Divorce generation still says 'I do' to dreams of love and marriage

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CHILDREN of the divorce generation still believe in marriage – and want to tie the knot sooner rather than later – according to a new survey of young women.

More than eight out of ten young women with divorced or separated parents still dream of walking down the aisle – with most hoping to take the plunge while still in their twenties.

Women are also keen to start having children younger – with only a quarter saying they wanted to wait until after 30 to have their first child.

Chantelle Horton, editor of More magazine which carried out the marriage and wedding survey, said: "Young women today no longer want to be party girls throughout their twenties only to reach their early thirties and find they've loved and lost Mr Right.

"They don't want to fall into the Bridget Jones syndrome. They want to marry and have their first child while their complexions are still youthful and dewy rather than botoxed and filled."

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The survey of 2,000 women in their mid-twenties found 78 per cent said they still see marriage as the "ultimate commitment" – beyond having a baby or buying a house and eight out of ten thought marriage should be "for life."

More than 55 per cent of the young women surveyed said they believed people "gave up on marriage" too easily – while six out of ten said they believed it was better to be married before having children.

Ms Horton said: "It's easier to fulfil their 'have it all' dream of marriage, parenthood and career while they're still young and full of energy.

"They no longer see living together or even having a child together as a firm commitment, they want marriage and life-long togetherness."

Scottish humanist celebrant Juliet Wilson, who married more than 70 couples last year, said: "These days there is no social stigma about not being married, but I think people still very much want to get married. The difference these days, particularly with people who choose humanist ceremonies, is that people get married for their own reasons, which in some ways is more meaningful."

Stuart Valentine, chief executive of Relationships Scotland, said: "Whilst today there are many different family arrangements that provide both love and stability without a ceremonial commitment, marriage still remains a powerful idea in the minds of many people in Scotland and many people still do get married.

"Even where people have experienced the divorce of their own parents, they often remain hopeful for their own relationships and may see marriage as being a central part of their future."

According to the survey women are most likely to marry their sixth boyfriend, while men are more likely to propose to girlfriend number five.