Breaking Hearts: Is Love Dying In England And Wales?

With more and more dating apps circulating around the app store, it seems almost overwhelming the number of choices men and women have to find one another. Whatever it is people are looking for, there appear endless opportunities to find the right ‘match’ in your own personal search for Mr. or Mrs. Right.

However, despite all the options, the all too familiar phrase of: “Who says romance is dead?”, seems like a more appropriate question to ask than ever.

If it isn’t a lack of chivalry in the world, it’s the general good will to one another in the game of love, where mind games are more present than in a battle between two football managers; the ratio of divorces and marriages is on a trend which could see more annual divorces than marriages in the near future.

With marriages in England and Wales peaking in 1972 at 426,241 for the year, this figure dropped as low as 232,443 by 2009, and was only slightly higher as recently as 2014 with 247,372 marrying that year.

Bear in mind this is numbers for just opposite-sex couples and therefore the total number of marriages will be slightly higher, but the decline of people getting married over the last 60 years could continue with Millenials becoming increasingly less interested in marrying their partner.

With factors such as the expense and youths not as willing to commit as people were 30-50 years ago, divorcees also saw a huge spike in numbers with laws such as the Divorce Reform Act being passed in 1969 – meaning couples could prove how their ‘relationship’ broke down with far greater ease.

The good news – for the romantics out there – is that divorce numbers, although dramatically increased since the ’50s, have fallen since peaking in 1985 at 160,300. This figure continues to fall where 106,959 divorces were registered in 2016, but it is still a figure which does not look like drastically decreasing anytime soon.

Finacial factors appear to be the biggest limitation; couples are more inclined to rent than buy a house, and then settling for living with one another rather than making a legal binding commitment as marriage requires.

It’s not just the UK where numbers are down, it’s a similar story in the US with marriage figures down from around 2.5million each year in the 1980s, to a figure at 2million by 2016.

With the number of marriages continually on the decline, it could see divorces eventually overtake the number of marriages which happen each year; with an average wedding cost at around £30,000, it could be saving a lot of Millenials expensive costs in their relationships.




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