Unlike the previous generations, the Millennial generation is breaking the old rules and setting some new rules when it comes to marriage. For two people in love, marriage is no longer viewed as a duty. Nowadays, due to many circumstances, many Millennials are reluctant to say ‘’ I do’’ to the married life. Most of them either live their family life on their own terms, not involving marriage, or stick to the single life that they are used to, choosing to explore more choices. Whichever lifestyle they choose, this generation proves itself to be bolder and less easily influenced by the society’s norms.

 

What’s happening?

First of all, the average age to get married has changed. In the old days, a man would marry by the age of 23, while a woman was supposed to marry by 21. Today, the average age to marry is 27 for women, while for men is 29. Since they are faced with so many dating options today, it’s only natural that will not settle down just yet. Many ambitious Millennials would rather focus on their success and career, than start a family. Those who decide to start a family and have a child often don’t feel the need to make it official.

 

Love or marriage

As they are getting married later than the previous generations, these young adults are also thinking in a more practical way regarding marriage. Since they have been focusing on their careers, they have more assets to protect in case of divorce. Before saying ‘’I do’’, they are saying ‘’I do’’ to a prenup. Not only are they thinking about what the future holds, but they are also choosing love than staying in a marriage that’s not working for them. As we can see, they are less influenced by the religious and society’s norms than their predecessors.

 

Millennial divorce

Surprisingly, the divorce rates for Millenials, compared to baby boomer’s generation, are not as high. Since the 1990s, the divorce rates have been significantly declining. This is probably because Millennials are taking their time with the married life. Instead of rushing into a marriage, many couples are first moving in, so as to strengthen their relationship. As a result, studies show that these couples eventually decide to tie the knot. Meanwhile, the previous generation's divorce rates have gone up since the 1990s. Many couples, who are now 60-years-old, are getting divorced.

 

Millennials and children

Unlike the past generations, Millennials prefer to enjoy their freedom and hesitate to start a family right away. In other words, having children is not usually their first option. This is due to many economic difficulties that our modern society is facing today. When a marriage doesn’t work out, many people cannot get the local child custody and relocation rights, because they cannot afford the divorce and its expenses. Not to mention that bringing up your child as a single parent is a hard task to undertake, emotionally and financially.

 

Out with the old, in with the new

Throughout the globe, we can see the examples of how this generation is changing the old ways and coming up with a new perception of union between lovers and soul-mates. This doesn’t usually imply marriage.  Marriage is now considered as an outdated option and many choose not make a commitment on a paper. Many Millennials are enjoying living together before marriage. Some are opting for non-monogamy in a relationship, while others are committing to more than just one special person. The number of Millenials as single parents is rising, so is the number of happily married couples living apart.

 

All they need is love

As we can see, Millennials have learned a valuable lesson that previous generations failed to notice: love is all you need. Maybe it’s because they have seen the consequences of staying in a bad marriage from the past generations. Maybe it’s because of their bold and untamed spirit provoked by these modern and hard times. Whichever the reason is, the fact remains that marriage, as a sacred institution, is fading away. Millennials are just in the front row to notice this and reinvent it according to their own choices and beliefs.

 

Published by Cate Palmer