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Life, Marriages, Divorces, & Singles

Since divorce laws were made more acceptable in the 1970’s, there has always been a debate about the long term effects accessible divorce would have on marriage. The “marriage will become obsolete” argument has been stated, refuted, and stated again for decades now. However, there are examples and studies that show some areas of marriage declining, and divorce may not be the culprit. Many factors exist in society which can push people either one way or another as far as relationships and marriage; and divorce is just once facet of the evolving social climate.

Taking the Temperature Study

According to a recent study at Pew survey, many single Americans of all ages were asked whether they were in a committed relationship or whether they were looking for a partner. The largest portion of single persons, 55 %, stated that they were NOT in a committed relationship and that they were NOT looking to enter into a committed relationship leading towards marriage.

Another survey done by both Pew and Time magazine asked direct questions to a number of participants. The ‘single’ participants who were surveyed with the question, “Do you want to get married?” gave an interesting answer. Understandably, the question question was very basic, but the answers cannot be denied: Only 46% said ‘yes.’ This means about a quarter of the singles (a group that includes the divorced, widowed, cohabiting, or always-single) stated  they do not want to marry, and 29% responded they were not sure. For the divorced and widowed, the number of participants who stated they wanted to marry sunk to 22%, with 46% saying they do not want to marry, and 32% unsure.

In another nationwide survey, sampling 2,691 people living in America who are 18 and older, participants were asked whether each of the listed possible goals below would be easier to accomplish if someone was married or if single. The participants could answer: (1) easier if married, (2) easier if single, or (3) it wouldn’t make any difference.

Here is the list of goals they were asked to assess by marital status:

  1. Find happiness
  2. Have social status
  3. Have fulfilling sex life
  4. Be financially secure
  5. Get ahead in career

The highest ranking answer for to all these goals was (3) it wouldn’t make any difference, with the exception of the question about raising a family, in which 77% stated (1) easier if married.

Obviously, the sampling size  is infinitely smaller compared to the population, so the results cannot be taken to mean more than they actually do. However, it’s interesting to see the mindset some  people have today when it comes to committing to marriage or even a long-term committed relationship.

Yet in all of this, divorce cannot be considered the cause of the changing mindsets of our nation. Many facets of society can sway a person in their decision-making when it comes to committing to a relationship or marriage. Marriage has changed over time, and so has divorce. Going from a considerably long and dragged out process, to being able to divorce quickly and hassle-free with the gaining popularity of online divorce. There will always be a natural ebb and flow to the way we view certain aspects of our lives. The “sky is falling” attitude can sometimes just be the initial reaction before the dust settles over a longer period of time.

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