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Why People are Waiting Longer to Get Married

Hemangi Harankhedkar Jan 1, 2019
Nowadays, people are waiting for a longer period of time before deciding to get married. As per a census study, until last year, the median age for marriage in the US was about 28 for women, and about 30 for men. Over the years, the average age of marriage has seen a steady rise.
Marriage is, ideally and conventionally, about voluntarily spending one's whole life with a chosen person and together raising a family. Over the years the social perception towards marriage has changed drastically.
Besides individual compatibility, financial stability and individual freedom have also played their part in challenging the institution of marriage. As a result, for the past couple of decades, people are marrying late and this trend is not restricted to a particular country, religion or geographical area, it is being observed worldwide.
Very few couples or youngsters want to marry early, for the rest there are varying reasons for not tying the knot. Let us try to see some major causes behind this growing trend.

Why the Wait

Although there is a restriction on the minimum age to get married, there is no set ideal age and the decision entirely depends on the person who wants to marry. In the olden days, people used to marry at a young age. The median age for men now is around 30 which until the last decade or two was about 28, up by two years.
Same is the case with females; the age is up by about two years, it is around 28 in the current decade and was about 26 in the last decade. Times have changed and so has people's thinking and aspirations, late marriages are far more common now, than anytime in history.
One of the major reasons for the widely seen "committed, but not ready to marry" status among the current generation, is an increased focus on career and self-development. For many, marriage has taken a backseat owing to their careers.
Marriage changes your routine to a considerable extent, and there is a strong opinion that a person cannot give his/her best to his/her career after marrying. So, people want to first accomplish their set career goals.
For committed couples who are together for years, the reasons for postponing marriage could be - waiting for the right time or achieving financial security. With cost of living increasing day-by-day, the role of bread-winner has to be shared by both the man and woman wanting to start a family.
Thus couples prolong the decision until they are sure of their ability to handle everything, right from finances to children. Marriage is also about creating a space for the person in your life, some avoid marriage as they think they cannot manage it, and are happy the way their relationship/life is.
Other common reasons for marrying late could be difficulty in finding the perfect match, fear of commitment, fear of losing independence or fear of marriage. Having witnessed failed marriages in the past keeps some people from marriage, as they fear the same will happen to them. This fear can surely be overcome through counseling.
Some people view marriage as curtailment of freedom and thus are unwilling to walk down the aisle. There is also the fact that live-in relationships are being widely accepted in today's society and are fairly common.
People in these relationships rationalize along the lines of, why marry, when, right now, you are living the same life as married people? Marriage is sort of formality for people with this belief.
The reasons may be many and diverse but the reasons for late marriage for both the sexes are quite similar. The most prominent ones being safeguarding their independence and ensuring financial stability.
A person can himself/herself take a call on his/her readiness for marriage and there is no golden rule or age for deciding when to say yes. It is a decision that shouldn't be taken in haste or burden of any kind. Counseling and viewing marriage positively will help a person to make the best decision for him/her.