The decline in marriage began in the 1970’s. It is a trend that has continued throughout the Western world for the past fifty years and shows no signs of abating. In the United States, marriage rates have declined by 60%. The think tank Civitas predicts that by 2062, marriage rates in the UK will have dropped by 70%. If this prediction pans out, that means only one in every 400 couples will choose to get married.
What do these startling statistics reveal, and what implications does the decision to not wed have for society as a whole?
Although fewer people are getting married, it’s not because they reject the notion of marriage and want to remain single forever. Where there was once societal pressure to marry, society now values self-fulfillment and individualism above all else. People are encouraged to focus on happiness, health, and financial stability before even considering marriage.
In Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family, the authors argue that marriage is now a sign of adulthood and no longer a pre-requisite to it. The notion that you should be a fully formed individual before making the commitment to spend your life with someone is a modern idea.
The journalist Hannah Clugston is 32 and has been with her husband for more than half her life. She discusses the benefits of getting married young; over the years “instead of growing apart, we’ve grown together.” But stories like hers are often overlooked in favor of negative counterexamples.
Our overarching emphasis on individualism has created a workforce that is always striving for career advancement and thus happy to prioritize work over family. Of course, a successful career and sense of professional fulfillment contribute to happiness, but we don’t see people getting happier. Instead, we see the opposite. As marriage and birth rates decline, an epidemic of loneliness has emerged. The world today appears increasingly uncertain: rapid inflation, endless wars, and fearmongering about climate change all contribute to this uncertainty. Combined with widespread loneliness, you have a perfect storm of unhappiness.
While the times we live in are certainly unique, widespread anxiety about the world is not new. But, there isa simple, age-old solution to this problem for the individual:
Although America appears increasingly divided, a survey conducted by Pew revealed one thing that Americans still agree on: when asked what makes life meaningful, “family” was the number one answer.
One often-cited explanation for the hesitancy surrounding marriage is the divorce rate. Marriage is a complicated undertaking that requires constant effort, and there are many valid reasons why people choose divorce. But the divorce rate is at a 50-year low. What needs to be addressed, and is often overlooked in policy and research, is why people are choosing not to marry in the first place. Is it really a choice?
Many millennials are in fact seeking matrimony and family, but feel like these are unattainable goals. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, we have fewer real connections. People spend years online dating with no luck.
While there are countless online dating sites to pick from, Keeper recognizes a gaping hole in the market. Finally, there’s a solution for people who understand the importance of family and know that in order for society to flourish, we need to create more of them.
There is nothing more worthwhile than social bonds - they are the cornerstone on which all else is built. When we have solid social bonds in place, society as a whole benefits.
An ever-growing field of literature shows that people are happier, wealthier, and healthier when married. Finding a life partner is daunting and the biggest commitment most people ever make. But thanks to Keeper, there is now a way to utilize the powers of AI and machine learning to find the right person for you.
Keeper is unique because we use new and innovative means to help you with a very traditional goal. More to the point, we do it effectively. Finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is time-intensive and emotionally daunting. Keeper knows this and caters to your every complex need and desire. We work assiduously to find real, lasting matches.
A strong family has many significant implications for the health and well-being of both adults and children. More than 30 years of research has shown that when children are living with their married, biological parents, they enjoy better physical, emotional, and academic well-being. Married people are also significantly wealthier than their unmarried peers. A study in the American Economics Journal noted that married men earning more than their single counterparts is “a well-established empirical fact” (with causation).
The skills one needs for a successful marriage are directly transferable to society - a happy marriage requires understanding, commitment, and work. If we applied these principles to all of life’s varied relationships, we’d all be happier.
A change is coming, and people are starting to realize true happiness doesn’t come from a fancy holiday or a promotion at work. It comes from sitting around the table and laughing with your family, it comes from surrounding yourself with a village of people who understand and support your needs.
Thankfully we have Keeper to assist and pioneer the change - one successful match at a time.