They say that the 21st century is a time of loneliness. Looking at current tendencies, it’s hard not to agree with this recent reality. According to EU Science Hub 2021, about 12% of European Union citizens admitted feeling lonely. During the Covid-19 pandemic, this figure reached a record of 25%. This is critical. We are seeing how the number of marriages in developed countries is decreasing, and the number of divorces is increasing. Families are in no hurry to have children; if they do, it’s only one child. At the same time, the birth rate in less developed countries remains very high, sometimes leading to regional demographic crises.
Today, we will figure out how family relationships are built in our time, what affects their strength and duration, what unites modern couples, and what, on the contrary, becomes a reason for terminating any relationship.
Relationships and marriage: what has changed over the decades
Two to three decades ago, marriage seemed to be something indestructible and permanent. Of course, there were divorces, especially in more developed countries. However, the situation was not critical compared to what it is today.
For clarity, let’s look at the statistics on the divorce rate in some countries today:
- Portugal — 68% of divorces
- Czech Republic — 66% of divorces
- USA — 53% of divorces
- Germany, Norway, Australia, and Canada — about 40% of divorces
It is worth saying that the critical situation is far from everywhere. For example, in Ireland, the divorce rate is only 15%, which is quite low compared to the rest of the world.
However, the problem is not only the growing number of divorces. It is also a fact that contemporaries are not in a hurry to enter an official marriage. Many prefer just to live together, not to document their relationship. Even couples specifically live separately to give each other more freely and reduce burden. It would have been difficult to imagine this a few decades ago, but today it is the norm.
To be sure of the rapid growth in the divorce rate, we can look at the statistics of divorces in the United States during different periods:
- 1887–1890 — 05%
- 1914–1915 — 10%
- 1931 — 15%
- 1940 — 20%
- 1965–1966 — 25%
- 1972 — 40%
- 1976–1977 — 50%
Since the 1980s, divorce rates in the United States have fluctuated between 45% and 55%. This statistic is quite disappointing compared to the indicators of a century and fifty years ago.
How long does it take for modern couples to divorce most often
This is quite an interesting point because the percentage of divorces of couples by “age” is very uneven.
- Families less than a year old are the least likely to divorce. Among them, the divorce rate is only 3.5%.
- There are noticeably more divorces among couples who have been married for more than 20 years, which is 13%. Such couples, as a rule, have already given birth and raised children and decide to leave on their own.
- A rather high percentage of divorces among couples who have been married for 1 to 4 years is about 17%.
- The highest figure is among families with an “age” of 5-9 years. Here it makes up a record 28%. During this period, people either accept their partner and build a joint future or realize they made a mistake in choosing their partner. Therefore, they decide to dissolve the marriage.
Most often, divorced young people are between the ages of 20 to 30 years. The higher the age, the lower the divorce rate. Although there are exceptions to this rule. In developed countries, divorce and remarriage, even at 50+, are quite normal.
The most common reasons for divorces in Europe and the world
It would seem that the most logical reason for the dissolution of a marriage is the weakening of feelings for a once-beloved person. However, in practice, everything is not the same. If you look at the main reasons for divorce in European countries, the loss of feeling is far from the main one.
- Being single is beneficial. For example, in Belgium, the country’s social security system is designed so that marriage is simply unprofitable. It is easier for a single person to provide for themself and live comfortably.
- Cheating and feeling of alienation. Moreover, we are often talking not about a single affair on the side. There is also systematic cheating and long-term extramarital affairs from one or either of the spouses.
- Alcoholism and drug addiction. Unfortunately, these are quite common problems in modern society. For example, in the UK, according to sociologists, every 12th person aged 15 to 24 uses drugs. Any form of addiction is detrimental to relationships.
- Infertility or unwillingness to have children. In recent years, divorces have become more frequent due to the impossibility or unwillingness of one of the spouses to have children. At the same time, the number of child-free couples in large developed cities is rising every year. Contemporaries are not ready to sacrifice their careers and personal lives to raise a child.
- Incompatibility of racial, national, political, religious, and other beliefs. When a couple is in love and guided by just feelings, such incompatibility seems insignificant because it is easy to deal with. However, over time, disagreements can have a very strong impact on life and relationships. Often they reach a critical point where the couple simply cannot be together and decides to divorce.
Financial problem in the family is also a common reason for divorce, especially when one of the spouses does not want to work and become something in life while the other is trying to get out of poverty and works for both of them. Sooner or later, such a relationship will fall apart, even if the spouses love each other.
Seven reasons people get married
The general notion is because of the existence of strong love and the desire to seal feelings at the official level. However, there are many other reasons besides love for the second half:
- Sense of duty. When a couple stays happily together for a long time in a relationship but is still not married, this fact begins to “weigh” on both of them.
- Age. The older a person is, the more loneliness affects them, and the more they are afraid of missing a chance.
- Desire to benefit. Unfortunately, marriages of convenience are quite a common occurrence these days.
- Fear of disappointing a loved one. Men often propose to ladies out of fear that they do not take their intentions seriously and the fear that this relationship is only for a while.
- The desire to solve their psychological problems. Sometimes marriage is the only way for an individual to fill their life with meaning and at least some purpose.
- “Because that’s how it’s supposed to be.” In society, it is accepted to seal relationships with the bonds of marriage. The motivation is simple: “Everyone does it, and I will do the same.”
- Sense of responsibility. Sometimes, marriage is a kind of emergency insurance. Legally fixed relationships form a special social cell in which people feel more secure.
How the first acquaintance affects the formation of a family
Internet dating plays a huge role in shaping modern marriages. Researchers at the University of Chicago surveyed more than 19,000 people who got married over the past 5-7 years. It turned out that more than 30% of them met on the Internet. 20% made acquaintances at work—19% through mutual friends. And only 10% met their future spouse in a bar, restaurant, etc.
Furthermore, something else is interesting here. It turned out that marriages that began with online dating are stronger. They break up only 6% of the time, while “offline couples” get divorced 8% of the time.
Where do contemporaries meet online?
- On dating sites and apps: Tinder, Match, Bumble, etc.
- In social networks and on thematic forums.
- In services offering users to communicate via video chat: POF, Sauce, S’More, Once, and Omegle.
Moreover, video chats have become very popular recently. Omegle alternatives offer users a comfortable video chat experience with almost no limits. The most popular sites similar to Omegle are Bazoocam, Azar, VideochatOmegle.com, Lovoo, and OmeTV.
The world is changing rapidly, and we are changing with it. Unfortunately, modern marriages are no longer as strong as they used to be. However, this is not a 100% negative tendency and can occur vice versa. A person’s readiness to turn the page of their life and move on is sometimes very good.
Sometimes, you need to give yourself a second chance. Don’t try to maintain a relationship that has no future. Also, you don’t have to perceive the breakup of a relationship as something terrible. Sometimes, it becomes the best decision in a person’s life, and that’s true. Learn to live your best life.