By Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan for YourTango.com.
Right now, across the globe, love is at risk. Not only is the marriage rate declining, but the birth rate is also falling at an alarming pace. It’s a serious problem not only for those living now, but for the next generation of children about to be born. Here are the facts:
1. The marriage rate is dropping. In the U.S., the marriage rate dropped by a shocking 66 percent between 1950 and 2011. According to a New York Times article by Susan Coontz, if this continues, no women will be getting married by the year 2043 in this country! That’s not likely, but it’s still scary.
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2. There’s a high divorce rate. With nearly 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, the U.S. ranks 6th out of the top 10 countries with the highest divorce rates. This has been holding steady for some time and has caused many to become disillusioned with marriage.
3. The birth rate is dropping. The birth rate in Western European countries has fallen below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per couple. For example, Germany, Spain, and Italy have very low birth rates at a mere 1.4. That means the population is literally shrinking.
4. More people are living single. Since women are now more financially independent, many are marrying later, or divorcing and not remarrying, and happily living single. In the U.S., 40 percent of adults in big cities live alone. That’s a dramatic shift as America teeters on becoming a nation of singles, with only 51 percent of adults being married.
These statistics have far-reaching implications for the future of love. Frankly, as a dating coach for women over 40, I’m very worried. Over the last 11 years, I have spoken to thousands of single women who tell me they want nothing to do with men, are happy single, can’t find a decent guy, prefer to pursue their career, don’t have time to date, can’t be bothered, or choose not to date while raising kids as a single mom.
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But who will model loving relationships for the next generation?
With so many people staying single, getting divorced, and losing interest in love and marriage, how will children born today and in the future learn about partnership? I shudder to think that kids will have to rely on TV and movies for that education. Entertainment hardly reflects realistic, loving partnerships. Honestly, that makes me so sad because I found love after 40, so I know it can be done.
Plus, young people today are not so hot on marriage. Even those whose parents have solid marriages want to avoid it or put it off. On The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Caroline Manzo’s three adult children announced they don’t want to marry even though they came from two parents who still love each other after decades together.
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According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, love is number three of the top five human needs after physiological needs such as food, water, and air, and safety. We need love to live a full life. As isolation grows due to technology, living alone, and putting off finding love, how will we ever unify the planet? They say love makes the world go ’round, so please don’t give up on it just yet.
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This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: Why We’re In A Global Love Crisis (& How Marriage Can Save It).