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When Is The Right Age To Settle Down and Should You Get Married

When is the Right Age to Settle Down?

We all wonder, when is the right age to settle down and get married?

Should you bide your time, waiting for the ideal partner, even if it takes the rest of

your life to find them?

Or decide to put a ring on the next available prospect, before you and your potential soulmate

get old and grey?

Is this age different for everybody, or is there a universal standard?

Numerous studies have been carried out, mathematical equations have been formulated and psychologists

have researched the right age to settle down.

But is there really a magic number?

One thing is clear: with increased career opportunities for women and the increase in

the number of partners one has over their lifetime, the age for settling down has changed

over time.

In 1961, the average age for getting married was 23 for women and 25 for men.

Currently, the average for both women and men has shifted, into the early thirties.

What inspired this gradual increase in the age of marriage?

And more importantly, what are the factors we should all take into account before settling

down?

The Age of Marriage Most people decide it's time to get married

when they start getting questions from their family and relatives.

We can all relate to being home for the holidays, when mom asks us when she can expect our spouse,

and of course, a couple of grandkids.

Different people get asked this question at different points in their lives.

For some women, this question is asked around 2 years after they get their first job.

Other women will manage to avoid this conversation until they're in their late twenties, when

the legendary biological clock starts running out of time.

For most men, this question is usually asked after every one of his friends has settled

down and started having kids.

Personally, I don’t believe that there is a “right age” to settle down.

If statistics are anything to go by, settling down in your early twenties is a terrible

idea and chances are, you'll get divorced within five years of marriage.

This would be a particularly bad situation to be in, especially if you had kids with

your estranged spouse.

Let's be honest, how many people have gotten married straight out of university and lived

happily ever after?

And what if you met the “one” in high school?

The fact that there is a high rate of divorce among couples who settled down early means

there needs to be a discussion about when to settle down.

The question probably shouldn't be “at what age should I settle down” but actually “at

what point in my life will I be ready to settle down?”

Some people do get their happily-ever-after at a young age; some at an old age; and some

during their midlife crisis.

Since happily-ever-after is what we are all hoping for, how do you decide when you personally

should settle down?

Questions to Ask Before Settling Down The first question you should ask is, “Can

you balance your ambitions and a committed relationship?”

Earlier in life, we pursue education.

The aim of education is to help you grow, and more often than not, direct your career

path.

Once you get a little bit older, it's time to decide what you actually want to do with

your life.

When considering whether or not you should settle down, you should assess whether the

relationship you're in will support your dreams and goals, and help them grow.

Do not neglect your education – whether it is your undergraduate or postgraduate studies

– in a bid to settle down with someone.

You might end up resenting your partner, as you will feel as if they were responsible

for you not giving your studies due attention.

Resentment is the first ingredient to those statistics of early divorces.

If you're already moving forward in a career, make sure that your partner understands your

work life balance, and that they support that work as best they can.

We all get too focused on work from time to time, but if you and your partner routinely

have trouble with how much work your career or dreams require, it probably isn't time

to settle down just yet.

Next, ask yourself whether there is genuine affection between you and your partner.

We're in an age where the word love is thrown around in all manner of ways, sometimes to

achieve selfish goals.

A partner you settle down with should not be one who says just the right thing.

The person who you plan to spend the rest of your life with should have genuine affection

for you: affection that goes beyond the “chemical reaction that is love,” according to Rick

from Rick and Morty.

Don't decide that what you're feeling is, indeed, true love, during the good times.

During good times, it's easy to feel excited and happy with your relationship.

Instead, observe how your partner treats you when times are hard, when the world doesn't

seem to want to give either of you a break.

If your relationship crumbles the minute things get rough, this might not be the one for you.

And don't just take my word for it.

After all, I'm not Dr. Phil, but one way or the other, you have to be certain your relationship

can withstand any hardships, otherwise it could end in misery.

Do you still have emotional baggage from previous relationships?

As I said before, we live in a time when people date quite a few people throughout their life.

The end of a relationship is quite often accompanied by a lot of pain, and sometimes we unknowingly

carry these scars into our new relationships.

Before settling down with someone, examine your heart.

Do you still have lingering emotional baggage from previous relationships?

Are you still feeling hurt from how boyfriend number two left you?

Maybe girlfriend number 7?

Carrying emotional baggage into a new relationship, whether it's you or your partner, is yet another

ingredient in the stew of divorce.

You're probably going to get hurt at one point or the other, it's practically unavoidable,

but even when this does happen, try your best to learn from the pain, rather than just carrying

it with you.

Not only is emotional baggage not good for you, but it is also unfair to your partner.

Basically, don’t settle down if you're still hung up on your ex, whether it is affectionately

or in pain.

If you feel that you or your partner are still dealing with any emotional baggage, try to

talk to them about it openly and honestly, explain your side of things, and hear them

out.

As long as you're open and respectful, any conversation you have about it will be better

than just trying to ignore it.

One of the most important questions to ask yourself before settling down is, “Am I

an independent person?”

At this point, a couple of lines from Miss Independent by Ne-Yo happen to be just relevant

enough for me to butcher them for you right now: “There’s somethin’ oh so sexy about

kinda woman that don’t even need my help, she said she got it, she got it, no doubt.”

(Lol) All R&B jokes aside, before settling down,

ensure that you are financially, intellectually, and emotionally independent as well.

Most people settle down hoping to fill some of the emptiness inside them.

Marriage is not meant to complete you, no matter how much the other person is able and

willing to do that.

You are meant to be partners to each other, not co-dependent.

A lack of independence means that you will be relying on the other person to fill a void

inside you: but what's going to happen when they are unavailable, or dealing with their

own issues?

Obviously, when settling down, you want to be with someone who can support you, no matter

what.

But you can't expect anyone, no matter how wonderful a partner they are, to be able to

do that 24/7.

Before you settle down, make sure you're a complete and well-rounded person all by yourself,

without constantly needing someone else's validation.

And in an ideal world, make sure your partner is independent too.

Are you done experimenting?

An important part of growing up, especially in your dating life, is learning who is wrong

for you and who is right for you.

A lot of us end up kissing a lot of frogs before we find the prince.

And some of us, well, we just like to have fun.

Be honest, are you done experimenting?

Would you be okay if this was the last person you ever got to be with?

If you're still picturing how much better your life would be if you met version 2.0

of your partner, don’t settle down.

Even though it's called settling down, it doesn't mean that you should just settle.

That girl you take home to your parents doesn’t necessarily have to be objectively perfect,

but she should feel perfect to you.

If you think there is better out there, try and find it.

This next question is especially for those who might feel that they have passed the “right

age for marriage.”

Are you settling down because you are giving in to pressure?

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a carriage.

We've been conditioned to live by this adage; and truthfully, it has been tried and tested

over generations of people.

For some people though, it might not happen til later in life.

Others might conform to societal or cultural standards, that say what age we should be

when we get married.

The pressure mounts when people around us constantly tell us it's time we settled down.

Do not settle down in a bid to counter this pressure.

Don’t decide to marry the next guy that comes along in an effort to appease your family,

friends, or anyone else.

That is definitely one of the key ingredients to an early divorce.

I mean, would you want to be married to someone who just did it to shut other people up?

Settle down when you are sure that this is the person you want to see every morning for

the rest of your life.

Do you want to have kids?

And if so, how do you want to raise them?

You might feel pressured to settle down early because you want to have children.

If you're a woman and want to have kids, and raise them in a family setting, and not as

a single mother, in some respects, you do have a time limit.

On the other hand, you there are alternatives, like in-vitro fertilization after freezing

your eggs, adoption, or finding a surrogate.

If you want to have kids the traditional way though, and you hope to raise them in a nuclear

family, you should get married before your biological clock runs out.

After all, few people have the energy required to raise kids at 30, and it's only going to

get harder as you get older.

However, no one should settle down with the sole aim of having kids.

It's important to consider how any future strains in a flimsy relationship might impact

your children.

If you have answered each of the questions above, and are actually sure you want to settle

down, then this is a no brainer.

If having kids is your biggest concern though, you might be better off separating them from

the equation altogether, and being a single parent until you find the right partner.

Finally, ask yourself, “Can I live with my partner?”

A good number of marriages break down simply because two people cannot stand to cohabitate

anymore, and cohabitation is an essential part in making any marriage work.

Everyone has a limit on the kinds of behavior they can tolerate from someone they're living

with.

In the same way you go through a rigorous screening process to determine whether someone

is fit to be your roommate, you should go through the same process to make sure you

can live with the person you love.

Can you live with the fact that your partner snores?

What about if they're a messy slob?

Are you okay with the fact that she is freakishly neat to the point of obsession?

If your partner’s habits are overbearing, chances are, in 10 years, they will still

be overbearing.

In fact, they'll probably feel even worse after a decade of dealing with them.

The problem with giving a standard number as the “right age to settled-down” is

that it sets a standard which many feel they have to achieve.

Nobody likes feeling like they're late to the party, or not making progress in life.

But I personally don’t believe that there is a right age to get married; it's much more

important that the situation is right before you decide that you want to settle down.

While “happily ever after,” might just be a fairy tale, most of us do want to be

happy, and to stay in the relationship as long as we can.

If, by answering each of the questions above, you feel that 23 is a good age for you to

settle down, by all means go right ahead, but if you're better off waiting, there's

truly no good reason not to wait.

First comes (genuine) love, and then comes marriage.

Thank you guys so much for watching.

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