The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Are fairytale endings fading fast?

Once upon a time, there was a man and a woman who fell in love. They married, had kids and lived happily ever after.

That’s how things work in the fairytales anyway. However, the storybook ending which everyone hopes for is not exactly common in this day and age. Marriage in the 21st century is not the way it used to be.

“Americans are going against the traditional standards of marriage,” said Human Services major Ashley Bianchiano. “People are having sex before marriage, having babies before marriage and living together before marriage.”

In fact, experts say relationships are as unstable as ever., a website dedicated to divorce statistics, reported that divorces are down primarily because more couples are living together without being married.

Researchers also say American couples are waiting about five years before they decide to tie the knot.

Fourth year pharmacy major Grave Raju thinks this kind of commitment should not be taken lightly.”The idea of marriage kind of scares me,” he says. says the divorce rate in America is frequently reported to be at an astonishing 50 percent.

About half of all Americans end their marriages because of multiple irreconcilable differences. If a couple’s marriage fails the first time around, they might go for round two.

However, this may not be a good idea because 67 percent of these second marriages crumble. Some couples are even daring enough to go for round three, but 74 percent of these third marriages end up failing.

“I’d get married a second time,” said 24-year-old Melissa Salerno. “It’s like having a boyfriend and getting a new one. Marriage is just a piece of paper.”

Even though it may seem like everyone is getting divorced these days, in actuality, there has been a decline in divorce rates. Why is this the new trend? It’s because less people are getting married.

According to, divorce rates increased in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s where it peaked at 5.3 divorces per 1000.

Since then, the number has dropped to 3.6 per 1000. However, this is most likely due to the fact that marriage rates dropped 30 percent in the past 20 years.

Men and women today are deciding to settle down later in life. According to the US Census Bureau, Between 2000 and 2003 the average age of first marriage was 27 years old for men and 25 years old for women.This is much higher than it used to be in previous generations. The average age in 1964 was 21 for females and 24 for males.

Researchers documented what they call “The Divorce Divide.” This is the name given to the fact that divorce rates are falling substantially among college-educated couples, but not among less-affluent and less-educated couples.

“People get married too soon for the wrong reasons,” said Bianchiano. “I don’t want to be old when I get married, but I’m still going to wait for now.”

Many people come to realize that maintaining a family and a household takes a lot more work than they could have ever imagined.

One other theory why women decide to wait until later in life before settling down is because they wish to be independent longer.

“I’m staying single for the rest of my life,” said Salerno. “I’m enjoying life. Maybe one day down the line, I’ll settle down.”

Some people are delaying marriage because they want to focus on their education and career goals. Since higher education is required for a lot of popular career choices, students do not want to start a family until later in life.

“I’d wait to get married,” said Junior Javier Rodriguez. “Maybe in my thirties or late twenties. I’m focused on school and that’s it.”

Overall, St. John’s students are willing to wait for marriage.

Researchers claim that people are now willing to do whatever it takes to have a successful marriage. even if that means making personal career chocies more of a priority.

And, although it might take a little longer, perhaps everyone can still live happily ever after.

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