Don’t marry your soulmate

W. Brad Wilcox, the editor of “The State of Our Unions”, believes that the seemingly benign, though romantically appealing, model may be harmful to maintaining stable marriages, especially for middle Americans: “The soul mate model is easier when economics are all taken care of,” he said. But the institutional model is “more likely to sustain marriage” and “more accessible to middle Americans.” Whereas higher educated people may have the luxury of entering into marriage for romantic reasons, they also go into marriages already possessing higher levels of income that allow them to avoid the instabilities that lower-income couples must face.

Kay S. Hymowitz, the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of the book Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age, is not so certain it’s possible to bring back the institutional model as it once was, or even necessarily desirable. “But maybe there is a way to make people take more seriously the decisions they’re making early in adulthood,” she said.