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Millennials and marriage

Millennials and marriage


Everywhere you look, the sanctity of marriage seems to be dying; at least that’s what a lot of my peers believe.

Many millennials are under the impression that “love is dying” and that young people don’t respect marriage or vows the way their parents and grandparents did. Moreover, a significant number of my peers don’t even believe in marriage, as if good marriages are mythical creatures that others claim exist, but they have not yet found.

Why are so many millennials apprehensive of long-term relationships, specifically marriage? Here are my theories:

The first theory is that millennials romanticize what they think marriage was like in the past, specifically in the 80s and 70s. There is a plethora of romance movies illustrating what love was allegedly like in the past. These movies showcase chivalry and doting as common place rituals in dating.

We see movie dates and dances and compare them to dating in the 21st century. Truth be told, dating in this generation largely consists of chatting online and posting each other on social media. Of course, people still go on physical dates, but it would be misleading to exclude the large impact social media has had on how people interact these days.

Millennials have somehow convinced themselves that relationships these days don’t work because people are too dishonest, and only want short-term flings. They aren’t like their grandparents who “stuck it out” and stayed loyal to each other. For some reason, a lot of millennials are under the impression that their grandparents were more honest and loyal, ignoring the fact that some married men managed to have two whole wives with separate families, in neighbouring villages, not to mention a plethora of outside children.

Human beings, as far as I know, have not evolved to be more or less dishonest. The only difference is that this new generation is less tolerant of dishonesty and cheating.

The second theory is that we must also consider the economic advantages of marriages back in the 60s and 70s. Previously, women were less educated and more dependent on men to be providers; becoming pregnant without a husband was likely a straight ticket to poverty and constant struggle. In order to avoid this, most women opted to get married young to ensure a better economic standing.

Secondly, if a woman found herself in a bad marriage, divorce was such a taboo that it was hardly even considered an option. In the end, marriage was simply a means to an end for most women. With the introduction of more women into the education system, they quickly became independent and naturally, desired better treatment from men.

Women and men are no longer pressured to get married in order to have children, as common law relationships are increasing. They are also waiting longer to get married, as “love” is a much more important factor in getting married than it previously was. Women no longer have to depend on men for financial support and thus, are able to pick a better candidate based on compatibility versus social class.

So you see, it’s not that marriage is dying; it’s simply evolving. Millennials value love and honesty so much they are willing to remain single until they find it. They are not tied down with social norms as our grandparents were; thus, they have more freedom to date as they please.

Change is the only constant, and what worked for our grandparents won’t work for us. We are thankful for our ability to marry for love and not for necessity.