Millennials Are Bucking Tradition, & Marrying Later (If They’re Marrying At All)

Millennials get a bad reputation.

People say they’re lazy; they’re self-absorbed; they’ve given the middle finger to tradition. To points one and two, I tell those people: You’re wrong.

To the third:

What’s so wrong with bucking tradition?

A recent study conducted by Urban Institute found that young American adults today — that is to say, Millennials — will much less, or much later than any generation before them. If the trend continues, the data suggests that more than 30 percent of these thoughtful, innovative, tradition-bucking adults will remain married by the age of 40; that’s nearly twice the unmarried-at-40 share of their Generation X counterparts.

But why?

Why are Millennials getting married later, or not at all?

Because the landscape has changed dramatically in the decades since Gen Xers (and let’s not even talk about the Boomers) were of marrying age. To the twenty-, and thirty-somethings that make up the so-called Millennial generation, this isn’t shocking, or even all that surprising.

When the recession hit in 2007, the oldest Millennials were 27, while the youngest were graduating from high school, entering college, and staring down what many didn’t realize would affect them for years, maybe even decades to come. These young Americans lost jobs they’d only just gotten; stayed in school longer; took on mountains of student loan debt for degrees they hoped they’d be able to use… someday; and moved back home after college, because there was no other option.

Buy an expensive engagement ring?

Pay for an extravagant, expensive wedding?

Millennials weren’t about that life.

Millennials had to worry more about buying food, or making a car payment on time.

Today, the Millennials that once struggled have jobs, and in northern Virginia, those jobs pay well. But they’re still not getting married. The recession may be over, but remember, they (We, if I’m being sincere.) came of age during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and they didn’t just survive; they thrived.

Millennials are career-focused, and independent, because they’ve had to be. For years, the generations that came before: They pointed fingers, and made snide, derogatory comments, while young Americans everywhere worked quietly and diligently to change the world:

And change the world, they have.

Millennials are saying, “Marriage isn’t a prerequisite for happiness. Marriage isn’t a prerequisite for family. Maybe, someday, marriage will be for me. But that day is not today.”

And that’s okay.

But hey, Millennials:

When that day comes, come to Midtown Jewelers for northern Virginia’s best selection of diamond engagement rings, fine jewelry, and wedding bands.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better: When It Comes to Engagement Rings, That Is

Bigger isn’t always better.

Crass? Maybe.

True? Absolutely.

Traditionally, a man (& his lady) might expect to spend one, two, or even three months’ salary on an engagement ring, and while some might consider themselves just old fashioned enough to follow this rule, many more couples are bucking tradition. And so, suddenly, the answer to this age-old question has gotten a little more complicated.

No, no that question. With any luck, and a bit of planning, the only answer to that question will be ‘yes’. What I’m talking about here is this question:

How much should I spend on the engagement ring?

No matter what she says, every girl wants a ring. Maybe she doesn’t want a diamond. Maybe she doesn’t even want it to be gold. But trust me when I say: She wants a ring. When the time comes to decide what type of engagement ring is right for her, and how much to spend:

Think first about… her.

What does she want?

What does she like?

Think about your budget, and about your priorities as a couple.

The majority of women today don’t want their boyfriend — er, soon-to-be fiancé — to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a ring when there are other, maybe more important financial obligations coming down the pike: You know, like a wedding, or buying a house, or going on the honeymoon of your dreams. The selection and purchase of an engagement ring is an extremely personal process, and should be carried out as such.

Midtown Jewelers offers a plethora of less expensive, but equally as beautiful engagement ring choices that won’t tarnish, and will last forever. Come visit our Reston storefront; take the time to look at all of your options; and carefully choose the ring — and price that fits your, your intended, and your budget.

Think about the length of your marriage.

Or, the length of your marriage according to Emory University. A recent study found that the size (and thus, the price) of an engagement ring can go a long way to determining the lasting success or failure of a marriage. Emory researchers found that men who spend an average of $2000 to $4000 on an engagement ring and 1.3 times more likely to divorce than those who spent less. But. The opposite is just as true: Men who spent less than $500 on an engagement ring were equally as likely to divorce as those who spent four times that much, or more.

A word of advice from Reston’s preeminent fine jeweler:

Don’t spend an incredible sum of money if you don’t have it to spend; if you do, and want to spend a small fortune on your intended’s engagement ring, don’t let us stop you. (In fact, stop in to see Midtown Jewelers. We’ve got just the ring.)

And remember:

Love, engagement, and marriage are what you make of them.