If you could peer into a crystal ball and look at relationships in the 2050s and beyond, what would you see?
Chances are, you’d see a world where fewer people are choosing to get married…
But those who DO choose to marry enjoy healthier, happier, and stronger unions than ever before.
Marriage Is Optional
Marriage rates have been dropping for decades.
Only half of unmarried men and women want to get married someday.
By the time they hit 30 years of age, only a third of singles want marriage in their future.
Folks who’ve been married before are even less likely to want to remarry.
There are many reasons that marriage has lost its luster.
Young people don’t feel financially prepared for that level of commitment. They don’t feel ready, and they may still be focused on their education.
Other singles find that they enjoy their life too much to change it. Marriage simply isn’t a priority. If they want to be with someone, they can just live together.
Still others are deterred by the legacy of divorce.
What This Future Means For You
So, how does that change dating and relationships?
First of all, relationships are no longer headed towards marriage by default.
Even if you get along great and you’re talking about the future, you can’t assume he’s saving for a ring.
In the past, a relationship wasn’t 100% committed until a ring was produced. In future, some couples will make lifetime commitments without feeling the need to walk down the aisle.
Tip: If marriage is important to you, talk about it. For example, what’s a good marriage? What’s a bad marriage? What kinds of people get married? What would be a good reason to get married?
Second, marriage will take many forms.
Gone are the days when you could expect to have a marriage that looked like your mother’s and father’s.
In future, each couple will reinvent marriage to suit themselves.
Tip: Invite your partner to brainstorm with you. How can marriage help us fulfil our dreams? How can marriage help us become our best selves? How can marriage help us do more than we could ever do on our own?
Finally, married couples will have a toolkit of relationship skills to lean on when times get tough.
In the past, many couples thought that the hard work was done once they found each other and fell in love.
In future, married couples will know that their work is just beginning.
Staying married requires more than love. It takes relationship skills.
Tip: Start mastering relationship skills now. The Gottman Institute is one of the most well-respected sources of information on how to make love last.