Cosmo calls 25 “The Best Age To Get Married.” That’s because “the more years of higher education a woman has under her belt on her wedding day, the lower the chances that she’ll get divorced…and by 25, you’re more likely to have earned a degree or two.” Also, “odds are that by 25 you’re also supporting yourself, so there’s less incentive for you to rush into marriage because you’re seeking financial security from him.” The magazine does seem to consider 25 more of a floor than a deadline — for instance, they applaud Jessica Biel’s marriage to Justin Timberlake at age 29.
In an entertaining survey conducted by The Frisky, one Arizona woman suggested that if women must marry, they should “wait at least till the age of 40. No sense in wasting your youth on one man.”
According to mathematician D.V. Lindley, this is the “mathematically correct” age for women to get married. By his calculations, it’s apparently ideal to marry one-third of the way through one’s “period of availability,” which for women he defines as ages 16 to 46.
Many people advise women to marry by 30 because that’s when fertility begins to decline — one fertility researcher told USA Today that “as a general rule, women should start having children no later than age 30 and be done by 35.” Of course, women don’t have to be married to have children.
6. 20 or 21
Sociologist Mark Regnerus has urged women not to fear marrying in their very early twenties, because “marriage actually works best as a formative institution, not an institution you enter once you think you’re fully formed” and “women’s ‘market value’ declines steadily as they age.”
Career blogger Penelope Trunk advises women to start trying for children at 30, which means “you probably want to be married when you’re 28.” That’s because “for a healthy marriage, experts think people should be married two or three years before they consider having children.”
A 2010 survey of British women in their twenties found 26 was the average age by which they wanted to be married. The Daily Mail explained this as “a fear of turning into Bridget Jones and viewing the future through an empty wine glass.”
Vanessa Hunt of DateDaily writes, “smarter women know that marriage often leads to traditional gender roles wherein women are the housekeepers, mothers, and caretakers; so smart women know that if they go this route, then they likely won’t be able to pursue their ambitions.” She says women should eschew marriage in favor of sexual freedom and the “peace and quiet” of being on their own.
10. And the correct answer is…
By averaging all the above (using 21 for Regnerus’s recommendation and throwing out “never”), we arrive at 28.14. According our very scientific calculations, this is the absolute correct age to get married. If you are 28, do so now. If you are older, consider time travel.