Marriage is seen as two individuals becoming one. Two individuals take their separate lives and merge them into a singular life, forsaking all others. With that said, is the institution of marriage on the brink of extinction? It may not be there quite yet, but the results of a new survey indicate that the popularity of marriage is declining. According to the 2021 American Family Survey, more Americans see marriage as old-fashioned, and just over half think marriage is necessary to build strong families. YouGov conducted this survey; they initially interviewed over 3,200 respondents but got results from a dataset of 3,000 people.

Forty-five percent of Americans agree that society is better off when more people are married, but this percentage is the lowest in the survey’s history. The number of people who think marriage is necessary for solid families has also decreased by ten points since 2015. Marriage may not be on its way out just yet, though, because some people still think positively of marriage; only nineteen percent of respondents say that marriage is old-fashioned, but sixty-four percent disagreed with this statement. So what are the reasons that some Americans feel less attached to marriage? Some people may be afraid of divorce, while others may think it’s cheaper to cohabit than get married.

Why Do Adults Avoid Marriage?

Hal Boyd, the Executive Editor of Deseret National, who also played a part in the survey, said lack of religious affiliation could also be a factor. The findings of this survey come after a Pew Research study reported data showing a ten percent increase in American adults who live without a romantic partner in the last thirty years, a rise from twenty-nine percent in 1990 to thirty-nine percent in 2019. In April 2020, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that marriage rates in 2018 dipped to the lowest point in over 100 years. So why are American adults turning away from marriage? There are a lot of different answers to this question.

Some people are more career-oriented; a relationship or marriage could distract them from getting what they want from their career; this could be especially true for women. In the past, marriage was an expectation for women instead of having a job. Their job was to cook, clean, and take care of the home while the husband went to work. In modern times, some women would prefer to have a career instead of molding to traditional expectations. Another reason adults avoid marriage is a bad experience from a past relationship/marriage. If you’ve had trouble with one marriage, it can be hard to commit yourself to do it again.

Should I Get Married?

Most Americans may feel like marriage is old-fashioned or unnecessary, but that shouldn’t stop you if you think the opposite. If you have someone in your life that you believe you want to spend the rest of your life with, take that leap of faith and marry them. However, you both should be prepared and recognize that marriage isn’t a walk in the park. If you’re both willing to put in the work and communicate with each other, your marriage can be successful.

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