At least 100 million people are expected to watch Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, Feb. 11. Many will be watching for the football – the Kansas City Chiefs face the San Francisco 49ers at 6:30 pm ET at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada.

Some, however, may be watching to witness the budding romance between pop music icon Taylor Swift and her boyfriend, Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce.

If Kelce takes home another Super Bowl ring this Sunday (he already has two) – it will cap off quite a week for the celebrity couple.

Swift made history at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards last Sunday. She set a record with her win of Album of the Year for her last album Midnights, making her the first-ever singer to win it four times – more than any other artist in the 66-year history of the prize. With her four awards, she moved past the likes of Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder – who each won the award three times.

Swift also won Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights, and announced her newest album, Tortured Poets Department will be released in April.

“She’s unbelievable,” Kelce told ESPN after Swift’s Grammys wins. “She’s rewriting the history books. I told her I need to hold up my end of the bargain and bring home some hardware, too.”

Some conservative commentators have been critical of the Swift-Kelce romance – and not entirely without merit. Swift endorsed President Joe Biden in the 2020 election and has been a vocal proponent of abortion and “LGBT” activism. Kelce appeared in a television commercial promoting Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

And there are some reports the couple was living together – at least for a few weeks – while Swift took a two-month break from her record-breaking Eras Tour, which has grossed an astonishing $1.04 billion in ticket sales. The Eras Tour is the first to ever pass the billion-dollar mark and is the highest-grossing tour in history.

And yet, what if there’s another way to view the Swift-Kelce relationship, which according to both celebrities is going well.

What would happen if Kelce eventually popped the question – maybe even after the Super Bowl? There’s probably a remote chance of that happening since it’s still early in the couple’s relationship.

But what would happen if Kelce does eventually ask Swift for her hand in marriage.

Millions of Americans – young and old – admire the two celebrities, for better or for worse. If Kelce-Swift take the next step and get married, many millions of people would quickly get a “pop culture education” in the value of marriage.

Some conservatives have been critical of Swift and Kelce – both 34 years old – for waiting so long to get married. But neither of them is far outside the norm these days.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age at first marriage for women is 28, and its 30 for men – the highest since the bureau first began recording that data in 1890.

Marriage is a great good, and as we’ll examine later, it provides great benefits to both husband and wife. So, men and women increasingly delaying marriage is nothing to celebrate.

But where it becomes even more problematic is when family formation is delayed so long that, eventually, it’s foregone altogether. And today, many Americans are waiting so long to get married that, eventually, their luck does run out.

In 2018, the marriage rate fell to the lowest level on record since the government began keeping data in 1867.

In fact, a record-high share of 40-year-olds in the U.S. have never been married, according to the Pew Research Center. In 1980, just 6% of 40-year-olds had never been married – in 2021, the number hit 25%.

Neither T. Swizzle nor Travis Kelce is yet 40; if they get married soon, they’ll still buck this trend.

If they do wed, research shows that it’ll be of great benefit to them both.

Marriage provides important health, wealth and happiness benefits to women. As Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher recount in their book The Case for Marriage,

  • Married women have a 50% lower mortality rate than their nonmarried peers.
  • Being unmarried shortens a woman’s life span by more years than would being married and having cancer or living in poverty.
  • Wives are about 30% more likely to rate their health as “excellent or very good” than same-aged single women; they are 40% less likely to say their health is “only fair or poor.”

You can read more about the wealth (not that Swift is in need of more cash) and happiness benefits that marriage provides for women.

Waite and Gallagher also demonstrate that married men also enjoy great benefits. Married men:

  • Live nearly 10 years longer than their unmarried peers;
  • Are about 50% less likely to die – at any age – than unmarried men;
  • Are less likely than singles to suffer from long-term chronic illnesses or disabilities;
  • Are about 30% more likely to rate their health as “excellent or very good” than unmarried men;
  • Drink about half as much as their unmarried peers of the same age;

You can read more about the wealth (not that Kelce is in need of more cash, either) and happiness benefits that marriages provides for men.

In The Case for Marriage, the authors conclude that “In most areas of life, marriage makes both men and women better off.”

Chances are, Swift and Kelce would be better off getting married too. And if the two would decide to have children, perhaps they could help turn the tide on Americans’ declining fertility rate and remind millions of their fans that family formation – getting married and having children – is extremely valuable. It benefits society and it provides great happiness to the couple.

By all outward appearances, both Swift and Kelce “have it all.” They’ve got fame. They have fortune. They’ve got mansions and private jets.

While Swift – and probably Kelce too – are not conservative in their politics, could there be any more conservative statement than the two stars deciding that they want to build a family together? It would show that even though they’re at the top of their respective careers – they still want something that humans have valued from time immemorial: marriage and having children.

Related articles and resources:

Counseling Consultation & Referrals

Hope Restored

Why Marriage Matters for Adults

Focus on the Family: Marriage

Focus on the Family: Marriage Assessment

Focus on the Family: Marriage Enrichment Events

Taylor Swift, Marriage and the True Best of America in 2023

Don’t Believe the Modern Myth. Marriage Remains Good for Men.

Don’t Believe the Modern Myth. Marriage Remains Good for Women.

Photo from Getty Images.