Young Adults Delaying Marriage For Long-Term Relationships

Young adults are waiting longer than ever to tie the knot, leaving many experts optimistic about the future of marriage.

Whereas Baby Boomers married in their early 20s, today the average age for making it official is 26 for women and 28 for men. Significant reasons for holding off the institution include later financial independence, increased instance of sex before marriage and an uptick in unmarried cohabitation.

USA Today talked with a host of marriage experts, many of whom saw the light of this trend:

"There's a certain wisdom in lengthy courtships," says Gary Hoppenstand, professor of American Studies at Michigan State University. "If it lasts three, four, five, six or seven years, they feel like there's something there to support a marriage that will last."

Michael Johnson, emeritus professor of sociology at Pennsylvania State University, says the combination of a certain maturity level and the ability to work out problems before committing may help young people avoid the marital mistakes of the Baby Boomer generation.

But others questioned if waiting too long could be a waste of time. As Johns Hopkins University sociologist Andrew Cherlin said, "It's good to get to know your partner before marrying, but one wonders how long you need."

What's your take on marriage today? Leave a comment with your opinion.