"To me, being in a functioning relationship doesn't mean you have to be married. I never think about marriage. Is that weird? The only time I ever think about it is when people ask me," Scarlett Johansson tells Elle UK in an interview published in this month's issue.
Johansson, who is 28, was once married to actor Ryan Reynolds, 36. The marriage lasted two years. Reynolds married Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively, 25, in September.
Scarlett Johansson opens up about her devastating divorce
Johansson's comments might seem like the typical inflammatory celebrity interview, but the truth is many women her age feel the same way.
In 1960, half of all women were married by age 20. Today, the average age for a woman to marry is 27. In 1950, most couples had only known each other for an average of six months before they married. These days, 60 percent of couples live together before they marry.
"Many young adults view their 20s as a prolonged period of self-exploration with the goal of creating independent selfhood and establishing an adult identity which is often very closely tied to career," Dr. Lee Shapiro, a Brooklyn based clinical psychologist, told Yahoo! Shine.
As young women have more time to clarify what they want for themselves, their standards for a mate change. Hanna Rosin, in her book published last September, The End of Men and the Rise of Women, explains the delay to marry: "As women [in the U.S.] improve their lot, they raise the bar for what they want out of marriage."
In clarifying her comments, Johansson said "[Marriage is] really not important to me. It has no relevance to me right now. I'm not having kids any time soon, I'm in a nice relationship, I'm working a lot, and, like I said, it's not important to me."
At Shine, we're glad to see the trend of young women taking the time for themselves to develop a career, whether they're already successful like Johansson or, like the recent grads mentioned in a Huffington Post article, delaying marriage because they don't feel financially or career-wise secure enough.
Also, we think it's clear that Johansson learned from her early marriage. In the profile she described the marriage to Reynolds as "incredibly romantic." But, "as we age, we realize that marriage itself isn't really 'romantic.' It's a huge responsibility. That's a very young-sounding statement," marriage and family psychotherapist Dr. Karen Ruskin told Yahoo! Shine. After her divorce, Johansson has probably figured that out, which is why she's not so interested in rushing to the altar again.
"For women who are divorced at a young age, the focus shifts in their late 20s. They ask, what do I really need marriage for? Do I need it now?" Ruskin continues.
It's obvious that turning 30 has a new meaning for women. In the same interview, Johansson says, "I feel like I've been transitioning from young woman into womanhood for a very long time. Now as I approach 30, with the last few years behind me, I feel like growing pains are behind me. It's just nice to feel happy."