Today, 5% of men and 10% of women aged 25 are married, compared to 60% of men and 80% of women 44 years ago.
Our phones and texts and apps might just be bringing us full circle, back to an old-fashioned version of courting that is closer to what my own parents experienced than you might guess.Not even the royal wedding could counter the decline in marriage.There was an uptick in weddings the year after Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge said “I do”, but the 262,240 ceremonies in 2012 is still paltry compared with the 426,240 that took place in 1972.The biggest changes have been brought by the .4 billion online-dating industry, which has exploded in the past few years with the arrival of dozens of mobile apps.Throw in the fact that people now get married later in life than ever before, turning their early 20s into a relentless hunt for more romantic options than previous generations could have ever imagined, and you have a recipe for romance gone haywire. I am perpetually indecisive about even the most mundane things, and I couldn’t imagine navigating such a huge life decision so quickly. Happily so—and probably more so than most people I know who had nonarranged marriages.The first girl, he said, was “a little too tall,” and the second girl was “a little too short.” Then he met my mom. Let’s look at how I do things, maybe with a slightly less important decision, like the time I had to pick where to eat dinner in Seattle when I was on tour last year.But even among first time marriages there’s been a steady increase in the average age of those joining together in matrimony.People are waiting longer to get married and so more single twentysomethings in Generation Y will go on to marry in their 30s than in previous generations.This kind of rigor goes into a lot of my decisionmaking.Whether it’s where I’m eating, where I’m traveling or, God forbid, something I’m buying, like a lot of people in my generation—those in their 20s and 30s—I feel compelled to do a ton of research to make sure I’m getting every option and then making the best choice.