Dating site forgetdinner.com.au attributes the decline in marriage rates recorded by the Australian Census to the rise of casual relationships which accommodate the fast pace of our modern lifestyle.
According to the site, 37.1% of those aged between 18 and 25 don’t believe marriage to be of much importance, while those aged 26 to 45 are “even less concerned” with making those sacred vows.
As forgetdinner.com.au spokesperson Howard James explains, while Aussies aren’t shying away from romance, they’re certainly more careful when it comes to long-term commitment, especially considering 40% of marriages now end in divorce.
“So many of us are preoccupied with friends, furthering our education and climbing the corporate ladder, and we simply don’t have time for serious commitment,” explains James. “Casual relationships consume less cash, emotion and time in comparison to a long term serious relationship.”
Sex therapist Paula Hall adds that as experiences shift with age, the things we wanted in our early 20s are not the same things we want in our 40s.
“Maybe we need an alternative approach; maybe marriage shouldn't be for life,” Hall told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Considering same sex marriage is also still non-existent in Australia, it comes as no surprise that the interest in traditional marriage is also on the wane.
“I want to see us progress to the next level so that all of our laws are the same for all of our citizens,” actress Rachael Taylor told marie claire Australia last year. “This is a human rights issue –sexuality should not determine the right to marry.”
On the flipside, half of us still see marriage as culturally relevant, with research from Michigan State University indicating that “marriage protects us from the normal decline in happiness that comes over the adult years.”
In addition, research from the Pew Research Centre found that 43 per cent of married people compared with only 24 per cent of unmarried people reported being “very happy”.
So what’s your take? Is marriage still relevant in today’s society or is it a dying institution?