The paradigms are shifting. Millennials born in the 80s and 90s are choosing to stay unmarried at much higher rates than previous generations. The marriage rate for women who are currently in their 30s is close to zero. That doesn’t mean they don’t believe in relationships.

Relationship expert and author April Masini has reportedly explained the trend saying “millennials aren’t big on tradition.” They prefer to hang out, date and live together than marry in the hope of living “happily ever after.”

Why Are Millennials Not Getting Married?

Psychologist, relationship expert and author of “The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life,” Antonia Hall adds that apart from other factors, one reason is the increase in costs, debts and the feeling of financial insecurity that millennials tend to experience. It stops them from considering a binding contract with their significant other.

The dating site eHarmony says that millennials tend to be in a long relationship before they get married. Most couples have known their partner for an average of 6.5 years before tying the knot. The average for all age groups surveyed is five years.

Relationship expert and author of “He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing),” Andrea Syrtash, tells you about a few signs that could indicate you and are partner ready to take your relationship to the next level.

You Feel Your Best with Your Partner

If you feel that you are the best version of yourself when you around the person, it’s a strong indicator that you are ready for marriage. Syrtash says “it’s amazing how often we put the focus on the other person – what he or she is offering. We don’t look at who we are with them.” The one word she heard couples use repeatedly to describe their relationship was “comfortable.”

Shared Values and Goals

A stable partner is like a “good pair of pyjamas,” she says. There are shared values and goals. You are aligned on personal issues such as religion, finances and children. But it is important to discuss these goals before you think about long time commitment. If you are able to speak openly about your finances and personal values, you have a definite bond between you that can be taken further. Syrtash explains why. “Money is a common source of conflict in a marriage. Open conversations about the subject are important before you are legally bound to each other. Money conversations include three important factors:
1. How you spend and save
2. How you visualize the potential future of your child
3. Should you rent or buy a home?

Discussion About Kids

Syrtash stresses the importance of being able to discuss the intention to have children and how to raise them, especially if you come from different values or religious background. “I hear this from a lot from couples I’ve worked with,” Syrtash says, “they are of different faiths, and they didn’t really talk about the differences while they were dating.” When children enter their lives, they are left groping about how to negotiate because they never considered those issues. Discuss about your individual views on parenting styles. This can be a common source of discord later that can lead to divorce.

Intimate Discussions

Mismatched sex drives and values about intimacy can create potential discord. It is very important to be able to have a healthy conversation about sex without flinching, says Syrtash. You should be able to discuss your needs and expectations from each other. Therapists say that usually one person has higher demands than the other. The earlier you can comfortably talk about sex, the earlier you can align your interests and be considerate about each other’s expectations to avoid potential issues. Once the bond deepens on an intimate level, the relationship will deepen, feel different and more special than others.

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