Dating, divorce and life outside “the bubble”

Photo by Flickr user firemedic58 used under Creative Commons BY 2.0

By Macy Sliman, Staff writer

Ring by spring. Join us for so and so’s upcoming nuptials. Baby fever.

If you are experiencing any of these phrases, then you are most definitely living life in the “bubble of SNU.”

In our day and age, as college students in the Christian community, everything seems to be happening so much faster. We date more seriously during college. We get married sooner. We have babies at an earlier age.

And yet the world around us, the world outside this little community, is doing things at a much different pace.

Outside the bubble, most serious dating doesn’t happen until after college and engagements can be from a year to three years long.

More and more people are waiting until age 26 to 28 to get married and then three or four years to have kids.

Sound weird?

The question that comes to me is: “why is this the case?” It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but why are things so different everywhere else?

I recently read Divorce Culture by Barbara Whitehead (for a class. It’s not on my usual reading list). It had a lot of interesting, thought-provoking ideas. Apparently, the culture around us is full of young adults who are a little gun shy about marriage because the divorce rate has grown so significantly. These said young adults are also a lot more concerned about being financially stable before marriage.

Since the divorce rate increased, the kids from those families completely slow down the process, causing a less aggressive reason to seriously date, thus later engagements that last longer and marriages that are put off.

Also, due to the apprehension toward marriage, people are moving in together or “cohabitating” instead of getting married. This either terminates the process toward marriage or prolongs it.

Now, this may sound a little different than what you are used to. On our little campus, people are seriously dating if not already engaged.

By the time we are graduating, these couples will be getting married. At age 26 to 28, said couples are pregnant and having babies.

Divorce Culture also hit on the point of early marriage and had quite an interesting thought. Generally, couples that get married later have a harder time adapting to each other because they have already grown and become independent.

Couples that get married earlier, while less mature and without as much world experience, do get the chance to grow together and become more of a unit.