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Young Adulthood

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Essay title: Young Adulthood

Early Adulthood

In this paper I want to talk about the diversity of adult lifestyles. I would like to explore different areas of being an adult such as being single, cohabitation, divorce and remarriage.

More than ever women are staying single, and focusing on their careers. Research has shown that more people marry later in life, or some don't get married at all. It is said that most North Americans will spend a substantial part of their adult life single, and a growing minority about 8 to 10 percent, will stay that way. Because of the trend to marry later, more young men than women are single. But women are more likely to remain single for many years, or their entire life. Some of the reasons that women are choosing to stay single is because, fewer men are available with the characteristics that most women seek in a mate; such as same age or older, equally or better education, and professionally successful. Singlehood means something different to everyone; some people chose to be single in order to have freedom and mobility, while others say it is preferable to dealing with disappointing relationships. While others say that it is because they haven't had the chance to meet the right person; then there are the ones that chose to be single because of their career goals. People that are single do recognize the draw backs, like being lonely, dealing with the dating grind, limited sexual and social life; these people also report feeling a reduced sense of security, and feelings of exclusion from the world of married couples. People that have chosen singlehood say that they go through a stressful period in the late twenties, when most of their friends have married. For single women the mid-thirties is also a trying time, as the biological deadline for having children approaches.

Cohabitation is something people are deciding to do, instead of getting married. Studies have shown that today's North American young adults are more likely than people a generation ago to form their first conjugal union through cohabitation. This choose of a lifestyle is higher among people who have failed at their first marriage. Like singlehood, cohabitation has different meaning to different people. To some it serves as a preparation for marriage, a time to test the relationship, and get used to living together. For others it is an alternative to marriage. Some people who cohabitate before they are engaged to be married, are more prone to divorce, than couples who wait to live together until they have made a commitment to one another. But some couples are exceptions to the trend just described. People who choose to cohabitate after a divorce are testing the water, and being careful so as not to end up divorced again. Another aspect of cohabitation is gay, and lesbians. These couples report a strong commitment equal to that of a married couple. For people who are not ready for marriage, cohabitation can be rewarding by allowing them a close relationship with the opportunity to remain partially uncommitted.

Another aspect to being an adult is deciding on having children, or not to have children. Some couples are involuntarily childless because they can't have them, and fertility treatments have failed. Then there are the people who voluntarily decide they don't want kids. Some may choose early on that they don't want kids, and then later in life change that, in order to become parents. Besides marital satisfaction, and freedom from having to take care of a child, other common reasons couples decide not to have children are the woman's career, and economic security. Statistics show that most of the people who choose not to have children are college educated, and have prestigious occupations.

Divorce and remarriage is another challenge that adults face. Statistics show that the rate of divorce has stabilized

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