A “starter marriage” describes a childless first marriage that lasts less than five years. Starter marriages are very common in the U.S. today, and typically occur among couples between the ages of 25 and 29. In fact, the highest divorce rate is among this particular age group. These marriages are said to fail due to various factors, a primary one being that these couples have unrealistic ideas about what married life will be or should be like. This could be due to a lack of relationship experience or overall immaturity, among other factors. There are various steps a person can take to avoid entering into what is termed a “starter marriage”:
- Develop self-awareness prior to getting married.
- Acquire realistic insights about married life.
- Date someone for at least 2 years before getting married (get to know each other!).
- Try waiting until after 30 to get married (chances of divorce decrease for those married after age 30).
- Be okay with being alone so that you don’t settle for the wrong partner.
- Look for a partner who shares similar values as your own.
- Make good communication a priority in your relationship.
- Be financially secure BEFORE getting married.
- Select someone you’re willing to commit to for life, as if divorce didn’t exist.
If you’re feeling pressured to get married before hitting the dreaded age of 30, keep in mind that those who rush into marriage have been proven to have higher rates of divorce. It isn’t worth getting married “on time” or while the alleged “clock is still ticking” if the marriage has no foundation and will end in divorce anyway. A divorce carries with it the emotional stress of a break up with legal, financial, social, and economic stressors added onto it. It’s wiser and has been proven more effective for couples to date for at least two years prior to marriage, to get to know one another and themselves as individuals better, so that both parties move into a marriage with confidence that they’re making the right decision for the long term.