Caryatis pointed me to this (relatively tame) Savage Love letter, from a 28-year-old man with a 28-year-old husband he'd been with since they were 24. I had known Savage to make arguments like this, and had tried to dig one up to link to here, but the trouble with podcasts is searching them, and I hadn't found any in his searchable oeuvre. Anyway:
These two men, apart from being 28, have a messed-up and possibly unfixable marriage. Sad, but seemingly unrelated to their age, which is unremarkable. As in, not worth remarking on, since as per the document Savage links to, the median age for a man to marry is 28. As Caryatis notes, we don't learn when this couple got married. For all we know, they married after five minutes at age 24. But "together" from 24 and married at 28 does not mean married at 24 and together since 17. To marry at a so-called reasonable age, after a so-called reasonable amount of time, you need to have met your spouse while too young to marry. Nevertheless, Savage takes the opportunity to launch into a speech about the "young and impulsive" who enter marriages all but doomed to fail:
According to the Pew Research Center, early marriage correlates strongly with divorce. The younger a couple is when they marry, the likelier they are to divorce. There are often other factors at play, of course, and there are plenty of people out there who got married in their teens or twenties and are still with their first spouses.Well. It's good to know that on rare occasions, people who get married in their twenties do not divorce. Their twenties! You know the NYT Weddings pages, that sea of highly-educated 27-29.5-year-old brides? Some of those couples just might make it.
I mean, gah! How is this meant to work for women, this rule by which one cannot marry or even begin dating one's future spouse until age 30? Fertility isn't everything, but it isn't nothing, either. I'm not aware of a study saying that it's better to marry at 32 than 28, but I do remember hearing somewhere (intentional understatement - this is all one hears about) that IVF is best avoided if possible.
If Savage were talking only about gay male couples, fair enough, although same-sex marriage is kind of new to start imposing window-of-opportunity restrictions on it as well. (And are gay male college sweethearts who start thinking about marriage at 25 rightly considered "impulsive"?) But he's not. He's saying that 30 is the age at which anyone, male or female, straight or LGBT, can start even thinking about settling down without that being foolish.