Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Study Says: We're Getting Married Less
I have quite a few friends in their 40s who never got married. A few who are now divorced. And a couple who aren't at all happily married.
My family have asked me why I'm not engaged yet. Luckily they don't ask this question often since they know how I get when I hear it.
I'm only getting older and the statistic is that 86% of American women get married before age 40. Well, I've always been a little different. A late bloomer. So I'm happy to announce here... (no, I did not get a ring)
an article that states the main reasons why young people today are choosing not to get married.
Hannah Seligson on why her generation isn’t ready to tie the knot. (taken from The Daily Beast).
We want it all. We are looking for someone to be our gym buddy, career counselor, best friend, lover, creative inspiration, and therapist. In short, the intimacy expectations of young people today are off the charts. The soul mate fetish has given way to lines like: “I want to be as excited to see him in 30 years as the day we first met.” According to the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, an overwhelming majority (94 percent) of never-married singles between 20 to 29 agrees, “when you marry, you want your spouse to be your soul mate, first and foremost.” And that quest for “certainty” and that magic mix of qualities can take years of dating to uncover.
Fear of divorce. The divorce culture, pioneered by the Baby Boomers, is shaping the dating landscape today. With the memories of custody battles, acrimonious dinner tables, and a general atmosphere of family unrest being a not-so-distant flicker in the past, Gen Ys are resolute about not repeating the mistakes their parents made, breeding a rigorous evaluation process for prospective mates. “I want to be sure” has become their Greek chorus and a way to go into marriage with all the right armor.
Adulthood is for later. The timeline to adulthood has been loosened, says Jeffrey Arnett, a research professor at Clark University who studies twenty-somethings. Arnett points out that the concept of “emerging adults” didn’t even exist before Gen Yes, because in previous generations there was no transition into adulthood, you just became one. The zeitgeist today, however, is expressed through lines like: “I’m in no rush. Case in point: the hottest comic strip on the papers this year is Dustin, about an unmarried, unemployed 23-year-old who lives at home with his parents.
Careers take longer to forge. The days of going to work for one company and retiring with a gold watch 40 years later are long gone. Careers are now something we have many of and the path to them is often murky, at best. The new order of adulthood typical of this generation is to establish oneself in a career before getting married. For men in particular, this new order of events is causing an interference with mating—research has consistently shown that whether and when a man marries is closely tied to the adequacy and stability of his earnings.
A bounty of birth control. Before birth control, a good part of the impetus to get married was, quite simply, it was too risky to have sex outside of marriage. As a male 28-year-old “A Little Bit Married” said: “If I had to be married to have sex, I would probably be married, as would every guy I know.”
TCG: As for myself, I'd say it is the fear of divorce that worries me most. Maybe I'm too pessimistic, or perhaps too realistic? Most happily-in-love couples don't go to the altar thinking they are going to be fighting each other in court out of their marriage one day. Surprisingly (and unfortunately) this hopeless romantic does have that fear. I think I had seen too many guys in my past totally change and betray me. Maybe that leaves a mark that is just too hard to overcome?
But then again, perhaps I'm really with a nice one now.
Maybe some risks are just worth taking. If you never try, you'll never know.