Love and Marriage Among the RenGen

Bridal season is here. I pay attention because my work life sparkles with talented, marriageable young women. So I witness the frenzy–bridal magazines the size of phone books lay strewn about the ladies room at the office building. I overhear plans being hatched and scratched by the minute. I happen to like weddings, so I overlook the drama. But this year, it all got me thinking…how will the RenGen love and marry?

In honor of bridal season, here is what love among the RenGen will look like, described in four stages of settling down:

COURTSHIP LEADING TO MARRIAGE
The ambivalent dominatrix
Men and women are caught in a larger societal change. Despite significant financial powers and fewer gender barriers, otherwise empowered women are ambivalent about who should make the first sexual advance. And proposing marriage is still a guy’s job.

CHOOSING A SPOUSE
Trophy Husbands the Hot New Accessory
The “must-have” accessory for the 30-something RenGen women is a trophy husband. 21st century women will resemble Victorian men as they seek to find partners who can give them children and maintain a household supported by paid help, and its high-tech equivalent of smart gadgets. These men provide “paternal presence” rather than house-husbandry.

Women and men will drift into marriages that have the outside appearance of traditional love matches, but will function as collegial partnerships

Look for more extra-marital affairs and marriage counseling as women discover that owning a trophy husband is not a poodle in a purse.

TYING THE KNOT
Slow Weddings
The Slow Food movement has been around for three decades encouraging people to shun fast-food in favor of homemade, locally grown organics. Now witness the rise of Slow Nuptials where wedding will be week-long events that incorporate several rituals. The RenGen love ritual. They are, after all, building a new social order. That requires them to celebrate life’s milestones in ways that fuse the old with the new. Consider also that they are sensualists more that exhibitionists. So the experience of the event will trump expensive trappings of the day.

Watch as the DIY hand-crafted spirit infuses the wedding scene. Very labor intensive.

All this will require time, so weddings will take on a community nature as brides enroll their wedding parties, parents and friends in preparations that will begin months out to make the day special in handmade ways. Also watch for yet more service personnel to enter the scene to support time-starved brides deliver on the Slow Nuptial credo.

BREAKING BONDS WITH GENTLE LANDINGS
The RenGen will dissolve their marriages peaceably. Some will stay married, but live separately as they seek to leverage shared assets including health coverage, a most prized asset.

The Post-Nuptial Agreement will become popular as idealistic RenGen dissolve their collegial partnerships when the bonds are no longer meaningful, but the relationship no less friendly.

Barracuda divorce lawyers will be replaced with lawyers practicing a form of estate planning for RenGen dividing their assets more rationally.