I started this summer being 25 and engaged to someone I’d been with for 20 months, knowing that I was an anomaly in a generation in which women are encouraged to break traditions, have careers, and celebrate independence.
But a mere two months later, with Nick Jonas being the sixth early-twenty-something to get engaged in the last few weeks, I am no longer the anomaly. If anything, I’m a trendsetter.
Engagement and marriage is starting to look like just another social trend we Millennials are jumping to. Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson were only together for about a month before the question was popped, and though they’d had a history, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin reportedly only got back together in May as well. Now Baldwin has already selected her bridesmaids. The newly engaged Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra are also in the two-month-club.
How can any of these couples be sure that they’re in it till death do them part after only two months in the honeymoon phase? Either they’re taking the concept of marriage way too lightly, or they’ve all proven loves only so strong that they’ve only been previously found in a Disney movie.
Reports have shown that Millennials have lower divorce rates than previous generations, attributed to waiting longer before marrying to be sure of their commitments to a significant other. In 2017, the average age for marriage was 27 for women and 29.5 for men, and research has estimated that the sweet spot was around 28 to 32—a bit older than our celebrity examples.
Trying to harmonize these facts with recent celebrity trends, leaves two possible analyses. The first is that marriage is the thing that today’s cool kids are doing. You’re bored in your relationship? Propose. See a pretty ring? Pop the question. Things are going well and you want to celebrate that? Tie the knot, plan a wedding. Marriage is now just another thing Millennials take lightly, as meaningful as a happy birthday post on Instagram, something to lose attention as quickly as it built up.
Conversely, just the opposite might be true. Our Baby Boomer parents were told, “Earn a salary, make a family, build your life.” Millennials were asked, “What do you want when you grow up?” We’ve been raised on the notion of choice and going after what makes us happy. Perhaps this has resulted in a generation that can more quickly identify what it is we want. Two months is all it takes for a decisive Millennial to know who belongs at his or her side for a lifetime. Baby Boomers married for stability, Gen X for tradition, and Millennials for choice.