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Next century outrage: The emphasis we place on marriage

‘What commonplace attitudes or practices today would be considered outrageous in 100 years?’

The emphasis we currently place on marriage, from the fancy engagement rings to the expensive wedding parties to the honeymoons, will be seen as outlandish wastes of money a century from now.

There will be many causes behind this. First, as marriage itself ceases to be considered to be a lifetime commitment at the outset by the majority of couples, the very importance ascribed to the act will decline.

Second, the traditional reason for marriage – for a unit to pro-create and create a new unit in society – will be less important as couples increasingly have children outside of marriage.

Third, the continued drop in disposable income among the less skilled will mean marriage celebrations will beyond the means of the majority.

“Common law marriage,” the recognition that a couple staying together for a period of time and holding themselves out to be a couple engendered mutual and reciprocal legally binding obligations, was once the primary method by which man and woman came together in the eyes of society and the law.

With the foregoing trends, it will again increasingly be the mode by which less transient couplings will become recognized by others.