It doesn’t take much to notice that people are waiting longer and longer to get married nowadays. It’s actually quite a peculiar trend, but it’s also not all that surprising.
There are a couple things that have attributed to this; the first one being the longer average lifespan. It makes sense: two hundred years ago, people were struggling to reach the age of 80. So naturally, you’d want to get married sooner and have kids and continue multiplying and carrying on the human race. Girls get married at 14 to guys double their age and nobody says anything. Yeah, it’s fine. Whatever.
But then there’s the redefinition of marriage in the 21st century and the loosening of Christian morals on the average American household. No longer is it taboo to lay with a person you aren’t married to; in fact, we’re reaching a point where people within society are glorifying this behavior and exalting those who excel at it. Marriage is no longer the introduction of adulthood; rather, it is the sign of slowing down. It is indicative of “being bogged down by the woman who has ultimate control of your life.” For many, this is an undesirable state of being and they often try their hardest to prolong its preceding phase–the dating phase.
However, there is one more factor that may or may not be significant: I call it “The Disney Factor.” The current generation of young adults has grown up with Disney films, which, as you may know, were animated, slightly altered versions of written fairy tales. And as all fairy tales go, the average girl gets the dashing prince and they lived happily ever after.
This is a problem. As we know (or as anti-video game activists claim), children have trouble discerning between reality and fantasy. These films put emphasis on finding Mr. or Mrs. Right: that one person who coincidentally finds us in our hour of dire need and pulls us out of the hole, and that we would immediately fall in love, get married, consummate and live happilly until death. These films taught us that there would even be such a person to be there when we most needed a helping hand (Jenna Marbles did a video on this [naughty words inside]). It’s almost as if those films’ purpose was to give purpose to the lives of children: to blossom into beautiful beings, discriminate against those who are different and get married. It’s understandable that once a child finds out that what they spent their entire childhood dreaming about was not all it was chalked up to be, he will rebel against everything he knows.
It’s not just about the rebellion, either. The emphasis on finding the right person will inadvertently cause young adults to be extra wary of those around them, while constantly wondering who it is that’s going to be their “perfect match.” They’re worried of making mistakes–of taking the risk of stepping into the unknown. This worry is not ungrounded. But really, there’s only one way to find out.
P.S. I was asked to write about the importance of education. I feel that this video summarizes my view quite well.