We tend to get a lot of flak as a generation for our hook-up mentality.
Everywhere I go, I hear people saying youths don’t like to settle down anymore. The numbers show that they’re right, though it’s not just ?millennials.
And maybe that’s OK.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50.2 percent of all Americans older than 16 are single.
That’s a first since the government began collecting our relationship data in 1976.
Back then, 37.4 percent of U.S. adults were single. The lonely hearts club has been growing ever since.
There are several factors that contribute to this.
Number one: young people aren’t marrying as much simply because they were in the previous generation and do not have the same mindset or set of values.
Older adults are getting divorced more often. These statistics also don’t take into account the people who are in committed relationships but aren’t married.
Still, having a population where half of adults aren’t married is a big deal.
It has implications in many areas, like the ?economy.
The spending habits of single people versus married couples are very ?different.
Singles tend to rent rather than buy a house. They are more likely to not have children.
A larger number of singles could also affect the culture of America, our habits and our views on issues.
This lack of marriage could be good for us.
I’m all for marriage.
It allows people to commit to each other and contribute socially and economically to their communities.
But I think in the past it was easy and expected for our social and technological connectivity to put the focus on the ?individual.
In reality, it is genuine human connection that grows us as a society.
Marriage is one good way to shift our focus ?outward.
But I think in the past, a lot of marriages were flawed.
Maybe they happened too fast or people got hitched because it was ?expected.
It’s not that they didn’t love each other, but maybe their relationship hadn’t developed properly and they weren’t quite ready.
Marriages don’t fix things, and they don’t add to a relationship if there were cracks in the ?foundation.
Marriage is more than a commitment, it’s a fundamental shift in the way you operate.
You need to be certain you want that.
So it will be a good thing if, instead of simply marrying, more singles take the time to reflect on and develop their relationships. Maybe with less marriage, we’ll see it become stronger and more lasting for those who do tie the knot.