Millennial Men And Women Get Real About Their Feelings Toward Marriage

by Candice Jalili

I am not married. I am not anywhere near getting married. In fact, the thought of being married anytime soon puts a disgusting pit in my stomach. My palms start to get clammy and my heart starts doing that fast, anxious beat, and I just hate everything about it.

But I do want to get married SOMEDAY. And I think about that day pretty often -- and in a pretty large amount of detail.

Am I a freak? Am I the only one who thinks about this stuff? Well, I know that's not true, because my friends think about it too.

So are we ALL freaks? Are all girls thinking about this stuff? And what about guys? Do they have these thoughts? Do they even WANT to get married?

I wanted to find out. I surveyed 101 millennials (50 males, 51 females) to see what it is we are all thinking when it comes to the M word. And it turns out we're not so different after all.

Is marriage even something we want?

Simply put, the answer is yes. The overwhelming majority of Millennials, both male (85 percent of male respondents) and female (94 percent of female respondents) agreed that marriage is definitely something they want.

So don't worry about how lame your cynical friends make you feel. If marriage is something you want, you are definitely not alone.

Furthermore, 69 percent of females revealed that the possibility of never getting married worries them.

Males, however, are less concerned about never getting married: 73 percent said that the possibility of never getting married doesn't worry them.

I mean, I guess I also wouldn't be worried if 94 percent of my potential love interests were absolutely looking to get married...

When do we want to get married?

We all agree that we want to get married. But when do we want it to happen?

The top three ages men revealed that they would like to be married by are 30 years old (30 percent), 28 years old (26 percent) and 35 years old (16 percent). Women revealed a similar lineup, with 30 years old at number one (29 percent), followed by 28 years old (22 percent) and, finally, 27 years old (18 percent).

Most men (63 percent) and women (51 percent) agreed they would like to be dating someone for three to four years before getting engaged, and they’d rather get engaged closer to the three-year mark (four is too long).

As far as how long we’d like to be engaged, the vast majority (63 percent of women and 82 percent of men) agreed that anywhere between one to two years is the perfect amount of time to be engaged. The remainder said they’d prefer to be engaged for less than a year. Not one respondent admitted to wanting to be engaged for more than two years.

Remember ladies and gents, that diamond on your ring may be forever, but your engagement apparently is not.

Do we care about what our parents think?

You know what killed me about the show "Sex and the City"? THEY NEVER SHOWED ANY OF THEIR PARENTS! I mean, Samantha gets cancer, Miranda gets married and has a child, Carrie gets married, Charlotte gets married and has children, and WE NEVER SEE THEIR FAMILIES.

Like, sure, I hated Big, but I was dying to know what Carrie's dad thought of him. Didn't he care? Did Carrie even have a dad?? I had no idea!

It turns out I'm not the only one who finds this weird. The large majority of both men (64 percent) and women (76 percent) in the survey agreed that parental approval on both sides matters a lot to them when it comes to who they marry.

What are our thoughts on changing last names?

Changing the last name appeared to be a bigger issue for women than men. While over half of female respondents (53 percent) said that, yes, they would change their last names, 20 percent said they would not. Ten percent of women said they would hyphenate their names. And the remaining 17 percent of females said they would act depending on their partner’s last name.

I would try to expand upon this myself, but Elite Daily writer Gigi Engle did an excellent job capturing the conundrum as she wrote:

I'm down to change it unless his last name sucks. Like my current (hopefully my future husband) boyfriend's last name: Fishbein. He will be taking my last name, or the SOB can keep his and I'll keep mine, and the children take my last name. Gigi Fishbein? Fuck that.

These sentiments were echoed by respondents such as Natalie, 22, who explained:

It depends on the last name I would be getting. If my future husband has a lame last name, I can definitely see myself keeping my last name or hyphenating.

How are men feeling about this topic? Well, 56 percent of them admitted that they really do want their wives to change their last names. Only a measly 4 percent of male respondents said they would not want their wives changing their last name.

The remaining male respondents were split between wanting their future wives to do whatever they want regarding the last name change (26 percent) and other (14 percent).

Michael, 23, said he’d like her to “but it’s not a deal breaker.” His sentiments were closely echoed by lots of other men, including Timmy, 21, who explains: "I want her to, but she should do whatever she wants."

The point is that, even if it's not the end of the world, it seems like your man wants you to change your last name.

Do we want kids?

We want kids. We want kids BAD. In fact, the large majority of all respondents (82 percent of men and 88 percent of women) admitted that a partner's not being open to having kids would absolutely affect their decision to marry.

Lucky for them, it seems like odds of meeting someone with that particular preference are slim.

So how long into our marriages do we want to wait before we have kids? Well, two percent of male respondents and 16 percent of female respondents said they don’t need to be married to have children.

But for the rest who would like to be married, the most popular choice was over a year into the marriage (47 percent of males and 51 percent of females said). Thirty-one percent of men and 27 percent of women said two or more years was sufficient.

Is anyone saving sex before marriage anymore?

Considering the large majority of respondents (83 percent of men and 80 percent of women) admitted that they would live with their partners before marriage, it shouldn’t be surprising that the large majority of us are having sex before marriage.

In fact, 98 percent of men and 98 percent of women both responded that they are, in fact, doing the dirty pre-maritally.

Play on playaz! And cheers to wanting both sex and love.