Ring By Spring? So Last Generation

College campuses all over the country taunt young people with the phrase “ring by spring.” Full of ambition and hormones, students are thrust together, engaged in the dating field like they’ve never been before. From flings, to casual dating, to relationships that everyone swears will last until the end of time, most college-aged individuals feel the pressure to find their person as soon as possible. Facebook fills up with engagements, and “look at that rock!” is heard on many lips. If you aren’t seriously seeing someone, you’re missing out, or doing something wrong.

As much as the pressure of “ring by spring” may be felt, statistics actually show that the average age most millennials are getting married is 25 for females, and 28 for males. Whether the pressure is present or not, today’s batch of young people are setting the tone of individualism and singles acceptance. Ring by spring is quickly diminishing!

What changed that caused the marriage age to jump so drastically? In 1960, the average marriage age for females was 20, and for males it was 23…what has happened since then? Do millennials not want to get married? Considering the continuous strength of romantic films, as well as the overwhelming wedding section filling every young woman’s Pinterest account, I find that highly unlikely.

It is not that millennials do not find the desire to get married…it is that this age of college aged students is full of career driven, wanderlusting souls, who want to create themselves before they settle down. Traveling after school, volunteering, and receiving the best education possible are all priorities for young people today. Each of those priorities – though possible with a partner at your side – are easiest when done alone.

Nothing wrong with that!

Female empowerment, and the movement of girls who know what they are capable of, is another huge part of the marriage age’s rise. Girls no longer feel the need to be defined by their relationship status, and though being a momma with babies on the way is still the dream for most, it is a dream that is later in the future. With a majority of colleges reporting higher female attendance than males, it is evident that millennial young woman are taking advantage of the opportunities open to them.

Traditionalists may questions where this new marriage age is taking the human race, and if the trend is positive or negative. How will this new generation of parents influence their children? I believe that these new trends in the marriage age will actual benefit future children. With parents who have taken the time to shape themselves into the individuals they wish to be, children will have examples of liberation, independence, dream chasers, travelers, volunteers, and individualists. Forget ring by spring - take some time for yourself instead!