*Disclaimer: for those of you that don’t pick up internet sarcasm well, in this post it’s everything written in italics.
When I was in high school I used to jokingly say that I was probably going to get married twice. According to various articles, this joke is highly likely to be my reality. It’s commonly referred to as a starter marriage or beta marriage.
For the past five or so years previous generations have been writing about how generation y is
ruining changing the institution of marriage. The typical posts talk about how we’re getting married sooooo much later.
Apparently we’re more likely to get married at 27 (women) and 29 (men) than 20 (women) and 23 (men). I guess it’s preferred that we pop out children right after high school, although we had to get permission to use the bathroom just 10 minutes ago.
Some writers have even referenced television shows that perpetuate this behavior. The one thing these articles all have in common? Blaming social media, dating apps, and other forms of technology for our “change of societal heart.”
I can’t speak for all millennials, but I sure as hell can speak for one. I’m in my early twenties and happily unmarried. Why? Let’s see…
For starters, I can’t imagine what college would’ve been like if I were married. Yes, college. That institution that seems like attendance is practically a requirement in order to survive in todays work environment. Most college students are merely trying to make it through the hellish balancing act of classes-clubs and organizations-assignments-work-interning-networking-sleeping-eating-and maintaining an ounce of a social life. If you want to throw in a functioning relationship that makes it to the “ring by spring” requirement, something’s got to give. I’ve seen it first hand. Still, you’d be a devastating 21 or 22 as opposed to a spry fresh 20.
Next up, my career. Jumping into the adult world was easier for me than it’s been for many of my friends. I can’t lie, my career path has been a pretty smooth process thus far. Most of my peers are not having as easy of a time. I have conversations about others feeling lost or “trying to figure things out” on a daily basis. When your focus is on navigating your career path it can be difficult to make time for a functioning relationship. A relationship can be a second job. Which bring me to my next point…
Maturity. An “adult” relationship requires maturity from both parties. As someone frequently deemed as “mature,” I can say this is not easy to find in a partner/peer in their 20s. Though I’m not opposed to dating someone older, I realize there can be cons to that experience as well. That’s another topic for another day. Though one possible pro…
Finances. In a marriage my (and their) finances become ours and the same goes for our debt. With student loans out of the roof and a desire to build credit, you could understand why someone may not want to take on anyone else’s financial burdens. Though there can be some monetary benefits of marriage.
If this reason has you on the fence, you could always determine if marriage will offset the financial agreement you’re entering into. Hopefully this isn’t your sole reason. If it is, good luck!
Divorce Rates. According to the APA, divorce rates are at about 40-50% in America. Perhaps if there was less emphasis on getting married younger (instead of when the individual is ready) the rates would be lower. ijs.
Children. After marriage the pressure is on to have children. After a certain amount of years people start to wonder why you and your spouse haven’t had any. God forbid you two are actually content with it just being the two of you. I know plenty of kids in their early 20s that have no business having babies. Perhaps their late 20s gave them enough time to grow into adulthood.
Though I couldn’t imagine getting married within the next year, I’m already getting questions. If you’re dating someone for over a year, you can believe the, “Do you two think you’ll get married” question will come up. The older you get the shorter the dating length.
To answer the general questions:
Do I see marriage in my future? Yes.
Would I like it to happen in the next 10 years? I’d be okay with that.
Am I sure I don’t want it to happen tomorrow or in the next year? Hell yes.
Would I like some ice cream to go with that Netflix? Um yahs.
INCASE YOU WERE WONDERING, or a romantic: No, this is not just an American topic. Yes, there are articles that address how we’re merely changing the game and NOT killing the institution of marriage. (Such a dramatic statement) And yes, there is an organization dedicated to millennials and marriage called Millennials for Marriage.
Yes yes yes to all of this!!
I couldn’t imagine being married in my early twenties either…yikes. I got married when I was 27 and that was a good time for both of us. Its important to enjoy life and not rush into anything. But in terms of getting married after you have dated someone over a year, I think that mostly applies to when you are 30 years or older. At that point, you are “running out of time” as most people may say. My husband and I dated for 5 years (met him in university) before we got married, and have been married for 3 years or so. In my opinion, there is no rush.