The average age for a Filipino to get married is 22.6 years old. For men, it’s at a higher 25.8 years. For people in richer, urban areas, expect this number to be higher, say 26 to 28 years old for both genders.
This, in my honest opinion, is early.
To put it in perspective, the average age of a first marriage for our Asian counterparts toys around 30 years old (e.g., Hong Kong at 30, Japan at 29.7, Singapore at 29.3 and Taiwan at 30.3 years old).
When I was living in these countries, I noticed that none of my friends were in such a rush to get married. In fact, I personally have never received any pressure to walk down the aisle! During our 20s, we were happy, wild and free, quite content in enjoying our amazing singleness, building up our careers and traveling the world.
That bulk of responsibility would just ruin our style.
How can we travel extensively when we already have children? How can we go on extended business trips if our husband is there waiting at home? And how the hell can we find the best one for us if we already have a steady boyfriend?!
No, there was nary the pressure to settle down. In fact, we scoffed at anyone who was stupid enough to marry in their early to mid 20s. While we were conquering the world, they had to spend a lot of time with their hubbies and in-laws. They stopped taking care of themselves and looked like aunties even before reaching the Big 3-0.
Oh, how different it is from the Philippines.
My cousin cries about “expiring” because she has just broken up with her boyfriend at 30, and is worried that she cannot find a husband because she’s too old already.
I looked at her. If she was expiring, then what do you call me? Dead?! 🙁
My brother’s girlfriend is concerned that my brother wouldn’t marry her. She works with us because it would help prove to my brother that she’s not just a pretty accessory and can work too. Whenever any of her friends get engaged, she cannot help but say, “Guess what? So and so are engaged already…” as if to hint on her deepest desires.
“You aren’t successful (as a woman) if you didn’t find yourself a husband,” is a popular saying here in the Philippines. As if the only measure of success is being married…
In fact, in our Bible study group, being single is so scary that it’s become a constant prayer request! Not that there’s anything wrong about it, but I oftentimes feel that for women especially, finding love is so big that our hearts can never really feel satisfied unless we have actually found someone to love us back.
As they say, “What is the world if there’s no one to appreciate it with you?”
True — but what they do neglect to say as well is that the world is still a beautiful place with or without a man! Sure, it’ll be nicer if you have someone else with you, but if God deems you to be single, then at least be fabulous about it!
What’s more, in your haste to get settled, what if you married wrong?
Oh sh*t, right?
In all my conversations, I always ask people, “How do you know this is already the Right Person to be with? for the rest of your life?”
Despite varying answers, one constant warning from the Wise Ones remains: “Be careful who you marry. It’s not one of the, if not the most important decision in your life. How your life will be is directly impacted by whom you marry.”
I would have to agree.
It is always better to just remain single, serve the Lord or whichever endeavor you chose, than to be unhappy in your marriage and regretting the choice you’ve made.
Because hey, divorce is really not an option. You make your bed, you lie on it. If you make the wrong decision, then prepare for the consequences for the rest of your life, sorry.
Escaping from your marriage via an annulment or affair will only exacerbate the problem especially if you have children. People will get hurt. Stigmas remain. All because you made a wrong decision some time back. All because in the midst of wanting to be married, you jumped into something that’s hard to get yourself out off.
I think we all need to take a step back when we choose who to marry. Especially for Filipinos who are all in a rush to get married, please, think about it carefully first. Marriage is not like a car that you can sell off after you’re tired of it. Marriage is for a lifetime…!
Ideally, you would want to build a life together, keep each other company and grow old together. Here for example are 10 good reasons why I would want to get married:
- A sense of permanence amidst life’s constant changes. Every year, there are always new people to meet, new experiences to have. Marriage brings a sense of permanence, of having someone beside you as you grow old together.
- That said, it follows that you’ll have someone to take care of you when you are old. Like how mommy took care of daddy!
- It sure will be lonely when you’re old and unmarried. Companionship especially once your children fly the coop is a big bonus. Didn’t God say it’s not good for man to be alone, which is why God created Eve for Adam?
- Seriously though, you marry the person whom you find is worthy to be that one person who will stand beside you as you go through life. This person is someone whom you can build a life, family and a business empire with.
- It’s a public declaration that this person is your other half. It’s the ultimate public gesture of my love for this person. You can have many lovers and boyfriends, but technically, you can only have one husband.
- Marriage to this person forces family and friends to recognize that this person is important in their life. And it’s someone that they have to accept because he’s not really going anywhere. So this person is more integrated in your life more than just a regular boyfriend.
- Legally speaking, marriage means legitimacy and legal right for yourself and your future children.
- No curfew! You can live together! And yes, you can travel and do overnights with your husband. You cannot do that with your boyfriend. Mom will kill me. Society also frowns on it.
- It also makes life a little more interesting since now you have someone else to talk and share it with. May automatic kakampi ka na (someone to take your side). Makes traveling a bit more enjoyable too since there’s someone else who can take your photo!
- I don’t want to worry about my personal life too much. It’s hard when you’re always worrying about love. If my personal life is in order, I’ll have the time and space to succeed in other ways (e.g., career).
I daresay, don’t look for love. Look for the right person to fall in love with.
As Evan Marc Katz had said: “Find the man who treats you best, the man who makes your life easiest, the man that allows you to comfortably be yourself, flaws and all – without fear that he’s going to leave you – THAT MAN is the best fit for you.”
Chose to stay and appreciate (your partner’s) remarkable traits. In exchange, what he found was a peace and happiness that transcends anything he has ever known.
You can also feel the same.
Good luck in your journey to find the right love. 🙂