Ten Reasons It’s Totally Fine To Never Get Married
- by Renee Jacques
It’s a situation so many young adults will experience at some point in their lives: All your friends and acquaintances seem to be getting married, and you still can’t figure out how to get dressed up like a big kid for their weddings. Sure, some people view their young peers’ marriages as happy, normal events.
But if you feel a little left in the dust when it comes to the marriage thing, you’re not only alone — in fact, you’ve got more company than ever.
A (Link): study from the National Marriage Project found that more and more young adults today are delaying marriage because they see it as a capstone that comes after achieving one’s life goals — professional and otherwise.
And younger generations aren’t the only ones staying single. According to the U.S. Census, the number of couples aged 50 and over who simply live together but are not married rose from 1.2 million in 2000 to 2.8 million people in 2010. Whether you’re young or old, it is OK — in some cases, even beneficial — to never get married. Here are 10 valid reasons that remaining unhitched could actually leave you better off financially, mentally and even physically.
1. Most people aren’t in a hurry to get married anymore.
According to Pew statistics, back in the early 1980s, the median age for marriage was 25 for men and 22 for women. But in 2011, the median ages for first marriages hit all-time highs of 29 for men and 27 for women.
The report credits this change to, among other things, the fact that couples no longer feel the need to be married to become parents and the “competition from other lifestyles,” like living alone or living with partners. So, there’s no need to stress about not getting married — everyone else is staying single too.
6. Getting married can put your friendships at risk.
7. Marriage can lead to the risky habit of relying on one individual for every emotional need.
Bella DePaulo, a social psychologist and author of “Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After,” told The Huffington Post that many married couples make the mistake of turning their spouse into a “Sex and Everything Else Partner.”
They look to them for all sources of contentment, like “companionship, intimacy, caring, friendship, advice, the sharing of the tasks and finances of household and family, and just about everything else.” This creates an unrealistic “cultural fantasy” that ultimately results in disappointment and unhappiness.
“One of the things that is so interesting about this is that it is typically seen as a good and romantic thing,” says DePaulo. “Think of all the popular songs with lyrics like ‘you are my everything.’ There is little recognition of the risks of putting all of your relationship capital into just one stock — your partner.”
9. And, as dim as it sounds, plenty of marriages in this country end up in a divorce anyway.
For almost every couple, with marriage comes the potential for divorce. And divorces can be tricky and very expensive.
In a Pew Research study conducted on 122 people who lived with a partner in Columbus, Ohio, 67 percent of middle-class participants said despite being excited about marriage, they worried about “the social, legal, emotional and economic consequences of divorce.”
And the some divorce statistics in the United States make it seem pretty grim for those who believe that marriages will last forever.
It’s estimated that about 40-50 percent of first marriages and 60 percent of second marriages will end in divorce. However, research on this varies.
The CDC writes that the chance “of a first marriage reaching its 20th anniversary was 52% for women and 56% for men in 2006 to 2010,” and this stays consistent with divorce trends through the past three decades.
Also, it seems that the younger you get married, the more likely you are to get a divorce. The estimated average age for a divorce today is 30 years old.