Are we looking at a future without marriage?

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Woman chatting online.
Woman chatting online.

Earlier this year I spoke to trend forecaster extraordinaire, Lidewij Edelkoort. She said that she predicts that soon, women won't desire marriage anymore.

Some women are choosing to forgo the Meghan and Harry-style fairy tale and already choosing to either a) go solo or b) to engage with partners for specific reasons, be that sex, companionship, etc. This goes beyond the 'friends with benefits' realm, however, as it's basically a 'f**k buddy' system, but for every need.

Relationships trends are, of course, not exactly like fashion trends, they're not in today, out tomorrow. They tend to take a bit longer to develop and come to fruition.

There has been a lot written about millennials and their approach to sex and love. More and more millennials are participating in a sexual culture stripped of sexual intimacy, says The New York Times. Tinder and other dating apps sustain a hook-up culture that allow men and women to date or have sex with no strings attached.

A date that leads to sex, or just a hook-up could technically be just a swipe away. Often, there's not a lot of effort required. Only consenting adults. 

READ MORE: You’ll regret not getting married ‘properly’ – and other wedding advice you don’t need 

So, why limit one self?

Is it too unnatural to go against monogamy? 

The Independent writes that "There is a well-known theory to the effect that men want to have sex with as many women as they can in order to perpetuate their own genetic legacy. The corresponding theory is that women want to have sex only in the context of a relationship or marriage, in order to ensure a protector for any children they might bear."

Was monogamy just invented by the patriarchy to inhibit a woman's sexuality, controlling and restricting her behaviour? Or is it deeply rooted in morality laws? Definitely both. 

According to StatsSA, four out of ten marriages end in divorce before the 10 year anniversary. 25 326 divorces were granted in South Africa in 2016. That's like, a lot. Just think money wise, weddings are expensive, yoh. 

But I digress. 

According to The New York Post, more women are also signing up to Ashley Madison, the controversial site for adultery, than ever before, to engage in affairs. 

And according to The Post's report, Ernst & Young verified the number of 'wannabe adulterers' are fast climbing to an average of 15 542 sign-ups per day. So where there is a supply, there is a demand. And it seems there's a demand for a relationship outside a marriage. 

READ MORE: New stats reveal that half of South African marriages don't last beyond 10 years 

But an outlet like this online portal for adultery, might just be treating the symptoms of underlying resistance many show when existing within a monogamous framework.

Like Zak Jane Keir's article for The Independent, I would agree that marriages fall apart today, not because of reasons tied to monogamy, but because of other societal pressures, and the distribution of resources.

Women are becoming much more moneyed than ever, despite a still persisting pay gap, and have more opportunities to thrive economically. Self-sufficiency is, therefore, finally a choice.

A study conducted by Dr. Amato and his co-author Spencer James of Brigham Young University, tracked a few couples marriages over 20 years. They found that "marital happiness declined slightly in the early years of marriage, it improved after about 20 years for most longtime married couples". So, couples were happiest a few years into their marriage. 

Waiting for gratification in a culture that has very much allowed itself to be breezy when it comes to intimacy, might just be a very tall order. 

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Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
23% - 891 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 357 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 1923 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 54 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 702 votes