When 22-year-old me married 26-year-old Jack Schindler in 1964, some 72% of all American adults were married. adults were married. Today it’s more like 50%. Despite the fact that more people are legally allowed to marry than ever before, fewer are opting to doing so.
Furthermore, those who do get married are doing so later. Back in 1964, the average first-time bride was 20, while the average first-time groom was 22. Today, the average is 27.4 for women and 29.5 for men.
Experts cite a number of sociological changes behind the declining popularity of marriage.
The biggest reason is probably choice. Women no longer need a husband to support them. They don’t even need a husband to conceive or raise a child. Lifestyles that were frowned on 50 years ago, are socially acceptable today.
Other motivations for remaining single may include the relative ease and acceptance of divorce as well as the abundant availability of casual sex. Even the growing cost of weddings, which have gotten more lavish over the years, may be a stumbling block for some.
Another contributing factor may have arisen more recently with the millennial generation. A recent article in the New York Post points out that 20-somethings are burning out of high-paying jobs because they resent getting only two weeks’ vacation per year. (Poor dears.)
If they choose beach combing over a lucrative career, imagine how they must feel about marriage, babies and a mortgage.
While I acknowledge that marriage is hard work (VERY HARD) and not for everyone, sharing your life with someone else is also very rewarding.
TIME Magazine ran a cover story two years ago on “How to Stay Married and Why,” which cites research showing, “Married people have better health, wealth, and even better sex lives, and will probably die happier.
They’re probably happier because they haven’t had to subject themselves to dating, dating websites or dating apps for years, if ever.
If I weren’t already married, that would be enough to send me rushing toward the nearest altar.
How do you feel? Is marriage worth it? Click here to comment.