Millennials are often characterized by older generations as a lazy and entitled group. Such criticism is likely due to the fact that millennials are moving slower through certain life milestones than their parents did. Some of them even avoid the standard cookie-cutter path of life their parents' took altogether. This often disturbs older generations who were brought up to believe that such is the only acceptable trajectory through adulthood.

READ ALSO: If You Haven't Made Good Friends By This Age, You May Be Screwed

What parents fail to understand, however, is that things have changed dramatically since they were in their children's positions. One of the most significant incongruences between the two generations is seen in marital norms. What was once a institution based on love and adoration is now somewhat more of a business arrangement or an economically-oriented union. Such shift has seriously impacted the millennial perspective on traditional marriage and marriage rates as a whole.

According to a study conducted by Pew Research, fewer millennials will be married by the age of 34, with as many as 25% of today's young adults possibly staying single forever. This is a stark contrast from the boomer generation - in the 1960s, the median age at first marriage was 20 for women and 23 for men, with marriage rates fluctuating between 82% and 91%. Today, those numbers have changed to 27 for women and 29 for men, with marriage rates dropping to as low as 70%.

There are a few consequences to not getting married, but perhaps the most important of them to consider is that things like tax rates and eligibility for entitlement programs and tend to favour married couples. This is why some millennials may only consider marriage for the financial benefits.

What's makes this even more interesting is that a majority of unmarried millennials still consider marriage as a desired milestone, but are discouraged from seeing it through due to being in a financial situation that they deem to be insufficient for supporting a marriage. Others are discouraged because they simply find traditional marriage an outdated concept, and would rather not conform to societal standards just for the sake of doing so.