An amusing video clip of a mother urging her son to get married was recently went viral on social media. The content obviously resonated with many people.
For Vietnamese having grandchildren has traditionally been a source of great joy. Interestingly, it is the grandparents and not the parents who are most impatient for the babies to arrive.
"I’m so worried that my daughter is 25 but still hasn’t married, or even thought about it. Getting married in her 30s is too late and will affect her fertility. While my health is still good, I'm able to take care of and look after my grandchildren. If she were to marry later, I wouldn't be able to do so," said a 48-year-old-woman from Nghe An province.
"Nowadays, young people are getting married too late, but I believe getting married when they are in their 30s can have a negative impact on the health and intellectual development of their babies," said a man in HCM city.
According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, the average marriage age for Vietnamese men rose steadily from 24.4 in 1989 to 27.9 in 2020. It rose to 30 for men living in a city. There has also been a significant rise in the percentage of single adults, from 6.2% in 2004 to 10.1% in 2019.
“At the age of 25, I have a stable income, but it’s insufficient to support a spouse and children. Entering into marriage without a solid financial foundation can lead to problems rather than enduring happiness. Being a parent involves more than just giving birth. It encompasses nurturing, guiding, instructing, and educating children to become valuable members of society," said 26 year-old IT engineer Anh Tuan.
While young fashion designer My Linh said, "At 24, I’m still very young and have many things I want to explore. I want to improve myself in certain areas before getting married. Marriage isn't just about finances. It requires understanding, knowledge, and life skills for a harmonious relationship. I don’t prioritize marriage, because my goal is not to have a husband, but to find the right person at the right time, someone who shares my values and brings me inner peace and security for a fulfilling future."
Postponing marriage isn’t just occurring in Vietnam. South Korea, where the birth rate is among the lowest in the world, has introduced measures to address this, including the government paying 2,000 USD for each child born in Seoul. In Japan newlyweds can qualify to receive a subsidy of up to 5,700 USD.
In a world of over 8 billion people, many individuals are delaying marriage to search for their “soul mate”.
28-year-old Trang Nhung opened up about her decision to postpone marriage, echoing the experience of many strong, financially independent women.
“I work as an accountant for a telecommunications corporation in Vietnam, earning a relatively high income compared to my peers at the age of 28. I firmly control my life and stay independent of anyone else. In addition to my career, I invest time in personal development by reading books, playing golf, and attending art classes."
"Currently, getting married is not a priority for me, because witnessing my parents’ divorce made me leery. Perhaps I haven't met the right person yet, but I’m completely content with my life as it is and enjoy every moment without any worries.”
|Miss Tourism Asia 2019 Pham Lan Anh. (Photo: Li Cheng)
Another example is Miss Tourism Asia 2019 Pham Lan Anh, who holds a master’s degree from Japan and a PhD in economics from Sweden and has developed a successful career as a professional model, appearing at prestigious events like the Tokyo and New York Fashion Weeks.
Lan Anh is fluent in five languages and runs her own company. While people might assume that her fame, talent, beauty, and success would give her an advantage in finding a life partner, that hasn’t been the case.
“I truly desire to find a partner and get married soon, but life doesn’t always give us what we want. There were men who approached me out of curiosity or to know what it’s like to date a beauty contestant rather than for genuine love. I’ve even received disrespectful invitations. I never accept such relationships, but it has made me more cautious and defensive, and made it difficult to trust others," she said.
"My priority in a partner is a kind, responsible character, rather than wealth. I want someone with whom I can share a fulfilling life both economically and emotionally. But I haven’t yet found my destined partner."
Psychologist Dr. Bui Phuong Thao, a senior lecturer at Water Resources University, said that in traditional Vietnamese culture people married young, due to a need for labor resources, children, and sex. Today, having sex without marriage or cohabiting is more tolerated than it used to be, as evidenced by new concepts like “friends with benefits”, she noted.
|Psychologist Dr. Bui Phuong Thao, a senior lecturer at Water Resources University. (Photo courtesy of Psychologist Dr. Bui Phuong Thao)
"My advice to those who are actively or passively choosing to postpone marriage is to strive to become the best version of yourself in all aspects of life - career, finances, appearance, soul, mind, and character. Spend time with your friends, build your social network, open your heart, be proactive, and don’t feel pressured to find a partner, because that may result you in choosing the wrong person," said Thao.
Good things take time, and only when you understand and upgrade your values, will you be able to love others and be ready to commit to a partnership, psychologist Thao advised.