Dating before marriage time
Helen Fisher, the biological anthropologist, has advocated for much of the same: she believes humans aren’t meant to be together forever, but in short-term, monogamous relationships of three or four years. The data show clearly that the longer we wait to get married the more successful our marriages will be.
Stephanie Coontz, the author of More recently, Mexico City lawmakers proposed (unsuccessfully) a “renewable” marriage concept, whereby couples could simply renew or dissolve their unions after a period of two years. And it’s not like we can’t move in together in the meantime: the rate of unmarried cohabitation has risen 1,000% over the past four decades.
Millennials in particular are more likely to view divorce as a good solution to matrimonial strife, according to the sociologist Philip Cohen — and more likely to believe it should be easier to obtain. (As one 29-year-old survey respondent put it: “We don’t trust that institution.”) We are also less religious than any other generation, meaning we don’t enter (or stay) committed simply for God.“Millennials aren’t scared of commitment — we’re just trying to do commitment more wisely,” says Cristen Conger, a 29-year-old unmarried but cohabitating podcast host in Atlanta.“We rigorously craft our social media and online dating profiles to maximize our chances of getting a first date, and ‘beta testing’ is just an extension of us trying to strategize for future romantic success.” In an era where, according to the survey, 56% of women and men think a marriage can be successful even if it doesn’t last forever, that might just make sense.This generation is radically rethinking straight sex and marriage, but at what cost?In Part One of a two-part series, Rolling Stone goes under the covers in search of new approaches to intimacy, commitment and hooking up.