Hannah Seligson, "A Little Bit Married" author, tells us why the marriage age continues to rise.
Journalist and author Hannah Seligson's debut book, A Little Bit Married: How to Know When It’s Time to Walk Down the Aisle or Out the Door, hit book stores on January 15th.
It is here Seligson attempts to answer one of the biggest questions facing our generation today: Why is it taking us so long to settle down and get married? The marrying age has steadily increased throughout the years to an all-time high of 27.1 for men and 25.3 for women. Which, in all honesty, still seems pretty young. Marriage And Health: Damned If You Do And Don't
Face it—many of us will continue to meander down the path of first dates and go-nowhere casual relationships far past the age our parents married and started a family. So what gives? Considering the energy we all spend wistfully wishing we'd find "the one" you would think we'd be a little better at it. Waiting For A Marriage Proposal? Advice You Need
She has a few ideas about what may be keeping us unwed:
1.) A "soul mate fetish": We think Seligson might be onto something when she hypothesizes that this (somewhat fantastical) idea of a soul mate may kill a perfectly fine partnership before it even has the chance to develop.
We are looking for someone to be our gym buddy, career counselor, best friend, lover, creative inspiration, and therapist. In short, the intimacy expectations of young people today are off the charts. The soul mate fetish has given way to lines like: 'I want to be as excited to see him in 30 years as the day we first met.'
She concludes that it takes a lot of dating before one is sufficiently convinced they've found the yin to their yang. Soul Mate Myths
2.) Divorce: We can blame the split-happy baby boomers for this one. Divorce Registry: A Good Idea?
The divorce culture, pioneered by the Baby Boomers, is shaping the dating landscape today... With the memories of custody battles, acrimonious dinner tables, and a general atmosphere of family unrest being a not-so-distant flicker in the past, Gen Ys are resolute about not repeating the mistakes their parents made.
3.) The word "adult": Adult? Us? No way?! We don't want any ball and chain getting in the way of our good time!
The timeline to adulthood has been loosened... The zeitgeist today, however, is expressed through lines like: 'I'm in no rush.' Case in point: the hottest comic strip on the papers this year is Dustin, about an unmarried, unemployed 23-year-old who lives at home with his parents.
4.) The "career" labyrinth: Job security and keeping up with a healthy standard of living is just getting tougher, not easier. Couple that with added pressure to provide and you've got a No Marriage cocktail:
Careers are now something we have many of and the path to them is often murky, at best. For men in particular, this new order of events is causing an interference with mating—research has consistently shown that whether and when a man marries is closely tied to the adequacy and stability of his earnings.
5.) Birth control: Who needs marriage (or hell, even commitment) if we can all get busy without baby repercussions? 5 Reasons Why Women Should Consider An IUD
As a male 28-year-old in A Little Bit Married said: 'If I had to be married to have sex, I would probably be married, as would every guy I know.'