Why People Delay Marriage
May 15, 2014
Filed In: Church and Culture
The average age of newlyweds is climbing in the United States. More and more young couples are delaying marriage for a significant period of time. It’s a troubling trend, but why are young people actively avoiding tying the knot?
Alison and I met our last semester of college. We got married a little over two years later. After taking the time to get to know each other, we didn’t have any real reason to delay getting married. We were ready to share our lives with each other and experience the joys (and benefits) of marriage.
So what’s causing young people to get married later in life?
- They have other priorities. Most people have a bucket list of some type. Some young people have the perception that when they get married, they won’t be able to do the things that they love. So they intentionally put off serious relationships and marriage until they complete their list. Lame.
- They’re cohabiting. Cohabitation is an epidemic among young adults today. If you’re living together and having sex on a regular basis, it can be difficult to differentiate between what you’re doing and what marriage is. Cohabitation is wrecking both marriage rates and driving up divorce rates.
- They don’t see the point. If an individual isn’t open to life or is still too immature to be concerned about the needs of someone else, it can be hard for them to see any “good” reason to get married.
- They perceive marriage for “older people.” As more and more couples delay getting married, they send a message to younger people that you wait to get married. It becomes cyclical.
- They’re unclear about their ideal spouse. This is actually a valid reason to delay marriage. Marriage is forever, so you need to be sure you choose well. It’s important to have a clear concept of the type of person you want to marry.
It’s sad when people actively avoid getting married. At the same time, I have no objection to an individual intentionally delaying getting married to ensure that both they and their significant other are a good match and are emotionally prepared. Marriage should be embraced, not avoided.