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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: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309379

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309379.001.0001

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Meandering Toward Marriage

Meandering Toward Marriage

(p.97) 5 Meandering Toward Marriage
Emerging Adulthood

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett

Oxford University Press

In the course of emerging adulthood, young people change in a number of ways that make them increasingly ready for marriage. Emerging adults become more capable of enduring intimacy. They come to appreciate the rewards of staying with one person for a longer period of time and developing a deeper emotional closeness. They also come to desire more security and commitment in their relationships. Eventually, the lifestyle of moving from one partner to the next every few weeks or months starts to grow old. Most emerging adults come to desire the stability and comfort tha comes from developing a long-term relationship. This chapter looks at the qualities that emerging adults hope to find in a marriage partner and examines how they decide when they would like to marry, including the widespread sense, especially among women, of having an “age thirty deadline” for marriage. Issues of commitment, different motives for cohabitation, and how the fear of divorce shapes marriage expectations are discussed.

Keywords:   emerging adulthood, marriage, long-term relationship, adult behavior, marriage partners, commitment, divorce

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