A national survey of the dating habits and attitudes of 5,541 single adults across the U.S. uncovered some eye-opening trends. In case you hadn’t noticed by the steadily increasing divorce rate, marriage is no longer a top priority for Americans.
According to the study, developed by Binghamton University and conducted for Match.com, 40% of respondents 21 years old and older are not sure they want to get married, 27% said a wedding is not in their future and just 34.5% said marriage was a must. (See the graphic with the survey’s full results including infidelity, breakups and sexual behavior at USA Today.)
(MORE: How Married Are You?)
The findings aren’t particularly surprising to some scientists. Sociologist Michael Rosenfeld of Stanford University told USA Today that marriage has been on the decline for more than 35 years:
“It is true that researchers used to find that people who hadn’t gotten married still had aspirations to get married, but I think that may be eroding now. A new generation has grown up in a world where marriage is not a certainty. If they’re 20 years into adult relationships and haven’t found somebody they want to marry, maybe they’ve changed their minds about how necessary marriage is.”
Not only are they uncertain about matrimony, but singles also aren’t necessarily concerned about flying solo. According to the study, less than 12.7% of respondents are actively seeking a relationship and 15% prefer to stay unattached. And that’s not limited to 20-somethings. What’s more surprising is that singles older than 60 tend to be the most fickle about settling down, insisting on a partnership that includes sexual attraction as well as romance.
The survey even had some telling statistics about politics. Singles in the U.S. are a tough crowd: almost 9 out of 10 respondents believe there are “no acceptable excuses” for infidelity by a political candidate. The study also found conservative Republicans to be significantly more likely than other groups to be very satisfied with sex while they’re married, as emphasized by the Daily Beast. The flip side? GOP-affiliated daters also had the least amount of sex in the past 12 months. So, whom are you voting for?
Watch a Match.com video that poses even more relationship questions: