For millennials like me, there are a lot of things that both scare and excite me. Marriage is one of them. Unfortunately tying the knot is quickly becoming the stuff of fairy tales… And not in a good way.
When I visited Charleston, NC with my mother and sister in the fall of 2015, one of the things we did was visit a bridal shop, just for shits and giggles.
I’ve always been a girl who thought highly of marriage, but amid the lace headsets, gauters, and finding a dress that I swore I would one day return for, a thought crept into my head: Did I really want to get married?
The idea of spending the rest of my life with someone horrified me, especially since it never really seemed to work out for anyone in my family.
Marriage (to me) meant giving up half of yourself with the hope that someone would do the same, and that just didn’t seem right. I would always wonder, How could someone love another for years? Didn’t they get bored of each other? Was it really a matter of finding the right one, or was the idea a dream?
Over the course of a year, I found that the answer to those questions varied. Lately, my reaction to marriage and weddings is usually an obvious eye-roll or sighs of envy, and rarely anything in between. I still think marriages are beautiful and romantic, but they may not be for me, and I’m not the only one.
In the age of the millennials, marriage is becoming less and less common and, according to an article by Bentley University, more millennials are putting off marriage until the age of 27, which is a step away from the age of 20 (1960). Some are even waiting until the age of 40 to tie the knot and “settle down,” but the question is: Why?
The Guardian posed a unique answer to this question by talking about what millennials fear. The focus of the article was on a woman named Lucy who despite her scholastic success, was still struggling in the real world – and sadly, her story is true for a lot of people her age, myself included.
Degrees that cost thousands of dollars at top universities are seeming more and more like decorative pieces of paper to hang on the wall that don’t mean anything, and in todays world, millennials have to go above and beyond those undergraduate degrees to create an empire that resembles the life that we want. Some are opting to open businesses in their hobbies rather than pursing careers in their degrees, and others are doing more unconventional work like being Youtubers or travel bloggers.
Regardless of the path millennials are choosing, we unfortunately need to put some things off to make it in the “real world” and marriage seems to be the top thing to push aside. So, is there any hope for my generation, or are we doomed to be #ForeverAlone?
The good news is there’s always hope.
Marriage is wonderful and great, but it’s not on the forefront of my mind and it’s not for everyone. Like Carrie and Mr.Bug from Sex and the City, marriage takes a lot of hard work- work that I’m not ready to devote to anyone else.
I want to be selfish. I want a career to afford to travel the world and maybe house with a dog and a white picket fence, and for millennials like me, that means it’ll be all work and no play until I’m are ready.
Luckily for those who are opting for marriage, waiting to tie the knot has some benefits for my generation. Not only are millennials focusing more on their careers, but according to an article by Kristen Sollee of Bustle, waiting to walk down the isle is helping with divorce rates by keeping them low while alternatives such as having a live-in partner, are on the rise.
This means my fellow millennials and I are really getting to know and love the people we are with before rushing to the alter (if we even get that far) and I’d say that’s definitely a better option.
So for me, marriage may not be in the cards but atleast I’ll live my life doing exactly what I love.