April 2, 2013
MEGAN MCARDLE: You Should Get Married As Early as Possible, But No Earlier: Susan Patton may have said it inelegantly, but she’s basically right: Princeton students should think about finding a mate. “By which I mean not that you should marry whoever happens to be around when you turn 22, but that you should be willing to recognize, at the age of 22, that you’ve found someone you want to marry. Right now, most Princeton students don’t think that way. They think there’s something weird about committing at 22. And if they try to commit, their friends and parents will warn them off. This seems like a mistake. The age at which the right person comes along depends on luck, not some kind of calendar. You can’t plan for it to happen between 26 and 28, so that you can get married by 30 and have your first kid by 32. . . . It’s hard enough to find the right person. Demanding that you find the right person in the exact five year window that has been socially prescribed for marrying is putting too much pressure on yourself.”
UPDATE: Several readers note the difference between dating at 29 and 31.