Let’s look at some numbers for perspective. According to the Pew Research Center and multiple studies on marriage practices of millennials, around 26% of millennials get married in the age between 18 to 32, which compared to the Baby Boomers and the Silent generation is 11 to 20% less.
Around 22% of women get married by the age of 30, the rest either don’t get married or choose to have open marriages and open relationships. The same goes for men; the majority just doesn’t want to get married after they hit their 30s.
If you are a millennial reading this, chances are you won’t be getting married any time soon because of finances, studies, and career. For those wondering what on Earth is ‘wrong’ with millennials, keep on reading.
Millennials Are Ditching Tradition
The fact that as many as only 26% of millennials choose to get married is an excellent translation of what the new generation thinks of marriage. To millennials, marriage is an outdated, old-school and traditional institution, which is far from what they believe the ideal setting for romance and family is.
There is also simply no need for millennials to conform to an outdated tradition since the majority of them don’t agree with the notion of government marriage involvement.
Millennials think that marriage is merely a society’s highest standard and ideal that is forced upon them for the reasons of economy, proper division of labor and unified religious beliefs. Therefore, around 67% of millennials between the age of 18 to 32 express a viewpoint in which they state that society does not need marriage as a societal and cultural backbone, as well as that it is high time to embrace new ideas about love, romance, and family.
Let’s Not Forget About The Economy Of Marriage.
The news story about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest member of the House of Representatives, not being able to pay the rent for her apartment in D.C. sparked a national conversation.
At the age of 29, Alexandria is a Congresswoman as of recent, and working-class salary simply isn’t enough to cover her basic needs, like affordable housing. Her story is a spot-on depiction of the situation the majority of millennials have to deal with. They lack what they deem to be a fundamental and necessary marriage prerequisite; a solid economic foundation and a place to live.
Therefore, this story begs the question; if a 29-year old Congresswoman cannot afford to pay her rent, how does the society expect millennials to pay for a wedding, marriage expenses, and later on, to take care of their children?
This, eventually, might be one of the main reasons millennials have lost faith in marriage, as the institution itself requires much more from them than they can offer or afford. It doesn’t mean though that they stopped believing in the So, here’s the deal: 21st century is a bizarre and scary place, but also an awesome time to be alive, especially for generation Y.
We’ve got 24/7 information access, numerous gadgets and high technology, freedom to express ourselves and be whoever we want to be, and most importantly, we have no need whatsoever for oldfashioned and traditional values and practices, like, marriage for example, which doesn’t mean they don’t value the benefits of being in a healthy relationship.
Marriage Is Too Restrictive.
Another reason why millennials are ditching traditional practices, like marriage, might be the fact that it is too restrictive, in its own sense. The Western world is witnessing the ‘destruction’ of the nuclear family and the imposition of progressive ideas because millennials don’t like restrictions and turn to freedom as the underlying belief.
And, when I say freedom, I mean sexual liberty and freedom of choice whether or not to get married or be in an open relationship, for example.
To millennials, traditional marriage is directly connected to Church and Christianity, or other religions, which would mean that if they get married, they would need to follow a strict set of rules that would characterize their marriage as holy in front of God. However, the majority of millennials are increasingly identifying as atheists, which means, no need for wedding bells in the Church, and no vows.
The simplicity of just being in a ‘relationship’ or just ‘sharing a place’ with a partner seems to be much more attractive to the modern generation than ‘happily ever after.’
Millennials Want To Experiment.
Speaking of restrictions, traditional marriage doesn’t usually correlate with sexual experimenting and promiscuity. So, millennials rather turn to try out new things and changing partners then restricting themselves to a monogamous relationship with one partner.
To them, this is just boring. Our need to be entertained nowadays goes beyond music and movies; we also need sexual entertainment, so open and three-way relationships, and even open marriages seem to be the go-to of generation Y.
Millennials Are ‘Selfish’.
The subtitle is pretty self-explanatory; millennials only ‘care’ about themselves. It might be deemed selfish, but the majority of millennials genuinely want to focus on their career development, financial independence, individuality, and self-exploration.
In 2018, millennials are two things: single and career-oriented. Not to mention the Tinder-hype, third-way feminism, progressive liberalism and other cultural foundations of the modern society the millennials associate with. Nevertheless, millennials have been called ‘selfish,’ ‘demanding’ and ‘entitled’ for one main reason; the things they would sacrifice for a career.
According to Comet, out of 364 survey participants, around 41% of millennials would end relationships if they were given a life-changing promotion; approximately 32% would leave a relationship if it meant getting a raise and 40% of millennials are single because they want to focus on their career.
So, there you have it. There is nothing wrong with millennials; they are just experiencing the consequences of transitioning to modern times, and might be a little lost. However, it is important to point out that there are millennials who respect and value the tradition of marriage, and want to get married.
There is no reason to be scared for this holy institution, but, there is a reason to be scared for the future in which millennials are going to live, when taking into consideration the unfolding of the current political and cultural affairs of the world.
The article was previously published on Wingman Magazine.