Romantic engagement and marriage proposal in Paris in front of Eiffel Tower

(© Ekaterina Pokrovsky -

NEW YORK — Are there wedding bells in your future? If you’re young and in love, the answer is — probably not! A new survey finds that two in five young adults think marriage is an outdated tradition. Moreover, a staggering 85 percent don’t think you need to get married to have a fulfilling and committed relationship.

Interestingly, the poll, commissioned by the Thriving Center Of Psychology, found that more women (52%) than men (41%) have this view of marriage. So much for saying yes to the dress!

The survey comes as a recent Pew Research study finds that one in four 40-year-olds in the United States have never walked down the aisle. The U.S. Census Bureau adds that 34 percent of people 15 years and older have never been married as of 2022. In 1950, that number was only 23 percent. So, what’s up? Why aren’t young people putting a ring on their serious relationships anymore?

The new survey finds that one of the biggest reasons is still the sheer cost of getting married. Nearly three in four millennials and Gen Zers (73%) say it’s just too expensive to tie the knot in today’s economy. Another 72 percent say they just “aren’t interested” in marriage, with one in six respondents saying they have no plans to get married in the future. However, 83 percent hope they will eventually marry someone “someday.”

man and woman holding hands
Photo by Drew Coffman from Unsplash

No judgments, please

As younger adults turn away from the institution of marriage, many of them say they’re getting a lot of questions from the older generations. Two in three (68%) think it’s intrusive to ask people about their marriage plans. Another 77 percent think it’s just as bad to ask a couple if they’re planning to have kids.

That’s not stopping mom from needling her kids about starting a family! Nearly two in five young adults (38%) say they feel judged for not being married, with a whopping 69 percent of women saying their mother judges them the most for staying unmarried. Only 27 percent of young men say their mom judges them for staying single or not marrying their sweetheart.

Breaking up is hard to do

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons young adults are skipping out on ring shopping is the fear that the marriage won’t last. Almost half of respondents (47%) are afraid of getting a divorce. With that in mind, 51 percent admit they have no plan for their shared pet if they break up with their current partner.

Concerningly, 15 percent have a child with their partner, but 89 percent have no plan in place for their child’s living arrangements if they were to break up with that partner. One in 10 say they regret moving in with their partner and another 16 percent believe they made the move too fast in their relationship.

Overall, only three in five unmarried couples in the survey live together, with two in three being millennial couples.

Moving Past Marriage

Survey methodology:

In June 2023, the Thriving Center Of Psychology surveyed 906 Gen Z and Millennials who are currently in a relationship but not married. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 42 with an average age of 29. 56% were Millennials and 44% were Gen Z. 55% were women, 40% were men, and 5% were non-binary. 79% identified as straight, 17% as bisexual, 2% as gay, and 2% as lesbian.

To determine the most marriage-averse cities in the U.S., researchers analyzed the 100 most populous cities using data from the U.S. Census Bureau on the number of unmarried-partner households from 2021 (the most current data available) and analyzed the results per capita.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

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  1. svede says:

    Although it may not be perfect they have nothing better to replace it with. What they’re doing now is having a bunch of kids with issues.

    1. burgerkang says:

      why would you breed more slaves for globohomo to circumcise and send off to die in fake wars?