Millennials & Marriage
Over the years on this lil blog of mine, I have written, somewhat unconsciously, from the millennial perspective. But, this year, I wanted to start a series where I discuss the general attitude of people of my generation to certain topics. I mean we are not completely different beings to our predecessors, but we do have vastly different views. Most of which have come to light in the past few years - particularly regarding gender, sexual orientation and the like.
However, to start this series, I wanted to discuss something a little more basic ie. the concept of marriage. An institution which originated around the 12th century; but which has become something very different in modern circles.
We all know the stories about our grandparents time. They met, they 'did a line' (which is not a reference to drugs lol), they got married and began their lives together. Divorce was rare (considering it was only legalised in Ireland in 1995!!) and people generally accepted that you were going to be with one person for the rest of your life, that was that. Meaning of course that the vow of 'til death do us part' really did seem to have value.
Nowadays, it's a totally different story in many different ways.
Firstly, millennials are marrying much later in life. Or if they do marry early, they may separate from that partner and remarry again later down the line. Some may do this multiple times, and that is completely normal. Whilst before, people were marrying in their early twenties, the average age is becoming early to late thirties.
Next of course is the general attitude to marriage. People simply do not do it for the same reasons that they used to. No one has to get married - it's not 'frowned upon' to live together or have children together before signing a marriage contract. So, unless people have the fairytale concept of marriage engrained in their minds, or unless it is simply a great aspiration of theirs to get married - they don't.
People marry for security in the state, For the tax credits, to sort out all those problems about inheritance if one of them dies. All the super boring, but incredibly important, day to day stuff that may push people to marry - even if they do not wish to do so for that little thing called love. The prime example being the two straight men who married so they could inherit their houses from each other without all the hassle.
I suppose those are just the facts that anyone could pick up on if they looked hard enough. Why not hear from the mouth of a true life millennial?
*Spoiler alert... it's me.
I've gotten into the habit lately of saying that I will never get married. Which of course is met with immediate "oh don't say that" by all grandparent figures; but to a certain extent I really do mean it.
Even though I am way way way too young to even think about it. But the only reasons I could see myself getting married for are..
- Fairytale Notions & Love
The last one is my weakness and personal preference for Rom-Coms. I don't want to write it off because I'm a young and foolish hopeless romantic at the end of the day.
It's just that, for me, and many others like me, there are so many things in our world that we value above marriage. Like our careers, or just our own personal happiness. This life is too full of opportunity to think of settling down or, if you are an over thinker like me, to be tied down. I would rather strive for other things than to set my heart on marrying anybody.
I don't know if this approach to marriage is for the better or for the worst. I guess it does cause us to ask a lot more questions regarding our morals and our standards for our own lives. Then of course it makes us question if humans are meant to be monogamous beings? Should there really only be one person for everybody? Should divorce laws be easier or harder?
I would like to think that I have had a lot of encounters with marriage, and in turn, divorce in my short life. There are two sides to everything - and in some cases I have seen it flourish, and in other cases I have seen it cause so much pain and heartbreak... Experiences that would make an young millennial quake in their boots.
Who knows what the future holds for us all... But one things for sure, there will always be Rom Coms to keep the dream alive.