In less than seven months I plan to walk down the aisle. Which is why—surprise- –I have been doing a great deal of thinking about engagement, marriage, divorce, and what it all means to me and to my generation. The holidays are known to give us a slew of juicy celebrity hookups and breakups and this holiday season was no slouch: the divorce of pop star Katy Perry and actor/musician Russell Brand, along with indie cuties Zooey Deschanel (The New Girl, 500 Days of Summer) and Ben Gibbard (lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service), gave us two high profile divorces to dissect.

Besides being celebrity doppelgangers, Perry and Deschanel have more in common than meets the untrained eye. First, both women dated their exes for a short time before getting engaged: four months in the case of Perry and Brand, and nearly a year in the case of Deschanel and Gibbard.  In a world where Khloe Kardashian dated Lamar Odom for approximately 4 hours before marrying him, this seems like a lifetime. But, in the world where mere mortals inhabit, it’s usually a good idea to give it a couple years before deciding on FOREVER.

Secondly, soon after engagement, celebrities tend to rush off to the altar before the public loses interest in the union (and the free PR stops flowing). In the real world, couples are usually engaged for around a year before tying the knot, if nothing else, to give adequate time to plan an affordable and tasteful affair. One need look no further than the failed Kardashian –Humphries wedding to see that throwing a ton of money at a wedding can make planning a breeze.  Furthermore, when a celebrity couple is engaged for a long time with no marriage plans immediately lined up, the public sees it as an inevitable breakup. In my case, my engagement will last 19 months. Long, of course, but it gives a person time to process the relationship, you and your partner’s expectations, plans, and hopes for the future, and make sure that you are making a decision that you can live with.

Finally, these two unions were doomed from the start. Let’s start with the less known couple, Deschanel and Gibbard. From all appearances they made the perfect duo: sensitive hipsters with some serious musical talent. Fans of Deschanel rave about her singing for the musical duo She & Him alongside country- folk artist M. Ward. Gibbard’s Death Cab and Postal Service have been long time main stays in the indie scene, with Death Cab producing one great record after another. I suppose with Gibbard’s latest round of touring for his main band’s latest effort, Codes and Keys, and Deschanel’s sudden mainstream exposure with the success of the Fox comedy The New Girl, distance made the heart give up. The truth is, dating a touring musician, who goes on the road for a year at a time, is never easy. Case in point: Katy Perry, who just completed her grueling California Dreams Tour promoting her multi-hit album Teenage Dream.

Brand and Perry’s union was also seemingly destined to fail because they were obviously in two different places in their life. Perry, four months my junior at 27, fell in love with Brand, but still wanted to be a party girl. Brand, a recovering alcoholic in his mid-thirties, had seemingly cleaned up his act and was ready to settle down a start a family. With famous friends like Rihanna, Perry was more intent on living it up than canoodling at home with Brand. And really, that’s what most 27 year olds are doing these days, especially in urban centers where marriage before the age of 30 is rare.

The median age for first time marriage in the U.S. has never been higher in this country- 26 for women and 28 for men.  In 1960, the median age for first time marriage was 20 for women and 22 for men. Furthermore, the percentage of married American adults (those over the age of 18) has never been lower. In 1960, seventy-two percent of adults were married; today, that number has dropped to fifty-one percent. Thus, nearly half of adults in the U.S. are unwed. We are society that has placed decreasing importance on marriage (save the tax breaks) AND is delaying first time marriage more than ever before.  It makes total sense that a young woman and international superstar like Katy Perry would want to revel in her success and be single just a little longer, a fact she probably ignored when she agreed to wed Brand back in 2010.

Now that Gibbard and Brand are single, are they suddenly the most eligible bachelors on the block? Let’s see- both are self -professed former alcoholics, neither are conventionally handsome, and both probably have some serious ex-issues. So, do I find myself ready to ditch my betrothed for these newly available men? Not really. And let us not forget the most talked about divorce in LaLa Land- Kobe and Vanessa Bryant. After Colorado, the “make-up” diamond, and rumors of multiple counts of infidelity, I’d say no to Kobe too, for the record. Vanessa doesn’t seem to be too down though, as she’s already been spotted partying it up in Vegas, most likely celebrating her hefty divorce settlement.

But, just as the sun rises, the holidays also brought us a slew of new celeb engagements to dissect. Anne Hathaway to longtime boyfriend Adam Shulman, Drew Barrymore to short-time boyfriend and notorious player Will Kopelman (this will be her third marriage), Justin Timberlake to eternal clinger Jessica Biel, Britney Spears to her creepy manager Jason Trawick, and LeBron James to his high school sweetheart, among others. As a professional cynic, I say about half of these unions have a chance to last. After all, that’s the going rate, right?

So why go through with marriage at all? It’s something I’ve seriously thought about, and as my Facebook news feed yet again filled with literally dozens of friends far and wide getting engaged over the holidays (as I did last New Years Day), I find myself questioning the point of it all. And given the celebrity obsessed nature of most of my generation, I find myself wondering whether all these short lived marriage fiascos are causing us in the real world to stop and think before strutting down that aisle.

My conclusion is that marriage is still the backbone of our societal structure, although it’s becoming less so. And that even Perry and Brand and Deschanel and Gibbard entered their marriages with a sense of seriousness and faith that their unions would last. Sure, there is no certainty in lasting marital bliss, but that is what makes taking the leap of faith so thrilling and romantic. There is only hope, and I can only hope that my marriage won’t have a Hollywood ending.