Friday, November 14, 2008

Ideal Marriage Age

I just happened on a report about the ideal age to get married. Of course it caught my attention because Kai and I were married at 18 and 21 and have heard the statistics for years. I really enjoy reading these articles because they're talking about people like us and what they think will happen.

The article talked about the "ideal" age to marry and how it has been pushed back later and later over the years. Right now the ideal age is 25.6 for women and 27.5 for men. So if we were average, we would have gotten married a little less than 1 year ago. I can see for a lot of people, that would be a great time to marry. School is usually finished, careers are established, and if I were average, I would probably have already been living with Kai in order to make sure things were going to work out for the long haul. As it stands, we've been married for over 8 years, are finished with bachelor's and a master's degree, are established in a career, and we've also been "living together" for the last 8 years and have realized that we think we will make it for the long haul:-) The only difference between these two comparisons is that we did it together. We’re at the ideal point for other couples to marry, yet we’ve experienced all that came before together. We worked hard through college both to pay for and finish it. We stayed up late cramming for tests and enjoyed college life together. We’ve traveled 4 continents together and lived in another country. We’ve owned a home, planned for our future, and been involved in our communities for years. These are experiences that cement you together for the long haul.

Many people over the years have asked us why we got married so young. The answer is as simple as it is honest: We found each other at a young age. I can't imagine being married to anyone but Kai. Not only is he still my ideal of a man, but he's my best friend, spiritual partner, recreational companion, my constant supporter, and everything else you could ask for. If I had found that, even at an early age, why would I say, "You're great, but I'm not the ideal age yet. Let's wait for 10 years and meet up again." And hope that in 10 years we would meet up again. I would have married him at 25.6 if I had met him at 23.8, but the reality is that God brought our lives together much sooner than the average and I'm so happy He did. If we hadn't found each other at such a young age, we probably would have married closer to the "average" age of marriage. I think it's great to wait as well--especially until you find the right person. I can see the reasons for waiting until you're older and established, but it wasn't what worked for us.

The bottom line is this: Marriage is amazing at any age. It also takes work at any age. If you love the person you’re with and are committed to sticking together for the rest of your lives, you can marry at all different ages and still have a great marriage. All great relationships take time and effort, but the rewards are so worth it—no matter what the statistics say!

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