Ring by Spring?
People want to believe they will meet their soulmate during their college years. Some joke about going to college to get their “Mrs.” degree, not B.S. or B.A. It seems that women in college are either in the market to find their future spouse or they are focusing on academics first.
So how common is “ring before spring” for our generation?
In the past, it was much more common for recent college graduates to marry their significant other following graduation. However, now the average age when men and women get married and have families is being pushed back.
According to Pew Research Center, there has been a 26 percent decline in adults marrying from 1930 to 2010. Furthermore, in 1960, 59 percent of adults were married between the ages of 18 and 29, and as of 2010 only 20 percent of adults within that age bracket are married.
The average age of men and women marrying in 1960 was within their 20s, and as of 2011 the median age for a man is 28.7 and a woman is 26.5, according to the Pew Research Center.
Are these statistics applicable to present day students? Do seniors at Marist feel a pressure to find someone during their college years and by the time of graduation?
Dylan Lopez ‘19 is currently in a relationship. However, he does not feel pressure to be in a relationship by the time he graduates college.
“I believe relationships are meant to happen when two people are destined to be together,” Lopez said.
Sebastian Galvis ‘19 said he would rather focus on himself and beginning in his career before he is in a serious relationship and thinks about settling down. He added that he feels confident that his parents would support his decision to remain out of a relationship until he feels he is right and secure in a career.
Lacy Catto ‘19 said that sometimes she does feel pressure to be in a relationship, especially because she has been single for about a year. Much of the pressure, she said, has come from her mom asking why she is not in one, especially because her two older sisters are both in relationships. However, she does not feel that same pressure applied by her father.
“Oftentimes I feel that people determine their worth/success (or other's worth) on whether or not they are in a relationship. Of course when you are surrounded by couples its natural to feel lonely. I think the feeling of loneliness is a really sh** feeling that can bring up other really sh** feelings like ‘Am I good enough?’ It can be easy to go down that type of rabbit hole and when I find myself there, I find myself applying pressure to be in a relationship.”
Catto also shared that two summers ago she had a conversation with her mom because she was determining her success based on whether or not she was in a relationship. This conversation, however, led to a change in her mother and since then some of the pressure she was feeling lifted.
Still, there is a strong amount of pressure from peers and society, according to Catto. She said:
“Three things I hear from peers often that literally kill my self confidence, cause me to overthink, and definitely apply pressure are
1. I can't believe you're still single, anyone would love to date you
2. You just intimidate boys your age
3. You just have to be more open, and then you'll be in a relationship (and then of course the beautiful contradiction to this- Don't lower your standards/settle).”
What can be assumed to be a decrease in feeling rushed to settle down after college can be assumed to have decreased because there has been a push back in age of which people are getting married.
There may be an endogenous relationship between students not feeling rushed to settle down following graduation and the age of which people getting married becoming later. The average age to wed is later in a person’s 20s, therefore college students as a whole are no longer thinking about it as strongly.
Lopez added, “As we all age, people seem to have a set expectation of when we should be settling down and starting a family in the heterosexual community. I for one do not fit within societies expectations; rather, I defy them. As a gay male, for the most part marriage is not accepted within society for people of the LGBTQ communnity. I, however, defy society's expectation of marriage, because I fight for my love and recognition of our marriage.”