Millennial MariageWhen you hear the word Millennial, what comes to mind? Texting? Organic? Lazy? Naive?

Some of those are a bit harsh and possibly exaggerated, but here’s one that is probably not at the top of any list: Marriage.

Why is that? Is it because Millennials don’t believe in marriage?

Doubtful.

If there is one thing that most Millennials yearn for, it’s connection and acceptance. Think about the fact that the dating industry is primarily fueled by Millennials. The argument that “it’s not on their radar” will be hard-pressed to find its footing.

There is a hesitancy for getting hitched, however. According to Time Magazine, 34% of unmarried Millennials attribute their apprehension to financial security. That’s actually the leading reason for putting off their nuptials.

I repeat: the main reason unmarried Millennials are putting off marriage is due to financial security, not a lack of desire to settle down.

Some Things Have Changed A Bit

image-2When my grandfather was 18 years old, he was quite the specimen. He played football in a time where leather helmets were the norm (he has no cartilage in his nose for this very reason) and farming was literally a life and death matter. He would wake up at 4:30 am each day to milk the cows before the milk truck came at 6 and then it was off to school. Great preparation for a lifetime spent constructing countless buildings across the world.

Soon after graduating from high school, he decided it was time to propose to my grandmother. Not because they were ready to get married and not because he was “shipping off” to some foreign conflict, but because he “couldn’t let anyone else marry her!” He laughs, but he’s not kidding.

She was 16 years old.

This was not entirely uncommon. After speaking with her father, it was agreed that they could be married on the condition that she was not to get pregnant until she had graduated from high school. Beyond that, nobody thought twice about the matter. They would marry, start a family (after her graduation) and that was that.

The Millennial Marriage

imageMy wife and I met in our 20s. We had many mutual friends and quite a bit in common. When we got married, many people thought we were young. She was nearly 20 and I was 24.

Our marriage has been focused on one thing more than anything else: collaboration. Yes, that trendy buzzword is all the rage with the avant-guard tech crowd these days.

Seriously though, to make a marriage work in this day and age, things have changed.

We also don’t have the luxury of being “disconnected” from the world like previous generations. As much as some hope to deny it, current events and innovation shape our lives. Our world is infinitely smaller than it was 20 years ago.

You cannot live in a bubble. Your marriage cannot survive in a bubble. Both have to adapt. You have to work together.

The Foundation of a Strong Marriage

Our family is a partnership based on love and mutual respect. We are firmly rooted in the belief that a good marriage, Millennial or not, can only survive if based on a firm foundation.

  • Trust
  • Love
  • Service
  • Forgiveness
  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Transparency
  • Hard Work
  • Uplifting Recreation

These are the outline to a strong and healthy marriage. They are also fundamental to the Millennial mindset.

As a Millennial, I value each of these principles. I expect them from employers, public figures, brands, friends, colleagues and just about anyone else with whom I come into contact. More than anything else, I expect them of myself within my marriage.

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My Challenge to You

If you are married, take an inventory of yourself and your marriage. What are your guiding principles? How can you better trust, love, serve, forgive, respect, have compassion for your spouse? How can you be more transparent, work harder and do things with your spouse that are positive and uplifting? Write it down, make an action plan and make a change for the better.

If you are not married, make a list of what you think a successful partnership looks like. Be open and upfront with those around you that you have those expectations and intend to live up to them.

If you want to “disrupt” anything, why not start with the pre-conceived notions of what marriage is and is not. You may be surprised at what you find.

Shelly Kramer

Co-founder, V3*Broadsuite at V3*Broadsuite
Shelly Kramer is the Co-CEO of V3 Broadsuite, a marketing agency specializing in the digital space. A 20+ year marketing veteran, she's a brand strategist focused on delivering integrated marketing solutions and helping businesses leverage the web for growth and profitability. She's an expert at content strategy and execution and tying social media to business initiatives. Recognized by Forbes on a number of occasions, most recently as one of the Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Expertsand Top 50 Social Media Influencers, she's half marketer, half geek, with a propensity for numbers, producing results and a dash of quick repartee. Her blog has been recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs and by PostRank as one of the Top 100 Most Engaging Social Media Blogs. Find her on LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter.