Do not marry before age 30?

We read the above commentary “Do not marry before age 30” by Joy Chen with interest — now, that’s something that we seldom hear of!

Traditional family values and popular culture have typically portrayed unmarried women over 30 years old as “unwanted”, “left on the shelf” and other negative terms. In recent years, the term “敗犬” (literally, a defeated dog — in this context, a term used to describe leftover women as losers in life) was popularised by the Taiwanese drama “敗犬女王” (My Queen).

That’s why Chen’s commentary came across as a fresh perspective for us, in a society that too often views love from the lenses of age. Who’s to say that everyone must get married before 30? According to Chen, women should never lower their standards to conform with societal expectations of their marriage. Instead, they should spend their 20s learning how to be independent, exploring possibilities, having fun, learning and growing as a person. Well, that has certainly worked for Chen herself, as she found that she started to attract a different group of higher calibre men as she grew more successful and confident in her own skin. (For the record, Chen tied the knot at 38.)

At Wedding & Travel, we think that there’re no shoulds or should-nots for the age you should get married — after all,  marriage is one of the biggest decisions we would ever make in our lives. Who’s to know when and where we would meet Mr Right? At the end of the day, we should get married for the right reasons — because he is your perfect other half; the one whom you can spend the rest of your life with; rather than for the sake of getting recognition, or to escape from familial and societal pressure.

In this aspect, regardless of Chen’s position on after-30 as a better age for marriage, she dishes out a piece of advice that we feel is good for every woman to take note of in our heads, regardless of whether you are single or attached, to-be-married or not:

“Do not slack off on your search for Mr. Right. This is the most important search of your life, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that the only thing at stake is your future. When you kick off a new search, Step One is defining your ideal candidate. Do not lower your standards, but do make sure your standards are sound…. Sort these qualities into two columns: “Must Have” and “Nice to Have.”  Your “Must Have” column should include only those things that are truly important….  Move everything else over to your “Nice to Have” column.”

Women can be especially prone to having too many standards (I’ll readily admit to be guilty of that myself). Just recalling a conversation that I had with a single male friend some time ago, when I asked him what he looked out for in a female partner, he came up with “cute” and “kind”, which left me extremely dissatisfied. I mean, I would have easily have came up much more detailed things such as “having creative talent, particularly in photography or art and design”, “appreciate Haruki Murakami as I do” and more! But when I really sit down and think about it — do I really need my husband to be someone who appreciates Haruki Murakami the way I do? Maybe not.

Focusing on the right things is the trick to ensuring that you meet the right man, and eventually, end up with your happily ever after. And when that happens, who cares if you’re 23, 33 or 43? We’ll bet that the people who truly care about you wouldn’t be less thrilled any how.

Do you have any thoughts on what is the ideal age for marriage? We’ll love to hear from you!