couple holding hands while sitting on couch. Speaking to therapist. Couples therapy concept
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
March 18, 2024 ·  4 min read

Couples Therapist Reveals Best Age to Marry if You Want to Avoid Divorce

Most of us have heard that 50% of marriages end in divorce. While that’s not entirely accurate, the number is still alarmingly high. Moreover, second marriages have a greater rate of failure than first-time marriages. It’s such a gamble and can become costly and emotionally damaging. Fortunately, experts have shared some tips to keep a long and happy marriage.

Age can Help Prevent Divorce

Couples’ therapist and NY Times bestselling author Lori Gottlieb recently spoke with Steven Bartlett on The Dairy of a CEO podcast to share some of her professional expertise. The main point she stresses to avoid divorce is waiting to get married until a certain age.

Someone who marries at 25 is over 50 percent less likely to get divorced than someone who weds at age 20. It’s obvious about marrying too young. That you don’t have the skills and you’re not established in your own life. You don’t necessarily have the maturity.” She explains regarding why so many marriages end in divorce. “But once you get into your mid to late 20s, it’s an optimal time because you have a better sense of who you are. You know more of what you want, and you can grow together as a couple.”

She continues: “Relationships that didn’t work out then inform the way that we behave in other relationships. We are punishing our current partner for a crime they didn’t commit. So, if you were in a relationship before were someone didn’t treat you well, then you are less trusting of the partner you are with.” Adding, “Some people think, ‘if I have more dating experience then I’m going to be a better partner later on’. But it’s harder because you have all this baggage. The other person your age has all this baggage that they are bringing.”

The Role Age Plays

Lori bases much of this advice on a study that was conducted by the Institute for Family Studies (IFS), which touched on several other key points as well. For example, between the ages of 26 to 32, each year decreases the odds of divorce by 11 percent. On the other hand, each year after 32, the odds of divorce increase by 5%. “The kinds of people who wait till their thirties to get married may be the kinds of people who aren’t predisposed toward doing well in their marriages,” the study explains. “The folks remaining in the pool of marriage-eligible singles are the kinds of people who aren’t well suited to succeed at matrimony (irrespective of their financial well-being).”

Sparks don’t Always Fly

Lori reveals another factor that contributes to failed relationships: not giving them the chance in the first place. “People are setting unrealistic expectations,” she shares. Noting that many people don’t make it past the first date anymore because “they didn’t feel an initial spark.” In contrast, most people in long-term and successful relationships also didn’t feel a spark on their first date, she continues. “It’s really interesting that people use the first date as a guide, when people who are in love and attracted to each other often didn’t feel those sparks on the first one, two or three dates, maybe they were even friends for a while.

People don’t give each other the chance, to get to know the other person or let the other person get to know you because they have the allusion, thanks to dating apps, that there are so many more people out there. If you keep juggling people you are never going to get to know anybody and to know if that person is someone you want to be with.” She adds. “The question you ask yourself on the end of a first date should be ‘did I have a good time’, if the answer is yes then, go on a second date. It doesn’t have to be life changing, just see what happens the second time.”

Different Expectations can Lead to Divorce

Another critical point Lori addresses is that relationship expectations differ between men and women, and generationally as well. “I think for men expectations are mostly built around appearance. For the younger generation especially because they are growing up on these ‘thirst traps’ that are posted on social media that have been filtered. So, when they see people in real life they have really unrealistic expectations.” She divulges.

According to Forbes, more than half a million people in the U.S. reported getting a divorce in 2021. While that may have had something to do with the 2020 pandemic and people being couped up together day in and day out, divorce has been on the rise for years. Regardless of how common divorce may be, that doesn’t make it any less painful, or costly. As a result, everyone goes into their marriage optimistic and hopeful for success. Another crucial aspect to avoiding divorce is how you show up for one another.

Make quality time for each other. Support and encourage one another. Respect each other’s boundaries, needs, or wishes. Communicate openly, lovingly, and with understanding and compassion. Appreciate the good in each other and see each other through the bad. Lastly, ensure that you have a deep and mutual friendship because that’s what will help you overcome the hardest points in life, and in your relationship.

Read More: 12 Unbelieveable Reasons People Canceled Their Marriages


  1. Revealing Divorce Statistics In 2024.” Forbes. Christy Bieber. January 8, 2024.
  2. 10 Ways to Keep a Marriage Strong.” Psychology Today. Suzanne Degges-White. January 9, 2023 
  3. Couples’ therapist tells Steven Bartlett the best age to get married of you don’t want to get a divorce on The Diary of a CEO podcast.Daily Mail. Ellen Coughlan. March 12, 2024.
  4. Want to Avoid Divorce? Wait to Get Married, But Not Too Long.” IFS. Nicholas H. Wolfinger. July 16, 2015.