The Internet is seemingly flooded with stories of people meeting the love of their life at all different stages of life. We’re often most besotted with young and gorgeous on-screen or novel-bound characters finding true love when they’re at their most active, fun-filled part of their lives. At the same time, however, we remain inspired (and hopeful) by stories of retirees meeting and marrying in their 60s and 70s after a lifetime of miserable singledom or a stormy first marriage. The question remains for most of us, however — when will we meet “the one”?
The Age of Finding a Soulmate — What Does Science Say?
Believe it or not, there has actually been research done on this very question, and by none other than Match.com. Using their considerable user base and other resources at their disposal, they conducted a survey of 2,000 people, asking them questions about relationships, and specifically on different time frames between first meeting their special someone and reaching certain milestones: first kiss, becoming “Facebook Official,” saying “I love you,” and so on.
Looking more closely at the data, the team at Match.com was able to determine the rough average age that you’ll find the love of your life, who for these purposes we will define as the person you firmly believe (with good reason) that you love above all others and wish to spend the rest of your life with. According to Match’s numbers, women will meet that person at around age 25, and men at around age 28.
Does this mean that for the multitudes of people who have already surpassed those ages, that true love isn’t on the cards anymore? Not at all! Do not despair.
The Law of Averages
Remember that what Match.com is doing here is providing simple averages, and nothing more. Of the 2,000 people they surveyed, they determined 25 years old for women and 28 years for men, meaning that plenty of people likely found their soulmates both before and after these age milestones.
While we’re sure that Match.com conducted their survey to reflect a broad demographic, it must be remembered that almost 60 percent of the Match.com active user base are 49 or below, and the largest single age group is from 35-44. The fact is, therefore, that a lot of people are out there far past the age of either 25 or 28 and looking for love online, meaning that we all have plenty of time — and should take our time — in finding our soulmate.
Is it Better to Meet the Love of Your Life Sooner or Later?
Everyone’s story is a bit different, but research on the subject of marriage age and marital satisfaction might surprise you. It has become accepted among many as a form of common wisdom that it’s better to wait before getting married. Get some work and life experience under your belt first, and then maybe look at getting married in your 30s or something when you’re more mature. That’ll surely help marriages improve and divorce rates fall.
In fact, the research indicates that the opposite is true. Those choosing to get married younger (before the age of 30, and even before the age of 25), when surveyed, express a higher rate of marital satisfaction and sexual satisfaction within their marriage compared to those who married later. This shows that our common wisdom on later marriage, as seen in the increasing average age of marriage up to 28 in the US compared to just 21 back in 1970, is perhaps not holding water as we might have hoped.
How Can I Meet the Love of My Life?
Any online dating site or dating app, or more traditional in-person matchmaking service would instantly become one of the world’s most profitable companies if only they could answer this question more directly and more accurately. Of course, it’s impossible to say for sure what one can do to meet one’s soulmate, or at what age it’s appropriate to go looking for one.
The advantage of starting your search young is that should you find the perfect someone, then you can spend many happy decades of life and marriage together, perhaps raising a family, starting a business, or all of the above. But not all of us can achieve that. Some of us might not meet our perfect someone until we are in our 30s, 40s, or even later. We might have to endure relationships with people we believe to be our soulmate before we actually meet the real deal.
Here are some important tips for meeting “the one”:
Patience is the ultimate virtue when searching for a soulmate. We’re talking about one person out of potentially millions living in your area that you’re hoping to meet, connect with and then raise a family and build a future together. That’s no small undertaking, and it requires patience first while you’re searching and meeting new people, and second while dating a new person in order to get to know them properly. Hold your nerve and exhibit patience and good things will come to you sooner or later.
You might think advice from your parents, siblings or friends to “put yourself out there more” is rather cliche, but there’s still a lot of truth to it. If you are serious about meeting someone special, then you have to take some action to help make it happen. Attend community events, parties, and social gatherings; put yourself out there in the public domain and make yourself more visible to the world. Don’t be afraid to join online dating services that might help speed up and narrow down your search. The more steps you take, the more doors you open.
Don’t Be Afraid to Stop an Active Search
This might sound contradictory to our previous point, but actually it’s not. There may come a point where you’re getting a bit tired of the online dating chats turning into nothing but hook-ups, or people you meet at events turning out not to be as great as you first thought when meeting them. It’s okay! Never be afraid to take a step back from being proactive after some time and just enjoy being yourself and doing only things that you like for a while. It’s a nice way to recharge, and you know what they say about what happens when you’ve lost something but then stop looking for it — it might just find you!
Experience as Much as Possible with a Person First
If you have met someone and started up a relationship with them, then you shouldn’t even start thinking about them as the one until you can first check a few boxes. Do you have good sexual chemistry? Are they good to you? Are they generous in material and spirit? Are they willing to move in and try living together before getting even more serious? The more you can experience and “check off the list,” the better.
Open Your Mind
Finally, if you want to meet “the one” then you have to be ready to open your mind and perhaps widen your net a little. No, we don’t mean you should lower your standards, but perhaps you could endeavor to remove some of your more petty prejudices. For instance, if glasses are a dealbreaker for you, it could be argued that you’re just too picky. Glasses come off, or there’s laser surgery, or contacts — how about you learn more about the person before you just write them off for no good reason?
A lack of open-mindedness is a big cause of people going years and years without meeting the love of their life and becoming deliriously happy. Open yourself up and connect with more people, and you might just surprise yourself.