Thanks to the rise in dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Happn, we’re only ever a click away from a casual hook-up. But when it comes to committing to something more serious, new research suggests that millennials would prefer to proceed with caution.
In fact, according to an eHarmony report, couples aged between 24-34 are most likely to have known each other for six and a half years before tying the knot, compared to just five years for all other age groups.
Conducted by Harris Interactive, the report was based on online interviews with 2,084 adults who were either married or in long-term relationships.
Experts put the results down to several lifestyle factors: the cost of housing, the prevalence of student debt and wanting to advance career-wise before settling down.
“People are not postponing marriage because they care about marriage less, but because they care about marriage more,” Benjamin Jarney, a professor of social psychology at the University of California told The NY Times.
And it turns out this phenomenon even has a name: “capstone marriages.”
“The capstone is the last brick you put in place to build an arch,” explained Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at John Hopkins. “Marriage used to be the first step into adulthood. Now it is often the last.”
“For many couples, marriage is something you do when you have the whole rest of your personal life in order. Then you bring family and friends together to celebrate.”