Written by: Spencer Board
Millennials are saying no to marriage, according to a study by Bentley University.
This is hardly the first time marriage has revolutionized in culture. In the 18th century, marriage transitioned from a means to better social or economic status to an act fueled by love, according to the same study.
The average age for marriage reached a historic high in 2013, with the average age for women being 27 and the average age being 29 for men, according to the Huffington Post.
The average ages in 1960 were 20 for women and 23 for men, according to the study by Bentley University.
“There seems to be this attitude of, ‘why should I get married when I can travel, or study, or do other things?'” said Chris Allison, an institute instructor at BYU-Idaho.
Marriage rates have been dropping since the Silent Generation in the 1960’s, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center. The study shows what percent of a generation got married between the ages of 18 to 32. The Silent Generation is 65 percent followed by the baby boomers being 48 percent, Generation X at 36 percent and millennials at 26 percent.
“Not only are people marrying later, but some are choosing not to marry, some are choosing to marry the same sex, some are choosing to just live together,” Allison said. “No wonder marriage is under attack when the world does not understand how it fits in God’s eternal plan. It’s viewed as a convention that can be easily discarded.”
Millennials do not care what older generations think. They will get married when they want and do what they want, according to an article by CNN titled “Ready for the Marriage Apocalypse?”
“This attitude of delaying marriage because of other things being deemed more important is creeping into the minds of LDS Millennials as well,” Allison said.
Russell Weaver, a senior majoring in marriage and family studies, said he has experienced the pressures by those of older generations questioning him for not being married yet.
“It’s normal for the natural man to feel anxious,” said Weaver. “Sometimes the timing of church culture can interfere with the timing of God – if you let it.”
Weaver said that comments of being too picky can hurt when you do not know the other person’s experience. Some of this pressure comes from older generations in Weaver’s life.
“No matter where you go, you will always have individuals who are blinded by their own experience,” Weaver said. “The blessing of marriage may come sooner to some than others and sometimes that creates a stigma that everyone should get married around the same age.”
Bethany Worthen, an employee at Namaste Spa and Salon in Rexburg, said she developed her own personal ideals against marriage because of the pressure she experienced from her mom growing up.
Alex Matson, a junior studying nursing, married Nathan Matson, a sophomore studying biology on Dec. 17, 2016.
“I got off my mission and the only thing I wanted to do was date, have fun and get through college,” said Nathan Matson.
Nathan said he started dating soon after returning from his mission.
“I came to school with the attitude of believing marriage was lame and only for the girls who come here to get a man to protect them and provide for them, said Alex Matson. “I was the most independent woman out there.”
Alex Matson said that the more time she spent with Nathan, the more she realized he was her best friend and that being with your best friend is what marriage is all about.
“It is something we should be interested in when that time comes,” Allison said. “For some, that can be quite a while, for others it might be quicker.”