The marriage of a girl and the related question, ‘What is the right age for a woman to get married?’ have often been rife subjects of speculation and conjecture in our society. If we go by the rulings of our great grandfathers and mothers and other people of compressed thought processes, a girl should ideally get married as soon as she enters adulthood.
Dismissing all logic and rationality, some self-proclaimed worldly-wise population is also of the opinion that a girl should get married for as long as she is naïve, innocent, and dependent. Because once she spreads out her wings and becomes too wise and decisive, it is difficult to find a suitable match for her. As long as she is gullible and is not well versed with the ways of the world, it is easier for her to mould herself and adapt to the likings of the family she is getting married into. In other words, it is easier to manipulate her and deprive her of her prerogatives and say in the matters of her life. As if, she is not a woman, but a barbed wire of some sort. These dated theories are so strongly conditioned and pre-disposed in our systems that any deviation or things not working out as per the societal order seems like a sin or a shameful act. Ask families whose daughters have not been married by the righteous age of 32 and how sinful, ashamed, and guilty they feel. We rest our case for this stratum of society holding such beliefs.
What is the Right Age for a Woman to Get Married?
For the rest, it remains a debatable question, what is the right age for a woman to get married? Earlier the women had just two choices – either to study well or find a job, so that she can still wait for a few years before tying the knot. Else it was considered more prudent to find a suitable match as soon as she turned 21 or 22 and get her settled (don’t know what was so unsettling about her life before). The husband was by default designated to be her provider and caretaker for the rest of her life. Though now things have changed quite a bit thanks to the presence of Social Media and the propagation of more progressive schools of thought on public platforms, the dilemma continues to haunt us.
Even if it’s not for financial dependence, or societal pressures, what still stands as the right age for a woman to get married, considering other factors and parameters consequential to the decision? The question is food for thought and is open to individual interpretations and perspectives. It can still be touted as ‘to each his own’ or rather ’her own’ in this case (yes, we are staunch feminists), but still, we are here to unveil a few of the aspects of the topic and then leave it to individualistic sensibilities.
Should a Woman Get Married by the Age of 28 to 32 Years?
As per some western schools, the better age to get married is 28 to 32 years for a woman. She is neither too homebound nor protected by this age and nor too self-complacent to get married. Most women are settled in their career choices by this age or are atleast clear in their ideation of the world and its workings. They are better aware of what is right or wrong for them. Also referred to as the ‘Goldilocks theory’, the idea is that the people in this age bracket are neither too young nor too old to get married.
There is another aspect to it. By the age of 28, a person has had a relationship or has been through that emotional roller coaster of being in love atleast once in life. Even if you have not found true love, you are vocal in your head as to what attributes you are exactly seeking in your partner. There are a few non-negotiable aspects and a few parameters wherein you are still flexible. You know what works for you and what doesn’t. Also, on a lighter note, psychologists say that our brains only develop to their full potential by the age of 25. So, atleast wait to reach that marker!
Women by this age have discovered themselves and are sure of their decisions. They do exactly know what sort of a person they can align themselves with. Atleast, by this age, they have learnt to say a firm ‘NO’. Life, as it is, is more about saying NO and being sure of what to discard, and then knowing the right time to say that one eventual final ‘YES’!
It is important to taste life and experience it closely before you get into a life-long commitment as delicate and sensitive as marriage. Marriages in India as such are an overtly sensitized topic. Every step needs to be treaded with caution. One major misunderstanding, one fallout, one error of judgment, and it all comes under societal scrutiny. For this, it is imperative for both the man and the woman to reach a certain stage of maturity, acceptability, and evolvement on individual levels to embark upon this collaborative journey of a lifetime.
We strongly advocate not marrying at a very early age when one has just stepped into the life of adulthood. A girl aged 22-23 has not even discovered the aspects of her personality, before adding another name to her identity. It seems like a more imposed, influenced, or uninitiated decision impacting the future discourse of her entire life. Unfortunately, there are a lot of women out there, who were married early but realized their true worth and discovered their potential in their late 20s or early 30s, after having gone through an unsettling divorce. Who knew, the marriage which was considered to have settled their lives would throw them into such disturbing realms of uncertainty, insecurity, and vulnerability?
Is There Really Any Right Age for a Woman to Get Married?
Having said this, we still cannot say that 28-32 is the right age to get married and any woman who has exceeded 34 is not in the right age bracket. There is no right or wrong when it comes to marriage. Marriage is the coming together of two companions, who wholeheartedly commit to each other to spend the rest of their lives together. It is more of teamwork with a teammate that you get to choose. It is irrespective of at what stage of life you meet that teammate or your life partner. That is the rightest age for a woman to get married.
But wait to discover yourself better before you enter into a lifetime alliance with another person and his family. Wait till you are emotionally, mentally, and financially independent. Wait till you know what is in your best interest and what can be malignant. Wait till you are self-aware and confident in who you are. Wait till you can shoulder the responsibility of not just your own self, but also of your future family, without falling apart under the shackles. Wait till you meet a partner who is worthy of you and compliments your existence in more ways than one. Marriage should be fulfilling your wholeness as an individual rather than eroding and creating a void in your existence. A good marriage is enabling rather than depleting.
In the words of a very well-known marriage therapist, “There is no right age to get married, but definitely a right time. That time is when you feel totally confident and comfortable with the phase of your life at that moment. And also, when you have met someone who feels like an intrinsic connection, someone you can confide in without having too many doubts.”
Marriage is not a bed of roses laid ahead of you. You need to make that bed yourself from the scattered pieces. Wait till the time you get a partner worthy enough to shoulder this task with you. Together, you two can make it into a beautiful and comfortable bed of roses for yourself.
It is a pity, that marriages in India are considered an achievement, rather than just a milestone in life. Also, no matter how advanced and revered a woman is in her professional life and spiritual arena, she is still considered accomplished and settled only if ‘she is married and stays married.’
Conclusively, there is no right or wrong age for a woman to get married. Even if you are 40 and entering into this holy institution with the partner of your dreams, you are not late. You are far better off than a woman who married at 24, the so-called right age and is now struggling through the chains of wedlock. Spend your years of singlehood enjoying life, making memories, and building experiences. There is no right and wrong age to be happy in life.