It is known that one’s views on matters are bound to change, especially now, depending on which article you read and where you read it. A very fascinating example of this, I found, is in the discussion of marriage.
When you google marriages and their pros and cons, you are most likely to be hit with broadly two types of articles. One, which seems to make the issue of the reduced traditional marriages and the delayed age-of-marriage across the sexes as a serious issue that needs fixing, and the other, where the same are explained as outcomes of a more educated and flexible generation that values security and surety, in both their finances and their love lives, more than settling down. What is fascinating about the discussion is that both sides quote the same facts and merely change the framing and contextualising of it to change its impact.
These certain articles start with the statistics of the declining marriage age – ‘The median age at first marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men — up from 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960.’ Then they quote, what seems to be the most favourite stat of them all, the iconic – ‘25% of millennials will never marry.’
It’s your perspective
After, depending on which article you choose to read, these estimates are explained as either a sign of the crumbling institution of marriage due to the growing class divides and divisions between the haves and have-nots or of the growing maturity of the generation with regards to the event of marriage. It is argued by the latter case that insurance of the security of finances i.e. clearance of debt, commitment to their union, and guarding of their assets i.e. self-owned houses and pre-nuptial agreements, are the priority for the new generation.
What both sides seem to agree on is that marriage is necessary, not only due to customs and beliefs but also because it is good for you- physically and mentally. Many research studies have found that men and women who live in stable and happy unions tend to live longer and healthier lives than the divorced, the widowed, or the single. One study published by Harvard Health Publishing showed increased survival rates of cancer patients when they are married compared to when they are single and a decrease in cardiovascular risk factors among married men in comparison to the rest.
The same study and another article titled ‘Why Marriage Is Good For You’ by Maggie Gallagher speak of the benefits a stable marital union has on one’s mental health, with married couples experiencing lesser instances of depression, anxiousness, and psychological distress.
Side note: I did read in a few articles that marrying before the age of 25 seemingly exempts you from most of the above-mentioned benefits, so maybe marrying too early isn’t the wisest of choices to make.
Anyways, whatever or whichever side’s literature you read or agree with, it doesn’t obviate the fact that marriage remains a very personal yet important decision in one’s life. Whether male, female or non-binary, whom you choose to spend the rest of your life with is a very significant decision, so I humbly suggest taking your time with it. And for those that worry of its impending demise, fret not; the science says otherwise. It’s only taking longer, but that time is compensated with stronger and more stable bonds that seem set for a lifetime. Marriage, in its most general form, is most likely here to stay, how it is done will continue to evolve just as it has for all the generations that came before us and will for those that are meant to come after.