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Emerging AdulthoodThe Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties$
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Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199929382

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199929382.001.0001

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Meandering Toward Marriage

Meandering Toward Marriage

(p.114) Chapter 5 Meandering Toward Marriage
Emerging Adulthood

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

Oxford University Press

This chapter first looks at the qualities emerging adults hope to find in a marriage partner. Nearly all are searching for a “soul mate,” meaning someone who is a perfect fit for them in terms of compatibility and interests. Then there is an examination of how emerging adults decide when they would like to marry, and a description of the widespread sense, especially among women, of having an “age 30 deadline” for marriage. Next, issues of commitment are discussed, including gender differences, and different motives for cohabitation are examined. The chapter includes an intensive look at the recent rise in single motherhood during the twenties, including its sources and its consequences. Finally, the chapter looks at how the fear of divorce shapes marriage expectations.

Keywords:   marriage, soul mate, commitment, emerging adulthood, gender differences, single motherhood, cohabitation, divorce

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