It seems that millennials are losing their interest in getting married or having kids… ever! Even if they do get married, millennials gather the courage to make the next step later on in life than their parents.
Are you a member of the millennial generation who fears the commitment stemming from marriage and having kids? There are several explanations as to why an entire generation is putting focus on everything else but having a family.
The Scientific Explanation
- Nearly 67 percent of the respondents in the study said that the fear of getting a divorce was keeping them from marriage.
- Low income women were the ones to express the most skeptical attitudes towards getting married. According to them, the financial burden of getting out of a failed marriage was significant while being married didn’t produce a significant enough range of benefits.
- Working couples that live together view marriage as simply “another piece of paper.” As a result, these young people see no point in getting married.
- Middle-class couples were the ones that had the most positive attitude towards tying the knot. These couples most often viewed cohabitation solely as the first step towards a wedding.
The Millennials that will Never Get Married
Of the people questioned in the Pew Research Center poll, 41 percent of the individuals aged 35 and older said that they haven’t found what they’re looking for in a partner. The same applies to 29 percent of the individuals aged 25 to 34.
Pew Research Center went a step further and asked the respondents what the qualities of the ideal partner were.
The vast majority of ladies said that they’re looking for a partner with a secure job (78 percent) and financial stability. In addition, most women wanted to find a man that has similar views on raising kids.
When it comes to men, 62 percent wanted a woman that has similar ideas about raising children, 31 percent were looking for a lady that shares similar religious beliefs and 28 percent were concerned about the education of their potential partner.
This shows that men and women have somewhat differing views when it comes to picking an ideal partner. Thus, three in 10 of people that have never been married report that they’re still looking for all those qualities in a potential spouse. With economic uncertainty and many young men finding themselves incapable of landing a steady job, it may become even more difficult for millennials to start families.
Are Millennials Killing Marriage?
What we could be seeing is a shift in priorities. Many younger people want professional stability and the freedom to explore themselves (and the world) before tying the knot. Thus, it’s becoming more and more common for individuals to start a family in their early and mid-thirties. This shift, however, is in no way an indication of marriage’s death as an institution.
Overcoming the Fear
- Talk to your partner about your anxieties: are you afraid that they’ll expect too much of you after you get married? Or maybe you’re concerned about the relationship changing? Talking to your partner about these fears can only result in a stronger and happier relationship.
- Take the risk: life is a lot more rewarding for the individuals that face their fears and take a risk. Moving the relationship to the next level will usually result in a lot more happiness.
- Define a happy marriage: sit down together and come up with a definition of a happy marriage. Each couple shares its own values and beliefs. Marriage doesn’t have to be an abstract concept or a stereotype that you adhere to. By understanding the shared values and beliefs the two of you have, you’ll make the transition a whole lot easier.
- Discover the source of your fear: why are you afraid of getting married? Try to identify the source of anxiety and work on overcoming it. Is it the fear of divorce? Are you worried that you’ll lose your freedom and your life will change? Maybe you’re not ready to start a family yet? There’s a way to work around each of those fears, especially if you get your partner involved in the process.
- Make sure that you’re with the right person: trust your gut feeling. People say that you simply “know” when it’s right. If you’re suffering from extreme anxiety about getting married or you’re feeling pressured to commit, chances are that you haven’t really found what you’re looking for. A little bit of self-reflection and being honest with yourself will help you find the answer.
By the Couples Clinic