There’s a new movie called ‘The Five Year Engagement,” a film about a couple that just can’t seem to set a date and get up the aisle, and it’s definitely a sign of the times: this is an increasing trend today. The average age for getting married has shifted to a much higher number than 20 years ago, and more people are choosing to forgo marriage altogether, and are, instead, opting for cohabitation.
Marriage is a big thing, and like many other big things (careers, living space) , there are many reasons not to rush into it. I currently am in a similar situation. I live with my fiancee, we have two dogs, a nice little house, and about two months ago he popped the question. After some discussion, we decided that we already live like a married couple, and we both wear rings so why would spent thousands of dollars on a wedding? My best friend is still paying off debt from her $35,000 dollar wedding (which is considerably cheap seeing how I live in LA and that’s what people pay for flowers), and don’t get me wrong – it was a beautiful wedding, but I could buy a car for that amount. I could buy a new wardrobe, more dogs, a king-sized bed with the best bedding known to man and have enough leftover dough to go grocery shopping with. For a years.
The point is, if I had $35,000 to go in debt with, I wouldn’t spend it on a piece of paper. I live with my fiancee, and we share finances. If he leaves, I don’t have to pay $20,000 on a lawyer to decide what alimony he gets, I just kick him out. So for us, it just seems a bit silly, and worse, some say it’s a trend of a modern world. Everything is so enticing and on-demand that people think everything is so fleeting. Now, couples are uber aware of a high divorce rate, and that in itself is perhaps deterring them from rushing up that aisle, or, on the flip side, getting that paper puts pressure on couples to be perfect. A piece of paper does not make a relationship.
The interesting part of this trend is the fact that people are still getting engaged. See, for me, it was really nice to get that ring. It was a tangible promise from him to me. When I looked down at those three black diamonds on my finger, I know that someone loves me and is willing to commit himself to me. Maybe one day we’ll get married, maybe not. Either way, our relationship works for us and really? That’s all that matters.