The Best Age To Get Marriedby Sindhu Jayaprakash, 4th June 2017
What Is The Best Age To Get Married?
The best age to get married was probably a few years ago in your family’s opinion. But what is the right age to get married is a question that often gets asked.
Research has shown that the best age is not when you are too young or too old.
Marriage is considered universal in India and it is considered a priority for a young male or female. In the early 20th century, teenage marriages were a norm. Most young generation Indians who are unmarried would have heard stories from their grandparents about them being married in their early teens and having a few children by the age of 20.
The average age for getting married is on the rise in India. Though still lower than the world average marriage age, in 2011, the average age of marriage in India for men was 26 years and women 22.2 years. The average age was 2 years more for people living in urban areas than people living in rural areas.
Young Indians, especially those living in big cities, do not want to give in to marriage very early and often have multiple excuses to bail out of getting married. The popular excuses include not being mentally prepared, wanting to stay with parents for longer, not having learnt skills yet to maintain a household such as cooking and cleaning, or not having saved enough money. In recent times, the concept of an arranged marriage in India has changed and the days of parents fixing a matrimonial alliance where the bride and groom meet only as a formality are long gone.
Searching for suitable alliances has evolved from going through newspaper ads, marriage bureaus, brokers and friends or relatives to looking for alliances on the internet. The advent of online matrimony has opened up a whole new world of options for young people, who are often spoilt for choice. The younger generation of Indians are career focussed and are often time deficient. They are capable of and prefer to make their own decisions about who they want as their life partner. Hence more and more young adults are using internet as the preferred method to look for a suitable match.
An early marriage allows you to spend more time with your partner before children.
In India, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act states that a female cannot marry before the age of 18 years and a male before the age of 21. Child marriage has been a long standing issue in India and has been hard to battle because of its deep seated roots in cultural and religious practices.
In several cases, young girls are influenced and pressurized by the family and community at large to get married early in their lives. UNICEF reports that According to UNICEF, 47% of girls are married by 18 years of age, and 18% are married by 15 years of age. There is often no consent of the girls involved in these marriages.
Getting married early, of course, post the legal age limit for males and females has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of getting married early are people are able to spend a lifetime with their partner, growing together, and have sufficient time to develop feelings and love for their partner, if the marriage is successful.
Couples who marry at a younger age will also be able to spend more quality time with their partner exploring their mutual interests or travelling before having kids. They are less likely to experience intense pressure from family, peers and society to start having kids immediately after getting married. The chance of conceiving early and without any problems is more likely and they will have more energy and patience to raise children if they have them at an early age.
There are disadvantages to getting married early. Most people in their late teens and early 20s are not financially stable and uncertain about their professional future; and are likely to have age-related pressures from family, friends, work, and school. Young adults in these age groups don’t have the mental maturity or life experience to navigate through relationship challenges, making it difficult to adjust to married life.
You must take children into account when deciding when to get married.
Getting married early could often result in the person discontinuing their education to pursue their family duties or get in to the workforce early to make financial contributions to the family. Discontinuation of education for girls to get them married is still common and rampant in many parts of India due to beliefs in traditional gender roles of women bearing children and looking after the husband and family, and men going to work and bringing in money to fend for the family.
In recent times however, young adults in India, both men and women, are career focussed and getting married very early is often perceived as a hindrance to their professional progress and contributions they make to the country’s economy.
Getting hitched at a later age comes with a set of benefits. People who get married in their late 20s or early to mid-30s have often developed a good understanding of themselves as an individual and their needs. They also have a better idea of what they want from their relationships and what type of relationships lead to marriage. They have achieved their professional goals and are financially stable. By late 20s or early 30s, most people are mature and are willing to take on family responsibilities. By this time, they would have acquired sufficient life experience to work through relationship issues, if any.
These adults are usually confident in their own skin and their opinions and are less likely to depend on or seek out family opinions to resolve the differences in their relationship with their partner. Studies on family violence have shown that older people are less likely to engage in domestic violence because they are more invested in their spouses’ well-being, and more integrated into a social network of friends and extended family. Also with increasing age and life experience most people develop a tolerance for others' religious beliefs and are more open to accepting others’ beliefs and practices.
A later marriage will allow you to focus on developing your career.
However, there are certain disadvantages to getting married late. As they grow older, people tend to become set in their ways and may find it difficult to adjust to a new person in their life. Getting married after the age of 35 years could result in problems with having children. There have been advances in medical treatments and this allows most couples who marry late to opt for In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) to have children.
People are established in their careers in their 30s and may be in roles which require long working hours and more responsibilities which could result in them becoming workaholics and not begin able to devote enough time to their life partner. This could result in couples who get married late finding that they sometimes have no interest in intimacy with their spouse or feeling very compelled to lead an independent life.
Getting married at an early age or waiting till late both have its pros and cons. We believe there is no perfect age to get married. Marriage is a life changing decision and waiting for the right time is by no means the best solution for a successful married life.
The idea of marriage has changed dramatically over the years however there is still one major criterion for any marriage and that is the person getting married should consent and be aware of what is best for their growth and happiness and find someone with whom they can share it all with. Marriage is perfect at any age when people are ready and have found their right partner.