‘Til Career Do Us Part: Gen Y & Marriage

….Sitting in a tree; K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.

I disagree.

In my last blog, I posted a video of a 5-year-old feminist in training speaking about her future, which must involve a career before it involves a husband. My first thought, “You go girl!”

It wasn’t until I read a few reader comments that I took a minute to think, why do I so agree with this little firecracker?

My 20something friends and I shared the video, a few liked it on my Facebook page. There was an overall consensus: Yes, we must have a job before we get married.

Gen Y, usually cited to be between the ages of 18 to 30, is getting married later in life.  According to the Government of Canada, “between 1975 and 2003, the average age of first marriage increased by more than 5 years for both men and women.”

I don’t think this is a feminist thing. It’s a Gen Y thing. We want it all, with a cherry on top. And whipped cream. The 20’s are the new 30’s.

Our parents are often divorced, we live at home for longer, we have more opportunities, we aren’t afriad to date around and we want to travel the world. None of which are husband or wife-friendly.

I spoke with a few of my friends to find out why Gen Y isn’t in a rush to get married.

Why do you want to have a steady career before you get married?

“I don’t think I want to get married (at all) because I don’t associate ultimate happiness or the next step in my life with getting married. I have other priorities that trump marriage. I don’t think that I could travel, get a masters, a career and stay close to friends and family if I got married. Maybe all this will change when I get older and when my “biological clock” starts kicking in, but I think that I could be perfectly happy being single for the rest of my life.”  – Gillian graduated in June 2011. She is interning for Free The Children.

“It doesn’t matter to me. I would definitely want a job because I think married life has enough stresses without adding financial stress to that. But as for a career, I don’t think I need to have that figured out to get married. I don’t know if I will ever have that figured out!” – Elizabeth graduated a year ago.

“Nope! Don’t really care about having a career sorted out; that could take a life time! As long as I am contributing and we are financially secure, I would get married!” Amanda just purchased a new house with her boyfriend.

“I want to have a job in a place where I can see myself living that will lead me towards my chosen career path before I get married. I want to feel secure in my job before venturing into marriage.” Alyssa is in a four year relationship. She is completing her Master’s degree in public health.

I think that the Gen Y generation values financial stability, career readiness, travel and education over getting married. Our parents probably aren’t going to throw a fit if we live together before getting married. Our parents are less likely to pay for or even help pay for a wedding. We can have kids later.  So what’s the rush?

Gen Y, what do you think? Do you want to have a career sorted out before you get married? Do you want to get married at all?

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One Comment

  1. Posted June 29, 2011 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I read that, to years ago, the average Australian wedding cost $50,000. Not sure what it’s up to now. So maybe we’re staying at home with the parents so we can save up for a wedding, as much as a home deposit.

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