By: Poelano Malema
Marriage is a big step and should not be taken when one isn’t mature enough.
Centuries ago, many women married in their late teens and early twenties. This is now changing. More women are choosing to get married at a later stage. The same goes for men.
The latest Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) report states that “the median age of bridegrooms increased from 36 years in 2015 to 37 years in 2019. Similarly, the age of brides increased from 31 years to 33 years over the same period.”
Marriage counsellor Thabo Maatjie says “being established as an individual plays a major role when it comes to deciding when to get married.”
He says men feel the pressure of having to be a provider for their home, and thus, they delay getting married until they are financially stable.
The marriage counsellor says “in the olden days, there was a lot of support from families.”
However, things have changed. More women are also independent and prefer to work and be more established, unlike the olden days where men were the sole providers of their homes.
Maatjie says another reason people choose to get married at a later stage is because they are scared of commitment.
The marriage counsellor says some people are afraid of marrying the wrong partner, or how marriage will turn out to be.
Men prefer to marry younger women
The Stats SA report, which was released in March, revealed that many men prepare to marry women who are younger than them.
“Men tend to marry younger women, as 98 714 (76,2%) of the 129 597 bridegrooms were older than their brides. However, 20 730 (16,0%) bridegrooms were younger than their brides and 10 151 (7,8%) were of the same age as their brides,” states the report.
Maatjie says this is because of the stereotype that younger women are more respectful.
“Most men are inclined to the element of respect and they think that someone older than them is most likely not to respect them,” says Maatjie.
“When you are younger, there is that element of submission that men believe they are not going to struggle with.”
However, the marriage counsellor says “most of the time, that is not the case. Age is not much of an issue.”
Image courtesy of Pexels/ @Jasmine