Get excited, women of a certain age—you’ve missed your chance for happily wedded bliss! According to an algorithm outlined in a very sexy-sounding book called Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, we make the best decisions after we’ve screened out 37% of our options. The well-meaning authors of this algorithm put our “looking for love age” at 18-40, which means that age 26 is at the 37% mark. From this, they’ve concluded that 26 is the best age at which to get hitched, because you will have vetted your options, but not too thoroughly.
So, we kinda see how this could make sense. Our friends who got married at 26 barely vetted any options, so they don’t know how much better they could have done had they not married their college sweethearts. Ignorance is bliss! We’re kidding, but only slightly. To be honest, at 26 we were partying every night of the week, eating Pirate’s Booty for dinner on a regular basis and living with once beloved roommates and besties with whom we’d sooner die than converse these days. We drank too much, yo-yo dieted always, bemoaned bad jobs and empty bank accounts and dated guys who were were wildly inappropriate if framed as potential husbands. To be entirely honest, some of us are still living like this well past the age of 26—yikes! The truth is, we know women who took the plunge in their mid-twenties who are more mature and evolved than any 45-year-old, and we know 30-somethings who maybe should never make such a heavy commitment. There may be data to back up this 37% percent theory, but that doesn’t mean you should pay all that much attention to it. Every relationship is like a beautiful, complicated snowflake, and only the two people within them can know when it’s right to take that next step. Besides, the (male) authors of this study says that after the age of 26 you may lack quality options, whereas we’d argue that all things get better with age, including us.