I happened to see a really old friend of mine. Well technically this girl is like 4 years younger to me. So she must be what around 21-22 now. I was shocked to learn last year that she had gotten married, because left to me, I would call it a child marriage. ha... This year I am even more shocked to learn that she is expecting soon. I don't know why but I am still shocked and not able to go meet her in person, partly because I might laugh at her and partly because who knows she might laugh at me. In India there is this whole stigma about age of marriage. I do know it is getting better nowadays. But I have to mention the changes are not way too much to get excited about. That said, some people in India typically very old people tell me that I am going to be 27 and that I am getting late by each my moment in getting married. Personally if you ask me, I would say that is pretty much BS. But respecting what elders say, I just asked some of these people who mentioned about age as to what do they think the right age for marriage for a girl should be. And they tell me, 24ish. What came out of my mouth right away was, how can you ruin some precious years of life in marriage so soon. :P. Not sure if I was right or wrong, but I said it nevertheless. Part of the reason why they were mentioning this age was that they really thought that it is an ideal age and also partly because they wanted to convince me saying that I am already late. Either way, I am not completely convinced. If you tell me that for health reasons a girl should try to get married pretty much by her early 30's it would make a little sense. Though if you see females in the US for example, so many get married much later.
All this said, the thought about this girl came back to my mind. She probably just finished a 3 year Bachelor's degree and right away got married as soon her final exams were done. I was surprised to learn about several other girls, including couple of own cousins think the same way, even though their parents are very well educated. But from parents' side they think they have to get over with their responsibility of getting their daughter married, because their idea of settling down is getting married, which I am not completely blaming. From the daughters' side, some of them like the ones I mentioned above typically have their mind set for marriage right after they are done with a basic Bachelors degree. Some of these girls would have even completed their Engineering and might still think the same. I would not be too surprised if these girls supposedly fell in love with a great guy and got married. But most of these get married to some guy through an arranged marriage, some guy who is most likely to be atleast 4-5 years elder to them. These girls are more than happy to get married and be home or just go work in some company. I think it is their idea of settling down in life. Again, I am no one to blame them or appreciate them. There is also another extreme of girls in India. Girls who raise their expectations about marriage and guys really high and keep pushing their marriage talks away and care more about their career, which again I think is fair enough. Again I am no one to blame or appreciate them.
In an ideal scenario, we would be allowed to date and find our right guy and we could get married whenever we want to. But of course, considering that this is India, for the most part this may or may not be possible. I don't want to really talk about moving in together etc here because this post is more about age of marriage for women than anything else. In my personal opinion, if you would let me decide, which in my case, I do get to decide, more than age, I believe a goodness of fit between me and my potential partner matters more than my age when I would get married. But also contradicting my own statement, I am giving a shot to all this marriage stuff only for a while. After which I would completely focus on what I wish to do than on marriage, mostly because even otherwise, marriage has never been a top priority for me. Either ways, in general as well, if one is not convinced that their marriage would be a happy extension of their life, and that it would be able to accommodate most of their aspirations with some adjustments here and there; getting married would be utterly foolish. Most of all, a girl who is not financially independent or not educated enough to be financially independent should think twice before getting married. It is totally upto an individual to decide on all this. Yet, the idea is to not regret later in life that you just got married, had kids and raised them and lived a very usual and kind of boring life where you didn't really achieve much (though some women would claim that they success in getting married, raising kids and making them successful). I do agree there are always tradeoffs when it comes to goals and marriage life. Having goals and trying to see if marriage would support or affect them, is one thing, but not having a goal at all, except the goal of living a very ordinary life ( I mean an ordinary life in my opinion, where you depend on your husband for each and everything) is in my honest opinion pretty stupid. All said, marriage is a big risk anyways, why not take the risk carefully.