According to national survey data recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the institution of marriage is more respected and admired than ever before.
Americans have become more tolerant of previously stigmatized behaviors, such as living together before marriage. In 2002, 60% of those surveyed indicated that it was acceptable for a young couple to live together without being married, but the most recent data show that number has jumped to 70%.
However, marriage remains sacrosanct and Americans have become more conservative on the issue of divorce. Respondents to the survey were asked whether they agreed with the statement that “Divorce is usually the best solution when a couple can’t seem to work out their marriage problems.” In 2002, 50% of Americans agreed, but according to the most recent results, only 40% now agree.
While marriage rates have plummeted in recent decades, the vast majority of never-married individuals indicate that they desire to be married someday. Most of them report that they are waiting to get their proverbial “ducks in a row” before walking down the aisle. Marriage, in essence, has gone from a cornerstone achievement to a capstone one.
So, if you know a young couple that seems to be continually putting off getting hitched, remember that chances are that they are delaying marriage not because they don’t take it seriously but because they do.