According to a recent USA Today article, millennials are lowering the divorce rate. And let me just say, as a millennial I am damn proud to be a part of the statistic. I, along with millions of other people my age, watched my parents get marry young, stay married and miserable for "the sake of the kids," and spend thousands of dollars on an emotionally and financially draining divorce.
The article lists a few different theories about why the divorce rate is lower for millennials, but I have my own theory. I think millennials are smart and are waiting for "the one." I don't believe that there is only one person out there for everyone. I believe there are multiple compatible partners that we will come across in our lifetime and other factors (timing, distance etc) determine if it will work. But when I say "the one," I am referring to the person that will continually bring you up, push you harder, love you regardless of your flaws, and someone who is in it for the partnership and companionship.
Marriage doesn't equate to commitment or love. Do you know what does? Standing by them through a crisis, going to a family event because your partner is nervous, and loving them unconditionally. I think that our generation believes in unconditional love and isn't willing to settle until they have found it. Why are we going to make a commitment to someone who isn't going to be our ride-or-die until we are old and wrinkly?
Don't get me wrong, I know that sometimes relationships don't work out even when you love someone. But I also know that love can make us do amazingly beautiful things. Love can make us look at our own flaws and how they are affecting the ones that we love. Love can make us want to face our demons. Love can make us work harder. Love can open our eyes to vulnerability. True love is beautiful and selfless. And true love doesn't always mean marriage. And true love doesn't mean getting married young.
Our generation has seen the pitfalls of our parent's marriages. We have seen the financial struggles that come from divorce. We have seen what having kids before you are ready can look like. We have seen where our parents have gone wrong. Our decision to postpone marriage and focus on ourselves and our careers, or even just explore our sexuality, is a smart and educated decision.