Tying the knot or not?

Audra Kincart

If people 50 years ago were asked what marriage was, most would reply with something along the lines of it being a union between a man and a woman, or the first step to continuing a life-long relationship with a shared house and children.

However, that is not the case today.

Cassandra Dorius, assistant professor of human development and family studies, says that marriage is no longer defined by a single term or a cut and dry concept. We have had to come up with different phrases to describe what is becoming more ordinary.

A few of the changing trends are the ever increasing same-sex marriage throughout the nation, couples living together before marriage and the increasing divorce rates.

More couples and individuals are choosing not to get married or waiting until an older age than in years past. According to the Pew Research Center, only 50.3 percent of adults age 18 and older are married, which is down from 72.2 percent in 1960.

“It’s not that people don’t care about marriage anymore, for most people marriage is still a social idea,” Dorius said. “We still have this very strong value that marriage is important. But often times, we have a bar for marriage where we need to have our ducks in a row in order to be willing for marriage.”

Studies show that marriage is still a social idea for most Americans, but today’s couples think that certain conditions — like having a full time job, owning a car or even buying a house — should be met before people are willing to say, “I do.”