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The most interesting responses to the news that Apple will now pay for female employees to freeze their eggs should they want to put off child-bearing for another time has been from women who say that doing so is not really about prioritizing a career. Rather, they say it is about being able to take one’s time in finding a mate. You may be forty-five, the thinking goes, but your eggs will only be thirty when you happen to find Mr. Right.

While there are plenty of medical problems with this theory—egg freezing is not exactly the panacea that many women have been led to believe—there are bigger issues with using egg freezing as a strategy for reducing one’s anxiety about finding the right guy.

The first is that we prioritize in life and some of us even, gasp, procrastinate. If we think that a matter like finding a husband can be put off indefinitely, we’ll put it off indefinitely. If, on the other hand, we want to devote the time and energy to meeting people, dating and maintaining a serious relationship, we make the time and the effort.

So the question is not just whether it’s a good idea to put off kids, it’s whether it’s a good idea to put off marriage. The multiple long-term relationships that young adults experience these days can make it less likely they will ever “settle” for anyone. If you spend enough time reading about “emerging adults” you will regularly come across the phrases “paradox of choice” and “decision fatigue.” Young adults have difficulty making a decision to stay with one product, religion, person, etc., because they are always being bombarded by evidence of the road they didn’t take. In fact, when they experience too many of these long-term nonmarital relationships they can actually become more apt to cheat once they are in a marriage. (You’re always thinking of the other relationships you’ve experienced and how they might have been better.) And they are so exhausted by making decisions about where to go, whom to see, what to buy that they often just seem to let inertia take over.

This is not exactly how you want to go about finding a spouse and starting a family. We don’t want to start berating teenage girls about how they should hurry up and tie the knot but we should be making clear early on that whatever technology can promise for the future, there are real benefits for the marriage and the family of finding the right person earlier.

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