At what age should one marry? As a rule of thumb, perhaps not until you are past the age of feeling strongly that you must marry. When you have gained assurance that you can cope effectively in the world, when you feel comfortable on your own, when you have had time to develop an awareness of the self as a quite separate person, and, more particularly, when you have been deeply lonely and felt the panic of loneliness ebbing, it is safe to marry, for then you can have fair confidence that you are marrying the person, not the institution. There should be a time of being unplugged from your original family before plugging into a new family for sustenance and support. If that time is cut short, you will be marrying for what you can take from marriage, not for what you can bring to it. You will be marrying as a defense against anxiety, not because you have found someone with whom you believe you can live for the rest of your life and like it. You will be marrying because you are afraid of being single, which is not a good reason for marriage. To be yourself, you must be yourself in the world, which means you must first give yourself time in the world.
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