Why are millennials waiting to get married? Because they can

iStock_000020511198_Medium
It's a fact that marriage age is getting older. That's a trend. My parents' generation almost unanimously married by 21 or 22. My boomer generation waited until our mid- to late 20s. But millennials are waiting even longer. Why? Because it's smarter.

Q: My son just turned 30, and he has shown no sign of getting married anytime soon. I've noticed that's also the case with many other men and women around that age. I'm 60 now, but when I came of age at 25, virtually everyone that age was married, including me. Why are the millennials so shy about getting married? This doesn't seem healthy to me.

Steve: It's a fact that marriage age is getting older. That's a trend. My parents' generation almost unanimously married by 21 or 22. My boomer generation waited until our mid- to late 20s. But millennials are waiting even longer. Why? Because it's smarter. People change a lot as they learn, and that learning happens in your 20s. That's why my generation was flooded with divorce. My dad's generation didn't flood with divorce because women were tied down no matter how hideous the relationship. They didn't have the freedom to break up, whereas the women of my generation did. There are also ways to meet millions of men or women, far, far more than the old days. That's a double-edged sword. You get lots of chances, which is good. But you think you can eventually make the perfect match, and that's bad. Perfect matches are the product of work and compromise on each side. There really isn't instant perfection, no matter how perfect things seem to be. Don't worry about the ages today. I like the millennials' chances for good marriages better than any in history.

Mia: Dudes marry later now because they can get all the free sex they want without putting a ring on it. These days, all of their physical needs can be met, and they can even have babies with multiple women and get very little social pushback. So why would they rush to marry just one woman when they can juggle multiple ones? They can live with someone, and when things get boring with her, they can pick up and move in with someone else. Blame hook-up culture. Blame changing mores. Blame high divorce rates. I could go on and on. The world has shifted, and you can't really blame young men for taking advantage of the kind of sexual freedom their grandfathers could only dream of.

Q: I've  been talking to this guy for a couple of weeks who seems like he has it together. He's good looking, he has a good job, and the sex is great. The last time I was over, though, I found a used condom in his trash can. I didn't say anything. I didn't want him to know I had been snooping. It's really bothering me. Should I confront him about what I saw?

Mia: Pump your brakes, girlfriend. Unless you and he have had The Talk about being in a committed relationship, you would be completely out of line. Instead of confronting him, why not just ask him if he's having sex with anyone else? If you are sleeping with him, that's something you need to know. Do it in a low-key way, and hopefully, you two can have an honest conversation about what your expectations are and go from there. If you continue having sex with this man, be sure to practice safe sex!

Steve: Sounds backward. You don't have sex until AFTER you snoop. Does he have a regular girlfriend? Is he interested in a you-and-him relationship? Or is he just a single guy who has no interest in a single gal relationship? If he's a good guy, he won't mind discussing things. Then you decide if you want to continue. But Mia's right on one thing: If he's playing with others, make sure you're protected from playing with disease.

 

Between them, Steve and Mia have logged more than a few decades in the single-and-dating world. They're also wise to the ways of married life. They don't always agree, but they have plenty of answers. Contact them at S&M c/o Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107 or steveandmia@phillynews.com.