By: Julie Spoehr
It seems like every time you look at Facebook or Twitter, there’s another photo of a left hand with a new piece of jewelry on it. Even more overwhelming are the ‘umpteen’ million Pins on your friend’s Pinterest wedding boards…slow down ladies! Combine that with shows like Say Yes to the Dress and Married at First Sight, and you’ll find that wedding/marriage fever is a constant in our lives. Yet the rate of marriages, especially for people in their 20’s, has been going down. Apparently, many women are finding that Beyoncé was wrong: If he likes it, he doesn’t need to put a ring on it.
There have been reports about why Millennials in particular are not getting married, with most saying it all comes down to the economy. With higher unemployment and lower wages, experts say many want to wait until they can afford the wedding of their dreams. And with weddings costing an average of $30,000 (more than some people’s annual salaries), that will take some time. But, what many of these articles are missing is the ideological changes that have come with this generation that affect their decisions more than the economy.
“You don’t need to be married to be committed.”-Lindsey, 21
Older generations, and even some younger people today, see marriage as the ultimate sign that a couple is committed to one another. However today, many couples are rethinking this idea. They are finding that a commitment made between the two of them is enough and don’t feel like a ring or certificate is needed to remind them of that. This trend is also seen with children being born to couples who live together and are committed but not married. Marriage is no longer the be-all-end-all for relationships, so to some this means marriage itself is unnecessary.
“I feel like a lot of people rush into marriage and end up getting divorced because they weren’t completely ready to commit. I’ve been with my boyfriend for eight years, and I’m completely okay with not being married right now.”-Melinda, 25
While timing is different for every couple, the average time people have been in a relationship before they get engaged is around two years. This isn’t that long if you really think about it, and to many couples two years is too fast. With this, being in the relationship becomes enough since neither partner is worrying about some deadline to walk down the aisle. If they are happy with where they are, there is no reason to change anything.
Some may be lamenting the fall of marriages, probably those in connection with the wedding industry, but to those couples who are skipping right past the altar, marriage isn’t necessary. Statisticians may see it all in economic terms and predict that marriages will rise once the economy is better, but they might be in for a surprise. It’s not money that’s keeping couples from tying the knot, but their personal convictions.
Tell us why you are or aren’t married!
Image courtesy of Surachai/freedigitalphotos.net
Julie is studying Spanish and English at Butler University. When she isn’t working on her classes she loves reading, watching Netflix with her roommates, and doing Zumba and Pilates.