Marriage is when two people decide to take vows to spend the rest of their lives together. This usually occurs once each person has been able to understand who the other person is. Marriage is a relationship and is contingent on determinants like proximity, familiarity, and physical attractiveness (Schneider et al. 2012). Deciding to marry someone usually means that your connection with that person is very strong which is why you are dedicating yourself to that person for the rest of your life. Why is it that people are deciding not to get married, and getting divorced more frequently than in the past. The gap between married and unmarried has narrowed since the 1950’s (Census Bureau. 2016). People are deciding not to get married. Statistic reports show the divorce rate is three times as high as it was in the 1950’s. What determinants are shifting the value and thought process of marriage. Are factors like science, religion, technology advancements, education, or simply not enough benefit to get married in today’s world some of the reasons?
Traditionally, marriage was more common decades ago. Historically people would get married at a young age and spend the rest of their live’s together. We see older people in society and when asking them how long they have been married an answer like fifty years might pop out of their mouths. That’s how it use to be back in the day was their answer. Speaking to multiple married couples who have been together for a long time this was the common answer found in each couple. People got married and did not get divorced. Why is the divorce rate higher in today’s world. In addition, people are choosing to just not get married. Religious factors play a part. Back in the day, religious practices were to get married and stay together. Marriage was viewed by parents as a necessity for their children. Some families chose the person their child would marry even though this still occurs it is not as common in the United States. The advancement of science also compliments religion. Science has allowed us to discover a lot about the world around us. Science is one of the biggest reasons why religion has diminished in the last few years which would lead to a decrease in marriage for religious purposes. This alone does not answer for the large percent of people deciding not to get married.
With the advancement of technology you have social media available. In previous lessons we have learned about social media. This interconnection people have through social media allows relationships to spark via the internet. One of the determinants in a relationship is proximity. Many people meet online, but never end up meeting in real-life. The proximity is not close which might lead people to training themselves mentally to spark interest temporarily because (Schneider et al. 2012) mentions how humans are social creatures who need closeness. This feeling of closeness is enough to want to spark conversations through social media. This ability to connect to hundreds of people at once is information overload. This might make it harder for someone to pick just one partner. This is why people do not want to commit to just one person. They are scared of missing out on other people. Reports show millennials are choosing not to get married. They prefer to just live with someone and if the relationship ends they are able to find someone else.
In today’s world, millennials seem to think that marriage is outdated. There seems to be small benefit to getting married. The need to attain a certain status whether it is on social media leads people to being more self-centered. People crave attention from others which is why committing to one person for the rest of their lives is a tough task. Jealousy is evident through social media as people comment on pictures of others. Jealousy has the ability to wreak havoc on relationships (Schneider et al, 2012).
Psychologists may be able to study marriage and determine what exact reasons and motivators of the marriage and divorce rate in today’s world vs past times. Surely, factors like religion, technology will play a part. The ability to connect to multiple people and develop multiple relationships makes it more difficult to choose one partner.
Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., and Coutts, L. M. (Eds.) (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN 978-1412976381
The United States Census Bureau, (2016)https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/2017/february/singles_awarenss_day.html