Millennials and marriage

The sun is shining a littler brighter and warmer as summer is approaching and that means that wedding season has arrived!

My social media timelines are full of newlyweds, dress shopping and bridesmaids galore. While I’ve gone to the occasional fun family wedding every few years, I have yet to hit the wedding frenzy that comes when everyone in your circle is getting married. Because of this all the posts give me the sense of a fun, exciting time, but I recently overheard a conversation dimmed that brightness a bit.

A friend of a friend was talking about the hassle she had to go through in going out of town for a bachelorette party: booking tickets, buying a rental car, etc. only to have to go through it all again with buying a dress and paying for a hotel on the actual wedding date. As a recent college grad, my mind suddenly switched to “Wow. That’s a lot of money that I don’t have.”

Is this part of the reason why millennials are getting married less and less? While paying for all the events that come with a wedding is certainly not new to this generation, the stats don’t lie on millennials holding off on saying “I do.” According to 2014 Gallup Daily tracking data, 27% of millennials were married, but compare that to the percentage of other generations who were married at the same age: Gen Xers, 36%;  baby boomers, 48%; and traditionalists, 65%.

With all this in mind, an article headlined “How Do We Help Millenials Get Married?” caught my eye. The article by the Catholic Match Institute describes the typical millennial and the major things that have impacted them, such as growing up in a divorced/separated home, a belief in morality without a belief in God, and so on. The article pointed to the reasons we might be waiting a little longer or deciding not to get married at all.

“Millennials are the grandchildren of the sexual revolution. They have always known contraception as a vital part of women’s health and value the separation of sexual expression from procreation. They view love as something that should make them feel good rather than something that wills the good of another. They have been taught that responsible sex is a consensual and protected act that doesn’t require commitment. They seem to have accepted and advanced the hook-up culture.”

This mindset is why the work of CCL is so vitally important: to let younger people and younger couples know there is a deep and meaningful purpose to sexual love, that contraception is not only a danger to their bodies, but to their current or future relationships. CCL teaches through witness, couple to couple, so that those who have not yet been introduced to NFP see the benefit it has brought to their teachers’ marriage. Even reading about these experiences during my time working at has truly opened my eyes to the joy it can bring, which is why I loved the article’s closing suggestion to talk with millennials and share your thoughts and experiences in a very open and welcoming conversation.

If you’re a millennial, consider breaking the stereotype and learn about natural family planning. And if you’re a part of a different generation, consider having that conversation with a young person in your life, or sharing this with someone who needs it.

— Megan Imwalle
Communications Intern