Viewpoint: Wed later, last longer
By Jennifer Luna
Marriage is overrated, at least early in life. Studies conducted by Pew Research Center show the millennial generation has put that rite of passage on the back burner.
Many students at this university agree waiting to get hitched makes sense.
Meeting “the one,” achieving education goals, and establishing a career have equal value to millennials. Most would like to plan all those on their own time, however.
Math senior Benjamin Zaragoza serves as a prime example of how the generation looks at the trip to the altar.
He said he feels no pressure to get married, at least not within the next 10 years.
During that time, Zaragoza, 25, plans to achieve financial security before he considers exchanging vows.
“…(marriage) is more about being settled,” he said. “I’m not settled in life yet.”
The Pew study shows that people with college degrees marry later, more often, and have more stable and lasting marriages than those with high school diplomas. This reverses the result of a similar 1960 study.
The research also indicates that over 50 years, the number of men 25 and older with a high school diploma who have not married rose 16 percent. On the other hand, the proportion of men with college degrees who remained unmarried increased just 1 percent.
The same study showed the share of women 25 and older with high school diplomas who never married increased about 8 percent. During the same 50 years the percentage of college degreed women who did not marry decreased 13 percent.
As they search for suitable partners, men and women seek financial security and similar parenting ideas, according to the Pew survey.
Women especially look for men with steady employment.
Thus, as Tina Turner sang, “What’s love got to do with it?”
Security ranks near the top ways to get a partner to say the big “I do.”
Special education junior Shelby Benzoni says her potential spouse must hold a good, stable job before she considers marriage.
“My thing is getting my education right now,” the 23-year-old said. “If I was looking into (marriage), he has to be stable already, because if he’s not, then that means I have to give up my goal to help support us.”
Financial security helped education junior Monica Fohn, 28, decide to tie the knot.
Before marriage her husband earned his master’s degree. He now works as an Rackspace accountant and prepares for his CPA exam.
Five decades ago, young men could expect to graduate from high school and find well-paying work to support their families. Thus, they married younger. With a weakened economy and changing requirements in the workplace, that happens less often today.
They say the best things come to those who wait. The delay forced by money and education offers clear benefits.
They say the best things come to those who wait.
For one, research shows that those who marry later divorce less often.
Hopeless romantics looking for everlasting love might do well to “graduate” their way into marriage by finishing their college degrees and beginning their careers.
Those unions stand to last longer too.