So, one of the many cool things I saw/read via twitter yesterday was this article in YourTango, 5 Reasons We’re Marrying After 30. 30, I guess, is considered “old” by lots of people and the current average age of people getting married is 27.1 for men and 25.3.
I gotta be honest, those numbers seem low to me. But I know that I have a skewed sense of reality.
My parents got married in their late twenties and most of my friends got married in their late 20s or 30s. Most. I do know a few people who married young. I have some old college friends who married at 22 and they have a kid about to go off to college – scary.
But 30 is “old” by American standards. When I see posts like this they intrigue me. Both for what they say and for what they don’t say.
This post is actually a review of a book that came out recently, A Little Bit Married: How to Know When It’s Time to Walk Down the Aisle or Out the Door. Amongst the other questions posed in the post is “Why is it taking us so long to settle down and get married?”
So there is a presumption, going into this, that a) Americans marry late. And b) we should be settling down and getting married. What’s taking us so long?
So now I’m going to do something I almost never do and use some real statistics. A majority of children in Sweden and Norway are born out of wedlock. In Denmark, in 2008, the average age of males at first marriage was 34.8. For women it was 32.4. The numbers go up to 38.3 for men and 35.7 for women when you look at all marriages.
Clearly we have a long way to go before our society looks anything like Denmark. It may never. For lots of reasons. For starters, I have a hard time believing that our society will ever be that egalitarian. What I do believe is that we are trending in a similar direction, in terms of marriage demographics.
And why? Well, the answers given in the YourTango article certainly touch on it. But those are mostly answers to why people are marrying later. Whereas there is a very real trend, worldwide, of people not marrying. At all. Of people living their lives, having careers, having relationships, having kids, being fully functional adults and just never marrying.
My favorite line of the piece is at the end. I made it my title; As a male 28-year-old in A Little Bit Married said: “If I had to be married to have sex, I would probably be married, as would every guy I know.”
If I had to be married to have sex, I would be.
If I had to be married to move out of my parent’s house (which was absolutely the case for many women of my mom’s generation), I would be.
Anyway, that’s what I was thinking. We don’t have to get married anymore. Many of us (well, YOU) want to. And there are many good things about the institution, I’m sure. But it’s no longer a necessity. For anything or anyone.
Tags: friends, marriage, sex, YourTango