When Do People Really Get Married? Expectations vs Reality

If you were like most children, you probably had your future occupation determined from a very young age. Maybe you had plans of becoming an astronaut, or of being the next Princess of Genovia. You might’ve even aspired to be a teen pop sensation, or if you were particularly ambitious, the next President of the United States. Regardless of what you dreamt of being as a child, your chosen career path has likely evolved a bit since then — and that’s just part of growing up. As we grow older, we realize that our childish expectations don’t always come to fruition the way that we hoped they would.

And according to a recent survey, in which people were asked for their average age during major life events, like going off to college, landing their first job, buying a house, and getting married, this is especially true of marriage. The survey’s findings boil down to this: when people are young, they often expect that they’ll get married much earlier in life than they actually do. Over 70% of the survey’s respondents believed that they’d be married by the time they turned 30, with 45% of these saying they thought they’d be married by 25.

But in actuality, their relationship status didn’t change as soon as they expected. There was quite a large gap between when people expected to get married, and when they actually ended up tying the knot. Though 70% of people thought they’d be married by their thirtieth birthday, only 44% of respondents actually were. And what’s even more interesting is the number of respondents who thought they’d never get married shot up with age too. At a young age, only 12% of respondents believed they’d never get married, but at 37%, triple this number of respondents ended up not getting married. Crazy, right?

Yes, but what’s the takeaway from all of this, you ask?

Well, in life, things don’t always go as planned. We don’t always get out the door on time in the morning or have a traffic-free commute. And on a more serious note, sometimes, relationships that we spend years of time and energy pouring into, don’t always pan out. People change and grow, sometimes together, but other times apart.

So, the next time your life takes an unexpected turn, take this as a reminder to roll with the punches.

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