College — a time for growth, learning and expanding your wings. That's the idea.
But is it also a time for women to marry?
Susan Patton, an author on marriage advice, said colleges and universities are places where you’re supposed to find your spouse, she said in her column for The Wall Street Journal.
“College is the best place to look for your mate,” she said. “It is an environment teeming with like-minded, age-appropriate single men with whom you already share many things. You will never again have this concentration of exceptional men to choose from.”
But even if a woman isn’t interested in marrying during her 20s, it’s important for her to keep in touch with the men she meets during her college years, Patton wrote.
“You may not be ready for marriage in your early 20s (or maybe you are), but keep in touch with the men that you meet in college, especially the super smart ones,” she wrote. “They'll probably do very well for themselves, and their desirability will only increase after graduation."
Lisa Endlich Heffernan of The Atlantic doesn’t think women should necessarily focus on finding men to marry while in college. She said a woman with control of her life will have a happier marriage.
“Young women should not be scared into action based on a worldview from another era that does not square with today’s facts,” Heffernan said. “In reality, it is the college-educated woman who is the prize. Her husband can earn a higher level of income, a healthier life, and longer marriage.”
Heffernan said seeking out a marriage partner in college and ignoring education is something of a previous generation. This may be true, according to the New York Times, which said that women used to be forced into choosing between education and a husband. The Times said about 55 percent to 59 percent of white women who graduated from schools had never married, while 7 percent of those who didn’t attend school had husbands.
Now, though, college graduates are more likely to marry each other, according to research. And the Pew Research Center recently found that wives have more education than their husbands. Both of these findings show that a woman can get their education and still find someone to marry.
“It used to be more common for a husband to have more education than his wife in America,” Pew said. “But now, for the first time since Pew Research has tracked this trend over the past 50 years, the share of couples in which the wife is the one ‘marrying down’ educationally is higher than those in which the husband has more education.”