Millennials Are Getting Married Later In Life—Science Reveals Why

While plenty of millennials still dream of settling down and tying the knot in future, the truth is that as a generation, we’re doing it less and much later than our parents and grandparents did. Student loan refinancing company Comet surveyed over 1,000 people to find out why young people are delaying marriage and opting for other relationship milestones instead.

We want to date a lot longer. On average, millennials tend to date for 28 months before popping the question. To be fair, that’s still not very long—only a little over two years! Considering you’re planning to spend your life with the other person, it might be better to take your time before making such a huge decision.

Couples who got married earlier in life regretted it. According to the survey, people who tied the knot before college—that doesn’t just include millennials—had a lot of regret. A whopping 61% wish they’d waited, and not just a year or two but six years on average. That being said, the couples that got married earlier had the smallest rate of divorce, so that’s gotta count for something, right?

Our motivation to marry isn’t really about love. Well, not in some cases, anyway—18% of people who got married before college and 13% who said “I do” while in college did so because of an unplanned pregnancy. Yikes. Another reason to get hitched? The prospect of financial security, the ability to reduce debt, and having two incomes.

Those who wait to marry do so because of the high cost. The average price of a wedding in the US is a ridiculous $30,000, which goes a long way in explaining why those who wait until after they’ve earned a college degree tend to postpone their nuptials the longest—23% say they just can’t afford it and 10% say their student loan debt is to blame.

Engaged couples aren’t shy about asking for help. Since the cost of a wedding is so high, it’s no surprise that couples are eager to have other people help foot the bill. A little less than half of respondents, 44% to be precise, asked for financial contributions from others, often parents. Incidentally, parents contribute roughly $19,000 on average towards the ceremony, which I guess is nice if you have that kind of money lying around!

 

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