In July 2015, University of Utah researcher Nicholas Wolfinger announced that he had found the optimal age range for a lasting marriage, after looking at data published by the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) from 2006-2010.
Wolfinger, an adjunct professor of sociology at the university, claimed that the likelihood of divorce was lowest when a couple married between the ages of 28 and 32. “The odds of divorce decline as you age from your teenage years through your late twenties and early thirties,” Wolfinger wrote. ”Thereafter, the chances of divorce go up again as you move into your late thirties and early forties.” While Wolfinger’s research generated considerable interest in the media, it was also met with a healthy dose of scepticism.
So is there really such a thing as the “best” age to get married? One of the UK’s best-known marital therapists, Andrew G Marshall, feels that we may be trying too hard to show we’re in the “perfect relationship”.
“It fits in with our idea that there’s such a thing as a full partner, who understands us 100 per cent, and because we’re on exactly the same wavelength all our problems are going to fall away and we’re going to have a perfect relationship,” he tells The Independent.
“I think it’s wishful thinking, that if we do it on the right day, in exactly the right way, we will set off in the right way and have the right marriage. And we’re terrified of making mistakes, so we guard against that by these sort of superstitions.”
He suggests that these superstitions take place, in part, in the wedding day, where some couples will spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on everything from the “perfect” dress to the “perfect” location.
“They think: ‘if I’ve said it in front of all my family and friends, and on Instagram, I’ve got to get the marriage right,’” Marshall says.