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Chapter 14. Family Matters > Marriage American Style - Pg. 146

Family Matters Table 14-1. Marriage Rates by Age and Sex Age Group 18­24 25­34 35­64 Percentage of Women Married 21% 62% 71% Percentage of Men Married 11% 54% 74% 146 If marriage is that common, why do we hear about so many people dragging their feet on the road to matrimony? Their procrastination may be due to the simple fact that they can put off marriage. Societal changes over the past several decades have made it more acceptable and popular for men and women to get married at a later age and to live together before, or instead of, marrying. Estimated median age at first marriage for Americans since 1890. (U.S. Census Bureau) Women in particular have more choices than in the era of Ozzie and Harriet , when being a wife and mother was the most sought-after career. Now many women are more likely to see how they can fit marriage and kids into a booming career than to see work as a way to bide their time until the right man comes along. To Nest or Not to Nest Some instances of marriage-related procrastination can be attributed to societal con-ditions that fuel it, but the rest of it is undoubtedly due to what's going on in the minds of these bachelors and bachelorettes. As with any other sort of procrastination, fears, anxiety, and misconceptions can cause people to delay making the commitment to a lifetime together. If you're experiencing cold feet when it comes to marriage, or think you feel a chilly draft on the way, see whether any of these common causes apply to you: · Having concerns about long-range compatibility with your partner