People have been fairly critical of parts of this research’s implications. A researcher at the University of Maryland, using a female-only survey, suggested that the best age to get married, with regards to a low divorce risk, was 45-49 – extremely late by most people’s standards.
This set off a bit of tit-for-tat between the two universities. Phillip Cohen, from Maryland, says that the 2015 study by Nick Wolfinger and Brad Wilcox of Utah don’t reveal much about their data analysis, and they don’t take into account marriage duration – a key measure of a marriage’s success.
Wolfinger has responded by publishing more data on his own work. He also pointed out that Cohen has only included recent divorces, not older ones, which means that he’s missed out on a huge chunk of divorces in his analysis.
So who’s more on the money? Well, a third analysis by a journalist and a cognitive scientist has suggested that the ideal age is in fact 26. It’s based on the “37 percent rule.” According to mathematical theory, the best time to make decisions on anything when you have limited resources – like time, or “subjects” – is when you have seen 37 percent of the options.
So if you dated people between the ages of 18 and 40, you should wait until you’re 37 percent of the way through your dating lifetime in order to have enough “data” to pick your ideal partner. That’s 26 years of age.