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Older Couples Better at Marriage


Older Couples Better at Marriage


Relationships: Waiting to Marry May Improve Your Chance at Marital Success


By MICHELE KIMBALL

            The older the couple, the better off the marriage, according to some relationship experts.            

People are waiting longer to marry, and that may have an effect on the success of those marriages. The median age at which people enter into first marriages has steadily increased, according to findings from the United States Census Bureau. Generally, the median age of first marriage for men is 27.1, and for women it is 25.3. The most recent census report showed that, on average, first marriages that end in divorce last about eight years.            


The trend toward waiting to marry may be positive, said Lori Gorshow, the owner and president of Dating Made Simple, at www.makedatingsimple.com, a dating coach service that offers workshops and individual coaching to help people develop successful interpersonal and dating skills. “As you gain more real-word experience, you gain wisdom,” Gorshow said. “And with wisdom, you can apply that to your relationship.”            

Gorshow characterized the rise in median age as a positive change in society because it gives partners a chance to bring new aspects to their marriages, and a chance to learn new ways to succeed. She said couples are learning more about the ways they can keep their marriages on the right track, and more programs exist to educate them. “Couples can look at compatibility, problem solving, how to navigate the relationship,” Gorshow said. “It means that some of the benefits that exist out there for couples to be successful, there are support systems to encourage that.”            

She said that as people get older, they develop their own sense of independence, both emotionally and financially. As they age, they also shed a primary need for physical attraction to their partners, and begin to appreciate sharing core values, Gorshow said. “So you being to look at things a little bit different,” Gorshow said. “That wisdom that comes with life experience gets played out in choosing a partner.”  

EDUCATION  MAY DELAY MATRIMONY  

There may be two causes to higher median age for marriage, said William (Beau) Weston, Ph.D., a professor of sociology at Centre College in Danville, Ky. One reason is the possibility that people a placing a priority on education. “The educated classes take longer to finish their education, and therefore feel socially and financially ready to marry,”  Weston said.

Weston is also the author of the blog Gruntled Center, which can be found at http://gruntledcenter.blogspot.com The other reason couples are marrying later pertains to childhood experiences with their own parents’ marriages. Weston said that the children of divorced families are more likely to put marriage off because they are uncertain about the institution. “They are more likely to cohabit first, which, when it does lead to marriage, is usually after a couple of year's delay,”  Weston said.

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