(The Frisky) -- A lot of Americans get married. In fact, 70 percent of men and women 25 to 44 are married -- or have been.
But how do you know when it's time to go from girlfriend and boyfriend to bride and groom? We asked 15 women from around the country to tackle this age-old question.
"Never. But if you must, wait at least till the age of 40. No sense in wasting your youth on one man."
--Elaine, Golden Valley, Arizona
"When a woman is secure with herself, can support herself, and knows that the love she feels is reciprocated, then it's time to get married -- not a moment sooner."
-- Kathlyn, Detroit, Michigan
"When you've been engaged for 14 years. What can I say, I wanted to be sure he was the one for me!" -
- Cathy, Baldwinville, Massachusetts
"Anytime! Morning, noon, night; fall, summer, winter, spring. The perfect time to get married is when you are completely in love."
-- Lisa, Houston, Texas
"There isn't an ideal time to get married. People have been forced to believe there has been for many years, and many of those marriages have ended in divorce. Only you and your partner know when it's right, not society."
-- Amy, Bryson City, North Carolina
"I've learned that getting married later is a good idea. Once you've realized your goals and have matured, then I think it's safe to bring in someone else who is going to support you completely. My mother married my father in her mid-20s, and they just celebrated their 25th anniversary. That seems to be a long marriage these days, but I think it lasted because they had their priorities straight and recognized by one another. Too many of my classmates got married right after graduation, and six years later a lot of them are getting divorced or married again. I'd rather wait for that one person like my mother did. Divorce is too expensive."
--Amanda King, Fairbanks, Alaska
"Getting married is a huge step, and the perfect time is different for everyone. When you're absolutely certain that there is nobody else that would make you happy for the rest of your life, you've found 'The One.' You could find that person when you're 20, 35 or 45 -- it doesn't matter. There's no set rule, and you both need to be on the same wavelength on where your relationship stands."
-- Marie, Chicago, Illinois
"I think the best time for a woman to get married is when her heart and her head are both making the same choice."
-- Christine, Sugarland, Texas
"After three marriages, two of which failed, I think the best time to get married is after the age of 30. Don't bother with an expensive wedding. Marriage is the same no matter the price, but divorce can cost even more."
-- Kimberly, Valparaiso, Indiana
"The time to get married is when you find yourself in a relationship where compromise is king. You respect each other, pamper each other, and you don't feel the need to be with anyone else, ever, for the rest of your life. You disagree sometimes, but you don't scream and call each other names. You discuss things calmly and find reasonable solutions, and then you move on. You are able to be honest with each other and forgive each other, no matter how bad the situation. Neither one of you is more important than the other in the decision-making process. You work as a team to support each other through life. If any part of that equation is missing, don't bother. You'll be divorced faster than you were married."
-- Jeanne, Denver, Colorado
"The best time for a woman to get married is when she can support herself, with or without a man, but her man is willing to support her with no hesitation. There must also be true, undeniable love."
-- Jen, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
"For a woman, the ideal time to get married is when you can learn to appreciate a two-liter over a six-pack! For a man, the ideal time to get married is when you find someone who not only puts up with your two-liter, but also your mother..."
-- Jamie, Birmingham, Alabama
"The ideal time to get married is after you've dated enough guys to know that the dating scene is no longer for you. Then, only if you find a guy you want to spend every day with for the rest of your life. But only go into marriage knowing full well your days of dating other guys are over. People nowadays don't take marriage seriously enough."
-- Cindy, Athens, Ohio
"When you are mature enough to understand what marriage is really all about, and when you have met that one person you can commit to for the rest of your life."
--Lisa, Copperas Cove, Texas
"The ideal time to get married is when you are truly in unconditional love. Hopefully that happens before you have a houseful of kids!"
-- Anna, Syracuse, New York
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