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Older Brides — What Does It Mean?

Brides
Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images

According to the Census Bureau Wednesday, almost half of women between the ages of 25 and 29 have never been married, which is apparently up about a quarter when compared to the same age group, 25 years ago.  Is it a social change among our society or just concidence?  Are women, more specifically getting so independent they don’t need marriage to live their lives or have children for that matter?

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I fall into the age group magnified.  Though I have actively dated since I was at least 18 years old, the thought of marriage has crossed my mind, but realistically has never reached that point in the relationship.  While I would like to get married “some” day, there have been many life occurences and experiences I have had, which have come first either because it was choice or it’s a fact of life.  Back in the day, even more so in 1986, marriage was something typical for a woman once she finished school — regardless if it was high school or college.  Now a days, women are more commonly found on college campuses with the goal of being able to support themselves first and marriage taking the backseat.  Probably goes with the idea of, “hey, if it happens, it happens, but at least for now I can financially do everything I want to do and have fun.”  That’s my philosophy.

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Royal Wedding
Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

There are exceptions to every situation and every statistic.  I certainly have/had some friends who wanted to be married by the time they were 25 and have two kids by the time they were 30.  A few of them have specifically sought out a husband (not a boyfriend) instead of letting what is meant to be — be.  While I seem to be in the majority because I’ve never been married, the only real reason I’m beginning to sense any urgency in regards to the subject of marriage, is because I don’t want to be too old when I go to have kids.  Guys have it much easier (yet again) when it comes to marriage.  They don’t feel as much as women do, like their biological clock is ticking.  The risk of miscarriage or infertility is far higher in older women than younger women.

The Census’ data not only showed shifting patterns on the subject of marriage, but also divorce.  In or around 1980, the divorce rate reached an all time high, but has since leveled itself or dropped.  And with divorce, of course comes a re-marriage rate as well.  About 50-percent of those interviewed had been married once; 12-percent had been married twice; and three-percent had been married three or more times. 

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Wedding
Mario Tama, Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but now a days it seems like marriage isn’t as necessary as it once was.  The old theory behind marriage was so the woman could bear and take care of the children.  The husband supported the family by making the money and it was a happy balance.  The equilibrium behind marriage has since been thrown into a whirlwind.  Women now can work and make money — some times enough money to support herself, her family and even her husband.  Hence the “stay-at-home dad” saying. 

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With at least four save-the-date cards stuck to my refrigerator, I’m glad my anxiety can be put to ease.  I was beginning to think something was wrong with me when I seem to log on to Facebook everday and see either new engagement pictures, wedding pictures, or baby pictures.  If someone posted some divorce pictures I would feel even better!

If you are or were married, how old were you when you go married?

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