Bend Relationship Coach: Why Americans Are Waiting Longer to Marry

November 2, 2016 by

Do you have friends, children, or relatives in their late 20s and early 30s who are still single? You keep waiting for that save-the-date or engagement announcement and… it’s just not coming? Or maybe you’re the one who’s content to hold off on the big day?

Whatever camp you fall into, you’re not alone. As a Bend relationship coach, I’ve had a front row seat to the growth of this trend. In general, Americans are simply waiting longer to get married. Reaching 30 as a single person is becoming more and more common.

In fact, the median age for Americans to get married is 27 for women and 29 for men – that’s the highest it’s ever been. Fewer couples are rushing down the aisle, and there are even fewer single people keen to get into traditional long-term relationships.

Why is this happening? There are many reasons.

Individuals want to establish themselves first.

As our country rises out of the Great Recession, many individuals are taking time after college to establish themselves, save up for a house, or get that big promotion at work.

Millenials still want to get married. But being financially stable and finding the right person are big goals that many people want to achieve before walking down the aisle.

Millennial have seen divorce – and want to avoid it.

The statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce may not be completely true – but it’s a number that has been pounded into the heads of millennials as they grew up and started dating. Plus, many millennials have witnessed divorce firsthand and know the trauma of ending a marriage.

It’s easy, then, to understand why many of them would be hesitant to walk down the aisle. And with so many more people accessible through technology, millennials are more than aware that there are “more fish in the sea.”

More couples live together and have children first.

Just because people aren’t getting married doesn’t mean that everyone is swiping on Tinder looking for a first date. Many couples have hit all of the other milestones – they just haven’t popped the question.

Living with your significant other is a lot less taboo than it was in the 50s and 60s. Couples use that experience to really figure out what it is like to be married and whether making that choice is right for their relationship.

Similarly, there are less “shotgun” marriages. Couples with children aren’t rushing down the aisle as soon as they find out a baby is on the way.

Bottom line – people are more careful. Which isn’t a bad thing.

Marriage is a lifelong commitment, and waiting a few years to make sure you and your partner work well as a team can be a great way to prepare for a lifetime of living and working together as a married couple.

For more ways to prepare for marriage and figure out your next steps, contact a Bend relationship coach.