased, the stigmas of the “old maid” and the “confirmed bachelor” have grown obsolete. The idea of “it’s too late” is rapidly fading from our collective understanding.
1. MATURITY MAKES MARRIAGE LAST
In 2008, the PEW Research Center reported a strong correlation between the older age of a couple at the time of marriage and their likelihood to stay married. For those who are still waiting to find the right one, and for those who are starting over, this is great news.
2. DOES BEING OLDER = “CARRYING MORE BAGGAGE?”
Not necessarily. If you have in fact learned from the trial-and-errors you’ve encountered, your “baggage” represents all the places you’ve traveled to and experienced rather than the full garbage bag! With multiple lessons under your belt, you are more likely to know yourself, which means you’re more likely to be adept at communication. You’ll be better equipped to know how to handle the conflicts that naturally arise in any healthy relationship.
3. WISER PARTNER CHOICES
Chances are, you’ve had your share of romantic relationships, dates, or if not, you have weathered storms through significant friendships. Time has given you the golden opportunity to “test-drive” different personality types in a myriad of arenas. You’ve learned to recognize red flags. “Once burned twice shy,” you know better than to head down a good looking path marked with a skull and cross bones.
4. YOU HAVE A BETTER SELF TO OFFER
You’ve had the chance to strain out some of your own less becoming traits in other relationships. So you probably like yourself better than when you were younger, and a partner will benefit from your self-acceptance and emotional generosity. Your best self (so far) becomes the person you get to present to your life-long mate.
5. THE RELIABILITY TO STICK OUT COMMITMENTS
Over time, you’ve had the chances to get an education, establish a career, or at least develop good work ethics. This means that you also have had chances to learn how to stick to your word through various circumstances. You know better than to get into a commitment when you recognize it won’t work. You’re likely to have paid consequences for unreliability, so you’ll choose commitments carefully and take them more seriously.
6. HAPPIER, HEALTHIER FAMILIES
Establishing a vocation is likely to mean that you’ve had more time to chip away at debts and grow your financial stability. This creates a more stable environment for raising children.
You’re not as foolish, reactionary, or raw as you may have been in younger years. You’ll be more likely to pass along strong character traits to your children and not unhealthy patterns you’ve outgrown and already worked through. Your offspring will greatly benefit from your decision to wait and choose wisely.
7. BIOLOGICAL CLOCK?
It’s natural to feel pressure as you grow older, and it’s okay to grieve if you’re past child-bearing years. You can still consider alternatives to biological parenting. For example, many beautiful children are waiting to be chosen by loving parents. If you don’t want to adopt, sometimes other opportunities present themselves – such as taking care of relatives’ children or helping with a non-profit organization. It is never impossible or too late to be a significant role model in a child’s life.
When you consider the legacy you are building and leaving behind, never fret that it’s “too late.” It is the maturity that you bring to the table that will increase the joy and improve the quality in your partnership and family life.