She's a graphic deer, owns her own business and comes to Northern Colorado on vacation — another friend's wedding. Your friend is single, doesn't bother to bring a date, but does carry with her an iPhone and a little app on it called Tinder.
When she s you for a drink, after a week of exploring the mountains alone and meeting up with one guy for dinner, another for lunch, same for coffee, she might regale you with tales of right-swiped encounters. Through her pocket companion, she's connected to nearby singles simply by swiping their pictures right for "interested.
In a recent study by Pew Research, half of to year-olds in America have never been married.
ByPew predicts nearly three in 10 men in that grouping will still never have been married. If that's the case, millennials will represent the lowest marriage rates in modern history.
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The study included, but did not distinguish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender participants. In Fort Collins, where Pew found single men for every single women, it would seem the odds are stacked, at least among heterosexual couples. But with financial struggles and ever-widening gaps between sexes, the marriage market they're now facing might never have been more difficult.
In Old Town's newest bar on a still-warm fall night, groups of friends are playing board games, new couples are on awkward second dates and Madeline Barbour is tending to them all with a red-lipped smile.
Singles face tough market in fort collins
Barbour, 27, has a master's degree in public health, and while applying for jobs in a market she says is impossible, she also works as a bartender, at the same time waiting on her boyfriend, 29, to finish his bachelor's degree in bio-medical science. The two are living together in a common-law marriage, but as for a ceremony or ring, she says they don't have the money, nor do they feel any pressure, for either.
Barbour and her boyfriend fit nicely into the current national median age for first marriage. Their nationwide contemporaries give similar reasons for postponing marriage until ages 27 and 29, respectively.
Across the country, 34 percent of young adults cite financial insecurity as the main reason they aren't married. Alexandra Bernasek, a CSU professor in economics, says she's not surprised that finances play a large role in today's decision whether or when to marry. On top of debt, with wages stagnant and costs of living rising, "it would make sense that younger adults are more anxious about finances.
The second biggest reason young adults say they haven't married? They just haven't found what they're looking for.
Meet James Ruppert. He is a CSU graduate student in atmospheric science; he just turned 27; and in the seventh grade, he was told he looked like Ben Affleck.
These days, Ruppert is an anomaly. For every women ages around the country with post-graduate degrees, there are 77 never-married men with similar credentials, according to Pew. Even less of those men, around 67 of them, are employed. By the time men and women get to graduate school-level, they are dealing with reduced mate pools; often their fields are either male- or female-dominated. Whenever he goes home to visit friends, especially in New York City, Ruppert said the climate is noticeably different, with more single women out and on dating apps.
That difference is clear in daily life in Fort Collins, Ruppert said, adding that if he sees a woman his age in line for coffee, "there's a 90 percent chance she has a boyfriend. Ruppert said he'll probably have to leave Fort Collins eventually to get a job in his field but thinks it would be a good place to land one day after meeting someone elsewhere. But for now, being a single guy in Fort Collins, "you're in a losing battle.
Jennifer Harman is a CSU associate professor of psychology, specializing in intimate relationships.
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Harman says Fort Collins' particular mix of college and industry, combined with social and geographic mobility, make young people less likely to invest in relationships here. On the smartphone app Tinder, and new dating sites such as Grouperthe old ways of in-person and even online dating have never been farther away.
Tinder, an app under the same dating conglomerate as Match. To respond to that painstaking question "Are you interested?
In the model, more satisfied partners are more committed to their relationships, while less satisfied partners are more open to other possibilities. But with online dating and even more instantaneous dating apps, with all these options and choices, Harman says: "People are spending less time getting to know partners and more time looking for alternatives.
The Breakfast Club is a social group for singles 50 years and older but not a dating site, its Fort Collins co-founder, Janey Skinner, says. Pew found that only about half of singles older than the age of 34 and 21 percent of ly married singles say they ever want to marry again.
Skinner and co-founder Tonda Gregory, both widowed, say the group isn't about remarrying, but it has changed their lives in a different way.
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Many of the women around the table can agree about a "lack of network" in older age, unknown to them since the days before marriage and children. Now their children are grown up, furthering their educations, dating on websites and finding spouses to fill unconventional roles in cohabitating relationships. Meanwhile, the members of the Breakfast Club can fill a void in their intimate and familial relationships with new-formed friendships.
Some members also are on dating sites, and one couple is engaged after meeting in The Breakfast Club, but in general, Skinner said: "We're here without an agenda. Mission: This group was created for all of you fun-loving and enthusiastic people out here in fantastic Fort Collins.
Mission: The Newcomers Club gives you an opportunity to make new friends through special interest groups and social activities. Mission: To provide safe, comfortable settings for active single men and women over the age of 50 to meet others, make friends and have fun!
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Facebook Twitter. Singles face tough market in Fort Collins. Josie Sexton FTC. Show Caption. Hide Caption. How do singles fare in Fort Collins?
A recent Pew Research study shows how many single men and women make up the to year-old age group in Fort Collins.