Living on the 24th floor of a high rise apartment in downtown Indianapolis, 23- year- old Sukhmani Singh, an Indiana University graduate and associate technical consultant at Salesforce, is enjoying her life as a single, working woman.
Change is on the rise with the millennial generation. Getting married early is on a downward trend to say the least; only 20 percent of millennials between the ages of 18 and 30 are married, compared to the 60 percent of Gen Xers at their age who were already married, according to Gallup Polls.
Research shows that there are many different reasons why millennials are getting married later than older generations such as Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Here are the top three:
Being Independently, Financially Stable
“One thing that could be a result of the rise in age of wedding couples is the rise of the average cost of a wedding,” Jodie Stansbury, owner and wedding planner at Aisle Ready Events LLC in Indianapolis, tells MiLLENNiAL. Not only have the average costs of weddings risen from $32,641 to $35,329 in the past year according to The Knot, but marriage is also a large financial investment in combination with buying a house or having children.
Varun Mehta, a 30- year- old executive vice president of client engagement at Clutch Group in New York City, has worked his way to being financially stable in all ways; he has paid off his student debt, bought a two- bedroom apartment in Manhattan and is living with no financial worries.
Now that he is in a place in his life where he believes he has stability, he is giving some thought to marriage, especially as his family has put pressure on him to get married for the past few years already. “I believe that marriage requires both partners to be able to support themselves comfortably, that way they are both equals in the marriage,” said Mehta.
Marriage today is more prevalent among those with higher incomes and more education according to the Pew Research Center. Waiting to become financially stable is just one of the many reasons why Millennials are getting married later in life.
Prioritizing Their Careers
Along with achieving financial stability, many millennials are taking control of their careers and giving them priority over everything else. They are paying off their student debts, completing post- graduate degrees and rising in their respective fields.
“A lot of our clients are completing a post graduate education and that is what delays many of them,” said Sarah Agee, owner of Plum & Poppy Weddings in Indianapolis. Along with higher costs of weddings in larger cities, the average age millennials are getting married is also higher in these cities.
“I have seen a change in age ranges in the [different] areas… I believe that in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, etcetera, the age range is higher because people are more career focused, but in small town I find more couples getting married earlier because they are more family focused,” said Stansbury.
Singh completed her post- graduate degree immediately after her undergraduate, allowing her to start working and focusing on her professional career earlier. “Coming here from India, I think that getting an education and being lucky enough to secure a job is what its all about… before getting married I want to make sure I have done something with my life and become my own person,” she said.
Singh has been focusing on her work, gotten a raise in just one year and is finally being relocated to her preferred location in Chicago where she will work toward her dream position in the company.
Interest in Internet Dating and Dating Applications
Fifteen percent of U.S. adults are using dating apps, according to Pew Research Center. Some popular dating apps include, OK Cupid, Tinder, Happn and Bumble. Dating apps have become very popular at colleges and universities, “I personally am not on any dating apps, but many of my peers rely on apps to meet people and date around,” said Jessica Soriano, 21- year- old student at SUNY Oneonta in Upstate New York.
“I think that dating apps get in the way of people actually meeting others, instead of going out and meeting people face to face to get to know each other, they hide behind their phones; most of the time at the point that they do interact with the person they met online, something or the other goes wrong” said Soriano. In comparison to the 88 percent of people in a marriage or committed relationship without using dating apps, only 5 percent of people in these kinds of relationships say they met their significant online, according to Pew Research Center.
Is marriage your priority or do you have other things you still want to accomplish? The Millennial generation follows their beliefs and as they are staring to prioritize financial stability and professional success and use dating apps as technology advances, they are getting married much later than those in generations that came before them.