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For many people, a wedding is no longer the first step into adulthood, but often the last step.
It is a celebration of what two people have already accomplished, unlike the traditional wedding that celebrated what a couple would do in the future.
In 2012, 57 percent of Americans believed it is alright for a couple to live together without intending to get married.
The dominance of marriage may be due to a cultural lag, where attitudes and values change more slowly than the primary material conditions.
Back in the Middle Age, the consent to get married could be either verbal or physical. Sexual intercourse counted as physical consent.
On the other hand, giving your word to marry somebody or offering a gift to that person, even without having a sexual relationship, would also lead to marriage.
Couples with overlapping social networks tend to be less likely to break up--especially when that closeness included "social dispersion," or the introduction of one person's sphere to the other, and vice versa.
Before the Internet, dating was mostly restricted by one’s social and geographical limitations with friends of friends being the most common method of introduction. The Internet pairs couples that wouldn’t even meet otherwise.
Research also indicates that you're more likely to date someone from a different race if you're dating online, by a factor of about 7 percent.