A significant minority of young adults who are in a relationship believe marriage is an “outdated” concept, according to a new survey of Millennials and Gen Zers that also found that an overwhelming majority nevertheless hope to get married.
The poll of 906 Millennials and Gen Zers who are in a relationship found that roughly two in five say marriage is an outdated concept, with 52 percent of women and 41 percent of men affirming the statement. The Thriving Center of Psychology conducted the survey.
An additional 85 percent say they do not think marriage is necessary to have a fulfilled and committed relationship, while 73 percent say it’s too expensive in the current economy to get married.
Although one in six Millennials and Gen Zers in the survey say they do not plan on getting married, 83 percent nevertheless say they hope to get married someday.
Meanwhile, three in five unmarried Millennial and Gen Z couples say they live with their partners. A total of 60 percent moved in together after dating for less than a year. One in 10 say they regret moving in together, while 16 percent say they moved in together too fast. Nearly one-third (29 percent) say they wish they had communicated their expectations more clearly before cohabitating. About half (54 percent) say they moved in together due to finances.
Although young couples often believe that living together will lower their chances of divorce if they do marry, the opposite is actually true. In April, the Institute for Family Studies reported that “long-standing research” shows that “cohabiting before marriage is still associated with a higher risk of divorce in the United States.”
“Having a low-commitment option available means that many couples move in too quickly, without establishing the kind of jointly committed love that is the foundation of a good marriage,” the report said. “... Cohabitation itself increases the odds that cohabiting partners adopt a less committed view of marriage, one which makes them more accepting of divorce. This low-commitment mentality makes them more vulnerable to marital dissolution when times get tough.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Vasil Dimitrov
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.