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What is the right age to get married?

SheKnows.com love/sex columnist Margeaux Baulch Klein is a freelance writer and lives in New York's East Village. She believes all is fair in love and sample sale shopping.

Too Young? Too Old?

According to statistics, the average age to get married in the U.S. is 25 for women and 27 for men. But does that mean it's the right age?

Young Bride

Is 25 too young to get married?

It's only the beginning of June and already I have been to three weddings this season.

At age 25, I've reached the point in my life when many friends, especially childhood ones, are taking the plunge. And it scares me. Not because I'm single (I happen to be in a great relationship, thank you very much) but because I don't happen to share their lust for life-long commitment. While I would like to get married at some point, 25 seems too young to me. I mean, I just started a new career, I have never been to Africa, and I don't even know where in the world I'm going to end up! In short, I'm still figuring out who this 'me' person is and what she wants out of life.

However, I'm not in the majority with this belief. Statistics show that 25 is actually the average age for American women to get married. And even in my own family, I'm a bit of an oddball. My mother and sister were first married at ages 23 and 24, respectively. And while my mother's first marriage didn't work out, my sister has been happily married for almost ten years now to her high school sweetheart with two wonderful kids to show for it. So what does all of this mean?

Divorce Statistics

Like many things in life, there really isn't one right age to get married. According to an article in USA Today, studies show that the closer you are to thirty when you get married, the less likely you are to divorce. However, older age doesn't necessarily divorce-proof your relationship. In fact, it's common for many couples to split as they approach middle age.

For me, I'm realizing that the right age to get married may be closer to thirty than I would have thought when I was younger. Or possibly never.

Important questions

However, whenever the right time comes, there are questions I will ask myself and my future fiancé to determine if we are ready.

  1. Are you completely and totally financially, emotionally, and physically independent from your parents and family?
  2. Are you compatible? (No offense to the Beatles, but love is not enough to make a marriage last. But a shared vision of the future, similar interests, and good communication skills can help put you on the road to life-long partnership.)
  3. Do you know yourself? If, like me, you're unsure of where you see yourself in ten years, much less with whom, it might be time to take a step back. This doesn't mean you have to break-up, but maybe hold off on buying that engagement ring just yet.

    How about you? Are you ready? Already married? Holding off?

    More relationship advice on SheKnows:

    Post-wedding tips: 5 Tasks for newlyweds
    16 Words that will improve your marriage
    What you should know before getting married
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