People are strange creatures. We trust Chinese fortune cookies as wisdom, but if your Happy Meal said “You will live a long and prosperous life,” you’d laugh at it. We bought gallons of water, flashlights and batteries in preparation for Y2K. Tap water is bad to drink in any city, it seems. We think a fried chicken sandwich is healthy if we don’t eat the bun – where do these ideas come from?
We believe them. Somewhere along the line, it got in our heads that certain things are true without any basis or evidence. We believe in all sorts of superstitions like black cats and four-leaf clovers that we might as well call them stupidstititions.
So when 7-7-07 became the biggest wedding date of our lifetime, people started rushing to tie the knot on other “lucky” days like 9-9-09 and most recently 10-10-10. What’s next? 11-11-11 is a Friday, but 12-12-12 is a Wednesday.
Is there a cosmic significance to any of these dates? “Well, it won’t happen again for another 1,000 years.” That’s true, it won’t. And it also won’t be 10-12-10 for another 1,000 years, either. We’ll see 4-14-11 in 6 months, but it won’t be the fourth month and the 14th day and the 11th year again until 3011. Who cares? The Jewish calendar says we’re in the year 5771, and other ancient societies would be arguing different dates too if they hadn’t been killed by the Roman Empire or by diseases spread from European colonization.
Over 30,000 couples got married on 10-10-10. More than twice that on 7-7-07. “A lot of repeating numbers are lucky in a lot of cultures. With divorce rates what they are, you need to have everything going for you that you can, I guess,” said a wedding company owner in Denver.
No one gets married with the intention of getting divorced (except maybe gold diggers), but we’re aware that many people do get divorced. However, if you examine the numbers closely, you’ll find that the saying “Half of marriages end in divorce” is actually a myth, too.
First of all, the divorce rate has gone down steadily since 1980, and rapidly in the last 5 years. Per 1,000 married women, it was 22.6 in 1980 and steadily dropped to 17.3 in 2005, according to the National Marriage Project. In these tough economic times, people might be sticking together to save money because in 2009 it was only 16.4 divorces per 1,000 marriages.
A New York Times article also explains the myth that one out of every two marriages end in divorce, analyzing the numbers so you don’t have to. The truth? It’s never been more than 41% and, as the divorce rate is going down, it’s probably in the high 30’s now. So the odds of getting married (and staying married) are in your favor. Really.
Younger generations are also more patient about marriage than previous ones, and that wisdom that comes with age may be helping. 27% of couples who got married between 1975 and ’79 got divorced, compared with only 16% of those who got married between 1990 and 1994. The average women get married now is between 30 and 32, where you’re less likely to make stupid decisions than when you’re 18.
So relax. Don’t put too much stock in your wedding date. Just remember your anniversaries, and you’ll have no trouble being in that majority that actually has a successful marriage. And if you’re looking for a wedding DJ, I’m available. :)