According to a recent article by USA Today, today’s couples are delaying tying the knot longer than ever. In the post-World War II era, most couples married in their early 20s. Now, the average age for a first marriage is 28 for men and 26 for women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, this delay is being viewed as very positive by marriage experts, who report that the combination of a certain maturity level and the ability to work out problems before committing may help new couples avoid the marital mistakes of their parents’ generation.
There are many reasons why experts say today’s young adults are waiting to make their relationships more official. They are gaining more education, which delays financial independence and increases money and stability concerns. Two-thirds of young couples are also living together before marriage, making sex before marriage much more widespread. Additionally, today’s young adults are more worried about divorce, as they have watched the national divorce rate skyrocket in their lifetimes.
Regardless, most young people do still expect to get married and believe that they will not face divorce. A survey of 2,300 high school seniors conducted by the University of Michigan in 2008 revealed that 80% of students say they will marry and believe they will stayed married to the same person for life. Only 4% of students believed they would not marry, and the final 16% said they were not sure.