I haven’t been motivated to write about this lately as my feelings on the subject are both well-known, and I think, so non-controversial as to border on blase. I feel how I feel, and I think my attitude reflects a skeptical outlook held by many of my friends.
Then Corey IMs me this article, To Be Married Means to Be Outnumbered, which continues to confirm that a cultural change is afoot, but associates with it several superficial and inaccurate statements, at least in conveying how I feel.
But first, the statistical nugget that prompted this “lifestyle” article:
Married couples, whose numbers have been declining for decades as a proportion of American households, have finally slipped into a minority. The American Community Survey, released this month by the Census Bureau, found that 49.7 percent, or 55.2 million, of the nation’s 111.1 million households in 2005 were made up of married couples — with and without children — just shy of a majority and down from more than 52 percent five years earlier.
What I’m more curious about are the political ramifications. What happens when these couples start voting as a bloc?
“Moving in together has simplified life”
Gag, and OMG toothbrush management in NOT a reason to move in together. (Read the article)
A number of couples interviewed agreed that cohabiting was akin to taking a test drive and, given the scarcity of affordable apartments and homes, also a matter of convenience.
A test drive? A convenience? Those have got to be two of the most immature, if not belittling ways I can possibly think of to describe a relationship. On one hand it’s a trite analogy, but it’s also meaningless, because in a sense, every new relationship is an experiment, an adventure, a risk. To anyone who admits to “testdriving” a relationship, or looking to cut their rent in half, here’s some advice: don’t move in together.
It’s not like people getting married aren’t influenced by the economics of the decision. The scarity of affordable apartments and homes affects cohabiting and married couples alike, let alone roommates and single people (in San Francisco as much as anywhere). But making the connection in the context of an article on “why people cohabit” just makes it sound cheap and shallow.
A few of those couples said they were inspired by solidarity with gay and lesbian couples who cannot legally marry in most states.
Hear hear! I had hoped (in the post I linked to at the top) that this sentiment would begin to take root. This is the seed of what will eventually overturn DOMA and the recent state constitutional amendments discriminating against same-sex couples.
“You used to get married to have sex. Now one of the major reasons to get married is to have children, and the attractiveness of having children has declined for many people because of the cost.”
The declining attractiveness of having children has probably more to do with “having children” (and its cost in terms of personal independence) than the monetary cost, which I’m assuming the unqualified term is referring to. What’s funny though is that closing quote is probably the sagest explanation of why there’s a change and why the “change” really isn’t one at all.
If someone asked me why I don’t get married, the answer is simple: “Because I don’t have to.”