A Marriage Myth: Marriage is Obsolete

Heart and handsIt may seem that marriage rates in America are down and more people are opting to live together rather than get married. But, things are not always as they appear.

People are delaying marriage longer than ever (average age at first marriage is now about 27 for women and 29 for men), so, it might seem that the institution is on the way out. But marriage is still important to young people and is now a real option for same sex couples as well.

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that 55 percent of women and 47 percent of men said marriage was a “very important” part of their life plans. Another 29 percent of women and 35 percent of men said it was “somewhat important.”

Only 12 percent of women and 13 percent of men ranked marriage as “not very important,” and a measly 5 percent of each gender said it wasn’t important at all. By 25, 33 percent of women and 29 percent of men had already gotten married; another 30 percent of women and 19 percent of men said they wished they were hitched.

Marriage has a certain wonderful romantic place in our society and in our hearts, especially for women. Girls dream of the flowing white dress with her beloved waiting for her at the end of the aisle. We think of churches with flowers and all of our family and friends, or a beautiful pristine beach with the blue water as a backdrop for your “I do’s”. Or maybe your dream is to be on top of a mountain or in the backyard of your childhood home.

Whatever the dream you have for your wedding, it includes all the romantic notions and lead up to the big day. Initially, there is the engagement and a beautiful ring from somewhere like to sparkle every time it catches the light. Once the parties to celebrate are over, it’s time to get down to some serious planning. Just some of things you’re going to want to consider are: the bridal party and wardrobe, the wedding registry, finding the perfect dress from somewhere like Winnie Couture, arranging the venue and food, selecting the music and decorations and the guest list. And of course, tastings for finding the most delicious cake! Even if you elope and it is just the two of you there still remains a nostalgic romance for just the two of you.

Marriage and its definition has transformed through the years, however, marriage still plays a huge role in American culture and is an institution that remains strong as well as ever changing. We all have different values and ideas of what a marriage should be. We need to embrace changes and what works for all of us individually to make it our own.

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