WASHINGTON, D.C.-- What's up with Millennials and marriage? In 1960, more than half of all 18 to 29-year-olds were married. Today, Pew Research shows it's just one in five.
"I would like to get married (in my) later 20's," says Ragad Nawwab, a 20-year-old University of St. Thomas student. "Anything after 27."
"My mom was married when she was 17," explains Hawa Patel, 21 and heading to law school, "and she had my sister while she was in high school. My mom always says, 'Don't get married early 'cause you're going to get stuck in the house'... And that kinda stuck with me forever."
"Some people get married for the wrong reasons," says Frankie Stallworth, 23, "and I think divorce has really shown a reflection of that." A child of divorce, she says it was a major source of stress for her as a kid.
One study revealed 73% of college kids from broken homes say they would be a different person if their parents were still together. That same study by the Journal of Family Psychology found nearly one in five feel doomed to repeat their parents' problems.
"I think a lot of my friends are just trying to learn from their parents' mistakes," says Arianna Fletcher-Bai, 18, whose parents never split, but her best friend's did. "It's not that we can't do it (get married). It's just that we want to do it differently."
Diael Thomas and Seth LaRue are college students at the University of Texas in Austin. They've been dating for seven months, which is probably a little soon to talk about marriage. But we asked anyway.
"In my grandparents' day," say Diael, "it was like you get married and you're just kinda stuck there. But I guess since divorce is more common (today), it's not like this is gonna be forever. I guess you always have that out."
Dial says she would like to marry in her mid to late 20's; Seth, in his mid-30's. "You're not really ready to fund a relationship in a marriage until you're older now," he points out.
The average wedding today costs $30,000. Add that to the $35,000 loan debt the average college kid graduates with, and you could end up in deep financial doo-doo.
And FYI: a study out of Emory showed spending more than $20,000 ups the chances you'll get divorced by more than a third, compared to couples who spend $5000 to $10,000.
Zoie Steen, 18, admits to having grown up believing a Prince Charming would come one day and save her. But today, that fantasy is long gone. In fact, she says marriage is unnecessary, "If I'm with a man or a woman, for that matter, and I feel like I'm really in love with and they love me, too, I don't think we're gonna need to put any legality on it."
So maybe marriage is a dying concept. Ironic, considering the fierce fight between same-sex couples and religious conservatives over who can do it. Instead, maybe they should get together to turn it back into something young people think is really worth fighting for.