In the movie, Shall We Dance, starring Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon, there is a terrific scene where Sarandon ‘s character is sitting at a bar explaining to a stranger why being married is important. She says,
“We need a witness to our lives. There are billions of people on the planet…I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything – the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things – all of it, all the time, every day.
You’re saying, “Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.”
For the 65% of Baby Boomers who are married, this ideal of marriage probably resonates. We DO want someone to share ourselves with and to eventually grow old with. Even for those Boomers who have divorced, most seek to remarry… to find a new lover, best friends, and partner for life.
But things are changing.
There is a disturbing trend happening today around marriage and commitment. One study shows that 39% of Americans say that marriage is becoming obsolete. It appears that marriage has lost its appeal for the younger generations, especially the Millennials (the 18-29-year-olds). They are pro-parenthood but anti-marriage.
According to Pew Research Center, right now 61% of births to women 20-24 are out of wedlock while one in three births for women 25-29 are to unwed mothers.
According to Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, president of the Ruth Institute for Marriage and Family:
“Women don’t think men are necessary. Therefore, they are unwilling to go to the effort required to be in a relationship with a man.”
Clearly these are women who have not experienced the beauty and magic of a relationship that works. A relationship where two people choose to share a life together and to make a commitment to work through all the ups and downs, good days and bad days.
What will it take to convince the younger generation that marriage isn’t obsolete? I think they need to hear from those who are happily married all the reasons why they find marriage valuable. Role models are needed and necessary, and clearly at this point in time, missing….
We’ve become a disposable society, not just with our trash, but also with the people in our lives. If a relationship becomes difficult we declare, “this isn’t working for me” and move on. We treat our cars better than people. At least with our cars we know and expect that they need regular maintenance – the oil needs changing, the tires rotating and brakes need replacing. And yet, even with the people closest to us, so many of us seem unwilling to put in a little time, energy and effort into working through our issues.
I believe a big part of this problem is that we aren’t born with the innate knowledge on how to make a relationship work and our partners don’t come with an “owner’s manual.”
Here’s the bottom line….we’re all going to get old someday.
We can do it alone or we can make the effort to manifest a soulmate and then nurture them and have a best friend to share our golden years with. Even if you haven’t met “the one” yet, it’s never too early to learn the needed skills so that you can experience Big Love.
As that commercial says, this is an experience that is “priceless.”
Wishing you love, laughter and magical kisses,
I spent the last six months researching and interviewing the top love and relationship experts on the planet for my Art of Love Series, which recently concluded. These powerful love luminaries included John Gray, don Miguel Ruiz, Alison Armstrong, Neale Donald Walsch, Jack Canfield, Marianne Williamson, Harville Hendrix, Dr. Helen Fisher, Katherine Woodward Thomas, Gay & Katie Hendricks, Jean Houston and more.
If you didn’t have a chance to tune in for this, don’t despair. You can own the entire series for a special 50% off price ($97 or four payments of $25) that is in effect until Midnight pacific time on March 7th. Click here for all the details