Marrying Age between International Couples (국제커플 결혼의나이)

In continuation of age gap influences in international couples I would like to continue the discussion on what are some age related influences between international couples.

For many international couples with varying age gaps marriage is quite often introduced or discussed during the beginning stages of the relationship. Sticking to the same focus on foreign Asian males and foreign Western females depending upon the age of the male, marriage might be the goal they are pursuing, if they are open to dating seriously outside of their culture.

gwacheon village.jpg
Gamcheon Culture Village mural – Busan, Korea

In a number of Asian countries usually a young man or woman do not leave their family home until they are of marriage age. By marriage age they are actively dating and looking for a long-term partner.  However, one striking difference between how Asian men/women of marriage age look for suitors is somewhat influenced by age. Some Asian men of 30+ years old and of marriage age focus on meeting younger women. While some Asian women of 25+ years old and of marriage age focus on meeting older men. The reason for their choices in suitors ages, however, is very different.  Compared to the Asian women’s choice in marrying an older suitor, older Asian men prefer to marry suitors much younger.  My understanding for this lies in a preferred choice for a younger spouse for Asian men, as well as, the preferred choice for a dependable & successful older spouse for Asian women. This focus in spouses is not too different from Western nation counterparts. However, these focuses are not only sought after. In Western nations, especially North America, marriage age is not limited or confined to the 20s or early 30s. In the U.S., Canada, and possibly Mexico couples are not bound by marriages age blocks, and can feel less pressured to decide on marriage until their mid 30s, 40s, or 50s(*for a few like Janet Jackson!).

In a growing number of Western nations marrying age is viewed for more than the traditional idea of starting a family, which still strongly influences what is considered appropriate marriage age for many women around the world. Over the past few decades marriage beyond age in countries such as the U.S. has led to marriages focused more on  couples, on companionship, on commitments, on better livelihoods, on personal & financial security, etc. Finding a partner who shares the same marriage focus is important for any marriage. For international couples this remains true as well.

Depending on the background of both individuals(*within an international couple) and their retrospective ages marrying age may or may not be viewed the same.  In the case of equal view on marriage age the international couple may share same ideas on marriage focuses (i.e. child bearing, companionship, financial security, etc.). In this case the international couples relationship will continue to grow. However, if marrying age is not viewed the same between the individuals(* within an international couple) then there may be some uncertainties going forward for the couple.

In the case of marrying age between international couples not matching then the transition of the relationship in terms of progressing to the next stage may be placed on hold. For these international couples differences in marrying age is not the biggest hurdle, but rather differences in traditional and modern focuses at the time. As mentioned in my previous post Age Gaps in International Couples (국제커플의 에이지 갭), ambitions, (present) focuses,  along with cultural expectations may not be aligned between these international couples.  Due to this is important for international couples, and either man or woman, to each decide individually and early on in the relationship whether or not a future between the couple will match.



*Note: All  pictures posted are owned by the Yeppunshikan author, usage of these pictures without the owners consent is strictly prohibited.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Monica says:

    My husband and I have a 7 year age gap, and before I met him, I had never sought out older men. But I loved his maturity, stability, and attitude toward marriage and relationships, so it was easy for us to go forward with our relationship. I am mature for my age, and I had lived alone in foreign countries before deciding to move to Korea to be with him, but I still had a lot to learn. I had to step out of my comfort zone, learn a lot of new customs, and learn how to take on the role of a Korean wife. I think I have the hang of it now, but I know it shocks many young brides of Korean men when they suddenly have a lot more responsibility (along with the expectation that they should immediately have kids).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yeppunshikan says:

      Hi Monica,

      Thank you for sharing your insight on this topic. Age is just a number as the saying goes, and I believe love transcends age. I am happy that you and your husband matched in relationship goals & are enjoying marriage life. Though I am not married yet the idea of marriage has been a on-going topic of discussion between me and my current Korean boyfriend, but also an interest of mine. 😊

      There certainly are lots of cultural expectations and hurdles to overcome for international couples, age aside. You are right about the traditional Korean marriage mindset that you must have kids soon after marriage. Every thing is ‘빨리빨리’in Korea, haha 😂 I have a wide-range of friends & former K-language classmates married to Korean spouses and they happened to bypass rushing and started having kids a few years into their marriages. I actually hope the same if I marry my boyfriend. Just like dating, you should have some more ‘you’ time together, and then go from there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Monica says:

        Yes, especially because we were long distance for the first year we dated, and now it’s been a year that I’ve been in Korea, but I still have a lot of things to learn and get used to, so it was a stressful first two years. Now that we’ve been married for 6+ months, it’s starting to feel a lot easier, and adding a baby to our family now would just be a lot of stress. We want to enjoy our newlywed life for a little longer before we make a permanent decision!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. yeppunshikan says:

        Sounds like a good plan for you two. It’s such a coincidence, my relationship is almost a polar opposite. Me and my BF were together for 1+ year in Korea and we are now almost 9 months in LD. I really don’t want our LD to surpass our year plus together, but I also am not trying to rush us into marriage since it’s already on our minds ☺️

        But, my BF is funny since marriage can be planned rather fast in Korea, he views it as just a matter of picking a month/day.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Monica says:

        That’s true! As long as he doesn’t have siblings who plan on getting married within the same year. I’ve heard that some couples get pregnant so that they can get married before their sibling who was planning a wedding first. Because the pregnant couple will have to be married asap haha


      4. yeppunshikan says:

        Sadly, I am not surprised that wedding competitions may exist. Age definitely factors in for some in regards to this. But, I haven’t seen this occur among the people I know.

        Thankfully, we have no competition. My BF is the oldest in his family. His younger sister is close in age, but she isn’t marrying anytime soon 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Mabel Kwong says:

    It is so true there are differences when it comes to the idea of marriage in Asian and Western culture. So true that in Western culture, marriage can sometimes be more about coupling – a couple can be married for years and not start a family of their own and their families would be okay with it. With many Asian pairings and families however, this tends to be not the case – marriage is often a sign that two people are ready to have kids. On the subject of age difference, it is true that some of us prefer getting together with someone older or younger than ourselves. Sometimes someone of a certain age can bring with them certain experiences, lessons and values that we are attracted to. Then again, sometimes age is just a number and if you can get along and be in love, then that is amazing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yeppunshikan says:

      Yes, very true that along with age is experiences that can be good attributes for a potential suitor.

      Thanks for visiting my page and joining the discussion 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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