COLUMN: Millennials aren't hurrying to get married, and it's OK
By Katie Meier
Millennials: the generation of controversy. Some see us as the generation of innovation and change while others see us as a generation of self-righteous, tech-obsessed narcissists.
One thing I think both sides might agree on is that we are the generation of breaking away from tradition, and there’s no exception when it comes to the idea of marriage. This is not a bad thing by any means.
According to the publication “Love and Marriage” by D’Vera Cohn at the Pew Research Center, the median age for getting married was 25 for men and 22 for women in the early 1980s. In contrast to that, in 2011 the median age rose to a record high of 29 for men and 27 for women.
Men and women are getting married later and later, and what older generations don’t seem to understand is it is not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe a reason why younger people are hesititant about marriage is because roughly 40-50 percent of all marriages ending in divorce according to the American Psychological Association. It’s daunting to play those odds.
Millennials should not be persecuted for choosing not to participate in a union that fails nearly half of the time.
Aside from divorce, millennials also want to be more financially stable before taking the leap into a marriage. A 2014 article by the New York Times says that 27 percent of unmarried millennials said they weren’t married because they didn’t feel that they were financially stable enough to support another person.
Unless a couple decided to elope, weddings can be extremely expensive. Depending on the number of guests, the average cost of a wedding in the Bloomington area is $10,338.50, which is actually much lower than the national average of $26,645.
Even with a lower average, the cost of a wedding is outrageous. While older generations might have been willing to spend their savings on a fancy wedding, many millennials don’t want to throw down that type of money without being financially secure first.
Another factor that seems to play a large role in delaying marriage is the desire to have the career and job placement that you want before settling down with another person. Whether this is waiting until after graduate school or waiting until you get that promotion you want, my generation seems to be rightfully more concerned with feeling fulfilled in our academic and work lives outside of what our partner may be doing.
Not finding the right person, income and being married and then divorced previously are all factors that millennials are taking into consideration when deciding not to tie the knot or at least holding off for a little while.
Older generations seem to be pushing millennials to get married now because it was the way that their generation did it and the generation before them, but this is a generation of breaking tradition. Make the right choice for yourself and don’t let tradition or pressure from friends and family rush you along. Besides, you’ve got a promotion to go after.
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