On Marrying Young


The experience of an individual is certainly not generalisable to the whole population, but sometimes, I cannot help but wonder how certain results come about when what I live out does not seem to fit into the statistical reality. In my head I know that my friends and family do not constitute the entire population, and that I should not extrapolate from them, but yet I can do nothing to help it, because it is through the people we interact with that we come up with the heuristics for living simpler lives called stereotypes. Without stereotypes of situations we would never be able to be one step ahead; without stereotypes of people we would never be able to even begin to try and guess what the other person is thinking, and we would be relearning everything all the time.

So here comes another one of my conflicted days. Govt statistics show that people are delaying marriage. But my experience of my generation tells me otherwise. I am not sure about the guys, but most girls I know wish to get married before they turn 25. Whether or not they find someone and that really happens is another thing, but that there is the will for it to happen seems to be a recurring fact in my life. Friends talk about their classmates or siblings getting married all the time; my cousins also got married before they turned 30. My friends too are also looking out to settle down. So for the average marrying age to be that high, does that mean that those who cannot find partners in their late teens and early twenties do not find their partners until they turn 40?

Or is it a problem of the generational gap? Is Gen W only getting married now, at the same time that Gen X is getting married due to various structural reasons? Were those born in the 80s so caught up with the story of Singapore's economic growth that they decided to put aside marriage for their career? And did those of the 90s who grew up in an era of advocating family buy into the new idea of what a happy home and a happy life means?

This may be why I prefer qualitative studies over quantitative. Because sometimes the numbers do not say what the faculties experience.

Life is full of so many unresolved mysteries. One of which is why I am still evergreen when I want to get married by 26. Maybe Christine can enlighten me when she finishes her FYP.