Young and old, married and unmarried are equally skeptical. Especially for those who have never wed, marriage remains a life goal.
About six-in-ten (61%) men and women who have never married say they would like to get married, according to the 2010 Pew Research survey.
The median age at first marriage, which declined for the first half of the 20 century, has been rising since then.
Having a successful marriage is “one of the most important things” in life for 36% of adults, according to a 2011 Pew Research survey.
An additional 48% said it is “very important but not the most” important.
About seven-in-ten (69%) people do not agree with that notion; only 28% do.
Among those who do agree, men (31%) are slightly more likely to do so than women (26%).
Why this apparent disjunction between belief and reality?
Marriage now has more competition from other lifestyles, such as living alone or living with an unmarried partner.
During an January 2019 survey, 49 percent of dating app users stated that they were using online dating services to look for an exclusive romantic relationship.
A further 20 percent used online dating for non-exclusive romantic partners and 23 percent of respondents stated that that they used online dating apps and services explicitly for sexual encounters.
Americans believe that love is the main foundation of marriage.
Most who never have been married say they would like to be at some point in their lives. The romantic ideal of marriage plays out in survey data that show whether they are married or not, Americans are more inclined to choose “love” as a reason for marriage than any other factor.
About four-in-ten (39%) young women say that having a successful marriage is “one of the most important things” in their life, compared with about three-in-ten (29%) young men who say so. But in other realms of life asked about in the 2010 Pew Research survey, most people do not think either married or single people have an easier time of it.