I’ve been listening to my friend argue with her parents about less women getting married and the reasons for it. My friend is almost 35 years old and still single by choice although the idea of a healthy, beautiful woman who is not married is a foreign idea to her parents. Back in the days (not so long ago actually) getting married was something that a woman just did. Without thinking about it, you simply grew up, went to school, met your husband (maybe in school) and got married. That was it- until the kids came along that is. Many women today are no longer seeing getting married as their only choice.
Apparently my friend isn’t alone. The 2010 census records say that married households are no longer a majority. In 2000 the percentage of married households was 51.7%. In 2010 it was 48.4%. What does this mean? To me it means that more women are getting married for the right reasons. Reasons such as love or finally finding a companion to share your life with as you grow old. Women are getting married less often because of reasons such as social pressure or finances. I understand that there are still many women out there who get married to a man because of his finances, but more and more women today also make their own money and in some cases make more money than men do.
Another reason that I think people aren’t getting married is because they are having longer relationships and even maybe living together before getting married. Personally I can tell you that my parents wouldn’t be ok with me living with a guy before I got married because in my culture that’s just not done. At least not by the girls, but that’s another topic. However, I see no reason why it shouldn’t be because if you live together or date for an extended period of time, you get to know the person and find out if this is a person that you really want to live with for the rest of your life. Getting married with someone that you’ve dated for a couple of months only may bring some surprises your way and cause problems in your marriage. While women were ok with this in the past, today’s women understand that they have choices and want to live a happier life where they do things for themselves and not for others.
I understand the worries that my friend’s parents are facing. They don’t want to see their daughter grow old alone. They would prefer to see her settled down with a man who will take care of her and provide for her. However, I don’t see this as a reason to get married. Marriage is hard. It takes a lot of compromise and patience and if couples getting married don’t have love and trust in their relationships then life is going to be awfully long and hard. Eventually some may be checking off the divorced box and joining an entirely new group of people in the next census. Persona;;y, I’m married to a guy that I love very much and although I am very much pro marriage, but I understand that it’s not for everyone.