Single Americans want to marry
someone who shares their Innermost Thoughts and Feelings rather than someone rich or of the same religion, a survey said on Wednesday.
Today's young Americans are on a quest to find their Soul Mate, compared with past generations that sought spouses with similar religious and social backgrounds, said a new survey from Rutgers University's National Marriage Project.
"Seeking a compatible mate who shares similar values is not new, but what is new and surprising is that the soul mate ideal has become the most desired marital partner characteristic for this age group - Surpassing Religion, economics and even the ability to be a good mother or father," said David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project.
Among Americans in their 20s who have never been married, they wanted a soul-mate spouse "first and foremost," said the survey, which was called "Who Wants to Marry a Soul Mate?".
They were very confident of success. Of those surveyed, 88 percent agreed there was a Special Person, a soul mate, waiting for you somewhere out there", and 87 percent thought they would find that person when they were ready to get married.
For 80 percent of the women polled, a husband who could articulate his deepest feelings was a better catch than one who earned a good living. Only 42 percent of single Americans in their 20s thought it was important for their spouses to have the Same Religious Beliefs, the survey showed.
The survey is part of the project's wider "The State of Our Unions" report on marriage trends in the United States. It was based on telephone interviews with married and single men and women. "There's an awful lot about soul mates in popular culture", Popenoe told Reuters. "It's the term of the hour. ... It's a big change from times past when you maybe hoped a spouse would be a soul mate by the end of life but you didn't start out looking for such a person. You were looking for someone responsible and reliable who would be a helpmate for the tasks of life.
The term Soul Mate is in vogue, cropping up in popular U.S. television shows as marriage continues to lose appeal in the country, Popenoe said.
The marriage rate hasn't started to go up; the out-of-wedlock birthrate hasn't started to go down; single-parent families are still going up slightly and there has been a tremendous increase in non marital cohabitation", he said.
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43 percent of marriages end in separation or divorce within 6 years.
Nor does the soul mate quest necessarily produce a happy marriage, experts said. The belief that there is only one Perfect Mate for a person sets unrealistic expectations for marriages and often can lead to divorce, they said.
They are still romantic and idealistic, still want to find their soul mate and have the marriage of their dreams, so that's very good", said Diane Sollee, the founder and director of the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education. "The bad news is if we keep operating on that premise, we will keep repeating the current trend of a very high divorce rate."
The Fear of Divorce and the hunt for a soul mate could explain the high rate of young Americans who live together before getting married, the survey said. Among those polled, 44 percent had lived together, at some time, with a partner of the opposite sex while not married.
Marriage was no longer associated with having children the way it once was, the survey said. Only 10 percent of young Americans saw having children as the main purpose of marriage, while 62 percent believed it was acceptable - although not ideal - for a woman to have a child on her own if she had not found the Right Man to Marry.
The soul-mate relationship also created tension when a couple had children, marriage experts said. "The soul-mate ideal intensifies the natural tension between adult desires and children's needs," the survey said.
In the 1960s, the singers "Sonny and Cher" had a popular song, I've Got You, Babe," whose main message was that money wasn't as important as love. Several years later, after Sonny and Cher had become very famous, had a T.V. show and all that, they split up. Musicians are always singing about love as if it were absolutely the most important thing in the world. But there are other people who act like money is the only thing that matters; sometimes they sacrifice friendship and romance in their quest for it. Even though some people say that money is more important than love, I believe the opposite is true.
Introduce one legitimate reason which could be given in support of the other opinion, explain this reasoning and then proceed to disprove it with examples, evidence and logic. The Goal of this paragraph is to sow doubt in the reader's mind concerning the view which is different from yours.
Rhetorically, this leaves the reader in a state of open-mindedness regarding what he/she is about to encounter--your argument for your thesis.
The main reason people often give to support their opinion that money is more important than love is because the basic necessities of life-food and shelter, for example - carry a real cost. Love won't do you much good at the supermarket counter when you need potatoes, rice, vegetables and fruit. If you send a little love note instead of your check for rent one month, you will see it doesn't do any good. But why do we eat and why do we care about having a roof over our heads? Think about sitting at the kitchen table eating alone, just looking at the walls or, if you're lucky, out the window. Is that really living? Aren't human beings created to share something together, learn from each other, communicate and express their feelings? Money means nothing without love.
The first reason why I believe love trumps money is that love will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no love. Imagine a situation in which you and another person are deeply in love. One of you or both of you lose your jobs, a few months go by and soon your savings are gone. But every day, you greet each other with expressions of your love.
As the amount of food in the refrigerator decreases, your love for each other grows. It feeds you, spiritually and physically. When you make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, you naturally make another for the person you love.
You encourage each other every moment of every day, and because of this mutual support you are able to survive until the next paycheck comes.
The second reason why love is more important than money is that love can sustain and heal the human spirit. Imagine a very, very rich person who is slowly dying of some disease. Can a Busy Doctor heal him or her? Not completely. It always requires some form of love, too.
Nurses often supply this crucial ingredient of basic human love when they gently speak to the patient, clean him or her, administer medicine and simply show they care. Family members also are very important in the healing process for someone who is recovering from, for example, cancer.
Love is the Best Medicine in the world. It gives everyone a reason to live, a reason to work, a reason to keep going.
Without Love, there is nothing. We need to remember this as we go through our lives. We should never take love for granted. We should always nurture the feeling, so that it grows forever. Maybe this means smiling a little more often, or offering a helping hand when we see a need.
Maybe we ought to get more involved in our communities, working together with fellow human beings to improve the environment, our schools and the overall quality of life for everyone. If we look at the world through Eyes of Love, then our actions will be less selfish and the results will be more satisfying. Money is part of life, but love has the power to change our lives.
About the author:
Jeffrey Broobin is a free-lance writer on family and finance issues; his main goal is to help people during their complicated period of life.
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