The New York Times ran an interesting story on the “disestablishment” of marriage this weekend, which unpacks the state of marital unions in this country — which is not as bleak as you might think! People are still getting married — just a little bit later than what used to be the norm. And whereas anyone who’s seen Our Town or played the board game Life can tell you that marriage used to be the biggest decision a person makes in their lifetime, one that defined their time on earth more than any other, these days, marriage is just. An important decision still? But one of many, many you will make over the course of your life, and no more life altering than deciding what college to go to, whether to take that new job at a smaller company, or move to Paris for a year, or go back for your Master’s, etc., etc. By the time the average American is getting married, they’ve probably made a bunch of important decisions already. In other words, marriage is no longer the start of adult life (as it was mid-century), but rather the merging of two. (The decision to have children, however, and who with, still remains a doozy, though.)
The average age of a newlywed in the US in 2011? 27 for women, and 29 for men. And if that (sort of low-seeming?) number is panicking you, keep this in mind: every year a woman delays marriage, up to her early 30s, her chance of divorce decreases. Good reason to take your time and choose wisely.