A lot of people wonder: why aren't millennials getting married?
A study by Gallup found that in 2014 only 16 percent of 18-29 year-olds were hitched. Sixty-four percent of the age group was single.
Here's what I see...
I see a generation that is perpetually in transition. I see a group of young people vested in their own self-actualization. We are rapidly transforming ourselves to adapt to a world where the conventional structures of the past are being exposed as institutions with rotten foundations.
I see people who want to have sex, connect and relate in a loving way with others, but cannot offer anyone their commitment when they themselves are still in flux.
I see both men and women who are diving into our growing pains in a way that those who came before us haven't. I see people who don't want to take out their own unresolved emotional issues on others, who don't want to get wound up in the kind of co-dependent relationships that are created when we think someone else will fix our problems and restore us to a sense of wholeness.
We seem to be able to handle going on a date once or twice a week. We can handle open relating; experimental forms of relationship anarchy. What we can't as easily buy into is the expectation of forever.
Marriage for millennials is not a capitalistic endeavor. Mainly because a lot of don’t have any savings or assets to merge with someone else. For us, marriage is not considered the end goal, the only path to a life well-lived.
We seem to shy away from the yoga of what it takes to face, day in and day out, the great mirror of another. We haven't figured out how to walk beside someone else without compromising our own discovery of who we might become if were to know ourselves first as self-assured, stable, and sovereign.
To millennials, choosing someone prematurely will detract from our ability to step into our full potential. We need the freedom to ebb and shift and grow out of a connection. We don't want to invest the precious commodity of time in someone else, when we ultimately need to focus on ourselves if we are to create a fulfilling life and do our part to aid in the transformation of this brave, new world.
When we try to commit, we often get burned. We end up sacrificing our path and purpose to take care of someone else, who hasn’t figured out how to do it on their own. We form chemical attachments with people before we know the type of person we’d truly be compatible with. We get hooked to what we think the future is going to look like and try to control someone else so that our dreams work out. None of this typically ends well.
I see a generation that is collectively coming to terms with the existential truth that humans are species that will forever be alone, together.
Maybe this stance makes us selfish and immature. Maybe we’re missing out on the blessing of having an ally, through thick and through thin, in this unpredictable time period. Or maybe, when we do decide to "settle down" and start families, our relationships will be healthier as a result.