If you’re dating an older man, have the two of you discussed marriage? If he’s a lot older than you are, there’s a good chance that he’s already walked down the aisle once, and if he has apprehensions about a second or third marriage, it may actually have nothing to do with you. It turns out that a lot of people nowadays are simply choosing not to get married again, and instead opting for just living together.
The number of people in the U.S. who are remarrying has dropped by 40% over the past 20 years. In 1990, 50 out of every 1,000 Americans who were divorced or widowed chose to remarry. In 2011, that number dropped to only 29 for every 1,000. Meanwhile, the number of couples who are living together without marriage has risen significantly since the 90s. In 1996, there were 2.9 million unmarried couples living together. In 2012, there were 7.8 million.
It has become a lot more acceptable these days to simply live together—you get all of the benefits of married life, but without the legal ties of a formal marriage. If your older man isn’t interested in getting married, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have a healthy, committed, long term relationship.
If you’re set on marriage, it might not be a bad idea to try living together first. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that couples who lived together while they were engaged had just as much of a successful marriage as couples who moved in together after exchanging vows. However, the study also found that couples who lived together but had no plans for marriage were less likely to be together for more than 10 or 15 years. But that’s not to say that it will never work. If living together is what works for both you and your older man, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Marriage isn’t always the final destination for every relationship, and that’s OK.
“Second Marriage: Remarriage Rates Down As More Americans Opt For Cohabitation,” Huffington Post web site, September 13, 2013; http://goo.gl/J7Q5oM.
Stobbe, M., “Move-in Before Marriage No Longer Predicts Divorce,” Huffington Post web site, March 22, 2012; http://goo.gl/8G1QM8.