Why we should all be concerned about declining marriage rates
“Did you know that nearly 50 percent of U.S. adults are single?” In recognition of Singles and Unmarried people week, the US Census Bureau released data showing marriage trends in…
Is anyone else feeling pessimistic today? Sure, Valentine’s Day can bring out the dark side in a lot of people. It’s just a made-up holiday to get us to buy cards, flowers, candy, and jewelry, right? Or maybe Catholic guilt is hanging over me because it’s been a while since I’ve been to mass and Lent is starting and all I want is a steak but I can’t because it’s also Ash Wednesday and I’m supposed to be fasting…
Turns out, I’m not alone. These are a few headlines I ran across that made even this pessimist chuckle.
For those that have champagne taste on a beer budget, this is going to be your best Valentine’s Day ever. MarketWatch reports that
Valentine’s Day should be something of a bargain in 2018, as cost rises among major traditional gifts and expenses related to the holiday have lagged the rise of the broad economic average.
If you haven’t purchased your loved one their Valentine’s gift yet, might I suggest you rapidly plan an evening in? According to MarketWatch, it’s the best bang for your buck:
The cost of a romantic evening in, on the other hand, was up 1.1% in 2018, below the 15-year average of 1.4%. “A night at home—including candy, flowers, a home-cooked meal, and a bottle of wine or champagne—continues to be a good bet for value-conscious consumers,” wrote John Lynch, chief investment strategist for LPL Financial.
Even though you can score major thoughtfulness points for a romantic dinner at home, don’t rush to return all the diamonds you bought her.
Seeing only slight growth over the year was the product category of jewelry, which was up a mere 0.25%. “Sticker shock could still be an issue for those choosing this gift in 2018, but shoppers can take at least some solace in jewelry becoming a better relative bargain,” Lynch wrote.
Remember, diamonds are a girl’s best friend and you’re saving money by cooking her dinner.
If you’re really feeling the blues today, skip this section because this news stings a little.
While the day is filled with romance for some, as many as 45% of U.S. adults aren’t planning on celebrating Valentine’s Day. These individuals, who are likely mostly single, need some extra love and attention — at least economically speaking — as single individuals face more economic insecurity than married or cohabiting individuals.
Single individuals have higher unemployment rates and lower levels of wealth than their married or cohabiting counterparts (defined as those who live with their partner but are unmarried).
But single ladies shouldn’t worry. Holding out on marriage is actually a good thing:
The fact that people are spending a larger percentage of their lives single is not inherently negative. Rather, delayed marriage has been associated with positive economic outcomes for women such as higher labor-force participation rates, increased earnings, and lower poverty rates for women later in life.
There’s nothing more romantic than talking about healthy food. But it’s always easier to indulge when there is a slight health benefit, and chocolate can qualify. A Wall Street Journal article found that
Many modern studies have shown, in fact, an association between the consumption of pure cocoa, which is rich in compounds called flavanols, and moderate reductions in risk for a range of cardiovascular illnesses and even for diabetes. Research done in 2009 on the Kuna people, who live on islands off the coast of Panama, lends some credence to these results. Dr. Norman Hollenberg of Harvard Medical School found that the Kuna, who drink up to 10 cups of gravy-thick homegrown hot cocoa a day, live longer and have lower rates of hypertension, heart disease and stroke than most Western populations, though other factors may also contribute to their outstanding health.
This does not mean, however, that all chocolate is good for you. When buying your heart shaped chocolates, make sure to purchase dark:
The precise line where chocolate morphs from a sugary indulgence to a food that is healthy when eaten in moderation is the subject of debate, but it is fair to say that 72%, a level matched by most commercially available dark chocolate, is a good place to start.
So have that extra piece of dark chocolate tonight. The Catholic guilt will only last a little while.