A wise man named Bob Dylan once said, "The Times They Are a-Changin'," and nowhere has that been more evident in the past few years than in relationships. With equality finally becoming a norm and gay marriage being not just legally accepted but socially accepted, what has become known as a "modern relationship" is actually on the brink of being pretty average.
It's scary to think about it, but up until 1967 interracial marriages were illegal in much of the South. To be in a relationship with someone who did not share the color of your skin would result in the two of you being jailed — that's less than 50 years ago!
Match.com found that when it came down to dating those of a different ethnicity or religion, lots of people were totally down with the idea. Seventy-five percent of singles didn't think ethnicity should be an issue when it came to love, and 70 percent of singles felt the same way about people who don't share their religious beliefs. In 1970, only 2 percent of marriages were interracial compared to the 8.4 percent that were recorded during the 2010 U.S. census, making 1 in 12 marriages interracial.
When it came to how singles perceive same-sex marriages, acceptance, at 61 percent for men and 69 percent for women, is far higher than it was in the past, but still not as high as it should be. And even though gay marriage is now legal here in the United States, 58 percent of single gay men and 56 percent of single lesbians aren't so sure they'd even want to give the "until death do us part" thing a whirl. With divorce rates being as high as they are, who can blame them?
Walking Down The Aisle
But, for some, divorce rates didn't stop them from wanting to take the big plunge. Singles in their 20's seem more gung-ho about the idea, with 65 percent wanting to get hitched, compared to 64 percent of singles in their 30's. Time really does jade people after all. As for the reasons why people wanted to get married, you might be a bit surprised. Although 86 percent said they would marry so they could share their life with the person they love, 52 percent wanted to tie the knot for "emotional security," 42 percent because they "want people to know how much they love their partner," and 14 percent for the financial security. Double income is always a welcome extra benefit, but getting married so other people will know you’re serious about your partner seems a bit shady. Where is the romance?!
At least of all those singles thinking about walking down the aisle, 89 percent strongly believed that they would be married forever. So sweet! We'll let that idea marinate and skip divorce statistics. However, 36 percent were pretty logical about the happily ever after concept and want a prenup; men more so than women at 41 percent and 33 percent, respectively.
Having Kids Out Of Wedlock
Of course, for many, first comes marriage then comes babies — but sometimes not exactly in that order. When it came to how singles felt about people having kids out of wedlock, the statistic were pretty decent. Fifty-four percent of men thought that kids before marriage was fine, and 52 percent of women felt the same way. But while people are thinking this way, they're acting differently. According to a Match.com study we covered a while ago, only 21 percent of single parents are currently dating someone. Although this doesn't take into consideration possible personal choices not to date, it's no secret that, for men especially, someone with a kid can be a turnoff.
As for those married couples that choose to not have kids, as in not even try at all because they're happy without them, 91 percent of singles "approve" of this lifestyle. Yes, married, child-free people of the world, there's a good chance your single friends are OK with this decision you've made. Thank god, right?
No matter where you look, the lines of "traditional" relationships and marriages have been blurred so much that the word "traditional" is just as obsolete as it sounds. Relationships that would have been completely unheard of less than 50 years ago are finally the norm, and it's a beautiful a thing. Modern relationships, however you choose to define them, are proving that love is love and that's where the story ends.
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