Like past generations, qualities such as kindness, caring, loving, trustworthiness, and giving are still important. Much like their parents and grandparents, young adults still want someone who will treat them well and honor commitment through thick and thin.
Unlike past generations, young adults are much more focused on marrying someone who shares common interests, who enjoys doing the same types of activities.
The primary reason that similarity is more important for young adults who are considering marriage is that most young adults intend to spend a majority of their leisure time together. Of course, this doesn’t mean they spend every moment together outside of work.
Contemporary young adults cherish independence, having their own space and free time to enjoy things important to them, but, at the same time, they want to be married to someone who shares common interests in life. Gone are the days when men spend their pleasure time with other men at men’s clubs such as the Elks, Lions, Masons or AMVETS. All of these clubs have declined sharply in membership over the past 30 years.
Equally true, garden clubs, bridge clubs, and such no longer hold interest for most young women. Rather, young couples look to each other to enjoy their leisure time. Playing cards, growing flowers, hiking, camping, reading, gourmet cooking, playing sports, traveling are seen as activities to be shared primarily with your spouse. For this reason, it becomes crucial that whomever a young person marries shares common leisure-time activities.
As important as shared interests, shared beliefs appear to be even more important. Religious convictions, parenting style, financial management, and social engagement are increasingly seen as an essential foundation to a healthy marriage.
Perhaps watching older generations argue and fight about fundamental differences in beliefs without resolution has probably motivated young adults to remove the likelihood of such fighting by marrying someone who shares their basic belief system.
Finding someone who shares both your interests and your beliefs is a tall order, especially when coupled with the reality that young adults also want someone who is irresistibly attractive to them. Such ideal adults are hard to find.
Apparently, young adults are willing to be patient and wait. Unlike past generations that felt pressures to marry before the ripe old age of 25 (thus avoiding becoming an "old maid"), today’s young adults are content to let the clock tick a little longer.
On average, males marry at age 27 and females at 25. However, letting the clock tick past age 30 is problematic for most. By then, the majority of young adults want to be settled into their marriage, their careers, and begin planning for children.
Without question, young adults in our society are doing life differently.
Will life be better or worse or about the same for them? Only time will tell.