The average age for first-time marriage now stands at 30 for women and 32 for men, according to the Office for National Statistics. In 1961 this was just 23 for women and 25 for men – it seems we’ve become a nation of waiters and daters. There are lots of underlying reasons for this – women are now more independent, with career paths to follow, and overall there’s a belief in life before marriage, or settling down.
And this is no bad thing – not everyone has the desire to be ‘tied down’ from an early age. We’re not saying that if you got married when you were 22 you made a mistake; different things work for different people. But if you’re still looking for ‘the one’, here’s why waiting isn’t such a bad thing after all.
1. Maturity leads to happier marriages
The older you are, the less likely you are to divorce. The maturity that comes with age helps bring life into perspective, and allows you to make better choices. If you’re in your 30s, or older, when you marry you’ve experienced something of life and will have a better perspective on what matters (and what doesn’t) in a relationship.
2. Age doesn’t equal emotional baggage
As we get older we experience more and we get hurt more. But if you can learn from those knocks and mistakes then you become so much more emotionally mature and aware. Baggage doesn’t need to be a bad thing – it can represent everything you’ve learnt about life.
3. You can make better choices
The older you get the better you know what you want from life. This enables you to make better partner choices. Your romantic relationships, friendships and experiences with your family all give you experience in knowing the kind of people you get on with – and the kinds that rub you up the wrong way. That way, you’ll be able to see past the initial attraction when you meet someone new to what really matters.
4. You are a better version of you
Older really does equal wiser. We become much more aware of our own faults, and our own positive traits. Ultimately over time we learn to really like ourselves, and that is very attractive to other people.
5. You know what commitment means
As time goes on you learn to realise how honouring your word really means something. Through education, work and relationships being committed becomes more and more important. After all, who wants to employ someone, or be friends with someone, who doesn’t know the meaning of the word commitment?
6. You have a more secure future
With an established career, savings and maybe even a home, your relationship will start on a better footing. You will hopefully have fewer money worries, which will help you to – if you wish – start a family. Put simply, you’re less likely to blow your pay packet on a ridiculous gadget or some designer shoes when you get older.
There is nothing wrong – and in fact lots right – about waiting to settle down. Sometimes it might feel like your friends are all getting into long-term relationships and leaving you behind. But what matters is that you make the right choice for you, not the quick choice.