Why Women Marry Late

Where and how does marriage fit in with our end goals?


Is Success a Factor?

Why Women Marry Late

Studies have shown that the timing of one’s first marriage is often linked to the attractiveness of the alternatives to marrying at the time the proposal is offered. Thus, when the woman sees that she still has many options, and the alternatives are still viable and stable, marriage is delayed. Online dating is changing this landscape, because women can now, fairly easily, find partners at pretty much any age.

For example, a woman who is about to get promoted to senior partner at a law firm after 10 years of waiting may opt for the promotion first and then marriage some two to three years after — if the offer is still on the table, that is. Of course, there is no question to the level of happiness and satisfaction afforded by both a career promotion and being with your one true love; unfortunately, though, these two compete for one very scarce resource: time. Professional women, particularly those holding top positions, are bound to have very little time and higher expectations from their relationships.

Hollywood celebrities are not immune to the professional success = late marriage trend. Elizabeth Hurley was 42 when she married Arun Nayar, an Indian businessman (but divorced him three years after); Sandra Bullock married Jesse James at 41 (and then divorced after a year); Salma Hayek tied the knot also at 41 with French billionaire Francois Henri-Pinault (they’re still together!); Renee Zellweger didn’t say “I do” until she was 36 to country singer Kenny Chesney (but, sigh, divorced after just four months); TV personality Rachael Ray married lawyer and The Cringe band frontman John Cusimano at 37 (also still together!)

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Avatar of Sarah Woodstock

Sarah enlightens us on a daily basis with the newest trends as (and often before) they transpire. She is the consummate globe trotter. Having traveled to over 70 countries, she earns her living writing, blogging ( and modeling while on the road. In her spare time she gets manicures, suntans on yachts in Greece, shops for even more shoes, and lives in the limelight. She loves photography, elephants, sailboats, bangles and ballet flats.

Reader Discussion: 113 Comments

  1. Avatar of Rosie Jenkins

    Rosie Jenkins

    People are different. Others are still successful even if they got married early and others are miserable. It depends.

  2. Avatar of Alicia Parker

    Alicia Parker

    Another thing about marriage being delayed is because the sanctity of marriage is gone. Everyone is cheating, everyone is playing, no one is taking relationships seriously anymore. If boyfriend and girlfriend relationships aren’t taken seriously, what makes us think that marriage will be taken seriously? Personally, I don’t think I’m going to get married until I really meet a person that is willing to sail wild waters with me. So far, my perception of relationships isn’t very great.

  3. Avatar of Lula Burton

    Lula Burton

    A lot of my college friends got married as soon as they graduated. I don’t know what the rush was for, but I guess they really wanted to get married asap.

  4. Avatar of Anne Rios

    Anne Rios

    Not to be bitter about relationships but I’ve experienced so many bad things in a relationship and I feel like no matter how old I am, I will never be ready with marriage.

    • Avatar of Kathryn Hill

      Kathryn Hill

      It’s not just you, girl. I feel the same.

  5. Avatar of Kathryn Matthews

    Kathryn Matthews

    Men are the worst in my generation and I don’t even believe that there are decent guys out there anymore. Such a tragedy.

    • Avatar of Okoi Arikpo

      Okoi Arikpo

      We exist baby..

  6. Avatar of Casey Craig

    Casey Craig

    I remember my grandmother telling me to get married asap because I’m getting old. People, I’m only 25.?

  7. Avatar of Elsa Morales

    Elsa Morales

    I’m a single mother right now and I’m 29. I love my daughter a lot and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s 9 years old now. If I was to give an advice to anyone about marriage or having kids, make sure that you do it at a time wherein you’re mature enough and in the right state of mind. Marrying young or getting pregnant at an early age can cause a lot of problems, not only in your body but also your future. I know that people will argue that age is just a number but no, it has something to do with maturity as well.

  8. Avatar of Margaret


    Wow 50% custodial moms and raising their kids solo. Guys, what are you doing???

  9. Avatar of McNulty


    Statistics on women getting married late has increased. I’m not even surprised. Women want to be single now and it empowers them.?

  10. Avatar of Lucia Giannone

    Life is harder now and money is needed everywhere. You can’t just get married and have babies when you don’t have a stable job. Of all the things that are listed here, I’m voting for stability.

    • Avatar of Shirley Haynes

      Shirley Haynes

      Same, being in your mid 20’s in my opinion is the time when you’re just a few years starting from your first job and what have you achieved at that time? Not so much, I bet.

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