Sex & Dating

Find Lasting Love: Delaying Marriage May Not Be The Right Choice

New York Smash Magazine  


Studies show that people are delaying marriage due to financial and cultural reasons, but this could be a bad move, some experts say.

Americans are delaying marriage more than ever, but some experts say they are doing it for the wrong reasons.

According to a new report by the The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia called “Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America,” the age at which men and women marry is now at the highest of all time — 27 for women, and 29 for men.

The report found that Americans are postponing marriage to their late twenties and thirties for two main reasons – one economic and the other cultural.

91 percent of young adults believe that they must be completely financially independent to be ready for marriage.

In actuality, financial stability has little to do with the success of a marriage, according to Hellen Chen, marital expert and best-selling author, who has helped over 100 single men and women to walk down the aisle and coached many more couples to stay happily married.

“It is not the looks nor the money that will make a marriage happy. Most singles focus on appearances and social statuses but that has no bearing on the success of a marriage,” said Chen.

Chen has witnessed countless marriages fall apart despite both husbands and wives being successful in their careers and their appearance as a “perfect” couple.

“Most people think that a marriage is something that will automatically become good once they have career achievements and once they find the right person. This is so far from the truth,” Chen said.

Jessica Drucker, a 41-year-old marketing professional living in New York, said she has rejected close to 20 suitors over the years, in pursuit of the “perfect” guy.

“There were men that I probably should have given a chance, but I had this image of the perfect man in my head so I always broke it off,” Drucker said.

Today, Drucker is single and actively seeking a partner, but she is finding the process to be more challenging than in the past.

“I wish I would have taken advantage of the dating world when I was younger. It’s a lot harder to meet someone now that I’ve waited this long,” Drucker said.

Meanwhile, tying the knot can lead to more happiness. According to National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia results, 52 percent of married men report they are “highly satisfied” with their life, compared to 35 percent of single men and cohabiting men. Likewise, 47 percent of married women said they are “highly satisfied,” compared to 33 percent of single women and 29 percent of cohabiting women.


Ready to find “the one”? It’s not easy to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, so New York Smash spoke with marital expert and best-selling author Hellen Chen, who shares her professional tips on finding lasting love below:

Hellen Chen, marital expert and bestselling author

Hellen Chen, marital expert and bestselling author

Don’t Be Fooled By Appearances

Many people think that only appearances count, so they keep on searching for the “perfect guy” or “perfect gal” only to find that after a few years of being together, that “perfect” person is no longer that perfect.

The best guarantee for a happy marriage is not the quality of your partner but your never-ending learning of how to be a good wife or husband. Even the most well-suited couple can end up in the divorce court 10 years later. Why? Because they could not sustain that love despite having near perfect compatibility.

Remember: You cannot change another person, but you can always change yourself. I have said at my love seminar: love is an ability. It is not something that comes from the outside. It is your ability to love and be loved that makes a happy marriage, and you can always improve this ability to love.

Know What You Want

First, you have to know what you want. Many people go by what society thinks is a qualified partner. Some go by what their parents or friends think. So, be clear on what you want. In my book, “Hellen Chen’s Love Seminar,” there is a chapter devoted to how to make a “check list” of the important things that matter.

Career, financial status and even appearances can change 10 to 20 years later. What matters the most is that you and your better half have a common drive to create a future together.

Money Won’t Buy A Happy Marriage

Marriage has nothing to do with having money or not. Having money does not guarantee a successful marriage and having no money does not mean there is less warmth in a relationship.

Many men and women I have helped match-made have little money to start off with. As they enter marriage, they find more support from each other to perform better in their careers. One plus one is not just more than two. One plus one is infinity.

I don’t think our grandparents worried about not being financially stable when they got married. This idea of “must have money” to get married is a false education. If money plays such a big role, we should have had no marriages at all happening during the Great Depression or during war times.

People get married from love and wanting a family. That is the basic reason for marriage.

For more information about Hellen Chen, visit her Web site at