Saturday, July 18, 2015

Why is Marriage on the Decline?

In recent times I heard a lot of hypothesizing as to why marriage is on the decline.  I have heard several prominent individuals express their thoughts as to why this is happening.  Sometimes an individual in popular culture—on the news or even on YouTube—responds to a commentator and expresses their own reasons why this is happening.

Often, I will hear in the response to a commentator’s opinion “So and So DOES NOT speak for me.” Next, they proceed to speak about the situation expressing their own point of view.  Might I suggest that this individual doesn’t speak for everyone (or anyone) else either? Every time I hear someone say something akin to “This person should stop speaking for me or on my behalf” I also want to chime in—Good point, but NEITHER DO YOU. THAT person has just as much right to express their opinion as you do. Also, since there is no single absolute way to determine the reason (or reasons) why marriage is on the decline, WE ARE ALL FREE TO SPECULATE.

We all express our opinions on the internet and we should realize that we are not the official representative for any particular group or idea (whether women, men, feminist, antifeminist, black, white—these are just examples).  I say these things as a disclaimer before I proceed to discuss my own opinions in this post.

Marriage is NOT on the decline because people don’t have/make enough money. Sure, a wedding costs money. I’m not denying this. My wedding cost $4000-$5000—an expensive ceremony, indeed.  I will freely admit that this was absolutely unnecessary. In our case, we were both ecstatic to invest this much on a day that symbolized our life-time commitment to each other.  This being said, I would have also been fine with a simple court-house wedding.  Court house weddings cost less than $100.  When you consider how cheap a courthouse wedding is and then you consider that in most cases a marriage is between two individuals who are working and can now SHARE THEIR EXPENSES, marriage seems like the most financially prudent way to go. Unless an individual is already living with their parents, a roommate, or luckily receiving welfare from the government or donations from other people, living on your own and NOT having anyone to share expenses with is what is actually financially debilitating. In a marriage relationship both parties work hard towards securing a better future for themselves, as if they were a solid unit.

It could be argued that this doesn’t take into account the possibility that two very different personalities could be involved in this (marriage) union. One person could be a spender and the other person could be a saver. Or, both individuals could be spenders.  The spender could create deep, lasting financial havoc in this relationship resulting in debt, a falling credit score, and worsened financial prospects for both parties.

While some of the above scenarios are possible, my opinion is that there are plenty of financially responsible individuals in society who could find love and a marriage relationship together. Why isn’t this happening though? There must be several things interfering with this age-old pursuit of marriage (or, even long-term cohabitation with a single person).

I take a very pragmatic stance on marriage. I think marriage is a good thing primarily because of its influence on reducing poverty in society.

        My list of reasons why Marriage is declining:

  1. More and more people in society simply do not want to get married.  The reason why people are not interested in marriage is due to selfishness. People prefer to just focus on themselves than have to deal with the interests of another person. If people do want to get married they are looking for the “perfect” person instead of being willing to sacrifice a little and be with someone who may not be as financially fit or as attractive as they would prefer.

  1. The internet has made it so that 3-dimensional people are unnecessary. You have so many options on the internet now. You can use these people as your source of pleasure, entertainment…the list goes on. These internet people end up replacing 3-dimensional human beings that you could form a bonded relationship with. Time that is spent on one activity is time taken away from another activity—in this case, pursuing a physical, 3-D (non-pixelated) partner.

  1. Initiating an in-person, 3-dimensional relationship is difficult and time consuming. To get one, this means you have to leave your phone or your computer screen for at minimum 30 minutes a day to initiate physical contact with the other sex (or same sex, depending on your biology).

To Be Continued as I have more time. There are plenty of links, statistics etc that I have found that prove that it is more financially beneficial to be married than to be single or be a single parent.


  1. Completely coincidentally, I happened to be watching a British TV documentary today on the history of the bedroom (one of the "If Walls Could Talk" series) in which the presenter casually dropped in the nugget that the 1950's was "the era of marriage" as government and other social institutions promoted marriage very heavily. If that's the case, then I wouldn't be surprised if there was a slight statistical decline.

    It's certainly the case that in 18th and 19th-century Britain, and probably the US and much of Europe, marriage was not an option for the poor, who couldn't afford either the religious or civil/legal costs of a ceremony, and mostly just set up common-law marriages.

    But who cares? It doesn't matter to me whether marriage is more or less popular; what's important is what works for me - and my wife, a.k.a. She Who Must Be Obeyed, of course.