The Relevance of Saying "I Do"

Friday, 29 October 2010 13:35 Written by  Ebony Hall

According to 26-year-old Jerry LaVigne Jr., a popular face on YouTube, there is no purpose in marriage. He believes marriage is not beneficial; it’s just a title and legal way to say you are committed to a person who you were committed to before marriage. Along with the title of being husband and wife, you are now obligated to that person not just mentally and physically but financially also. LaVigne feels that getting married is not a way for a person to love you more because most of the time you have proven your love to that person before marriage. If a couple was having trust issues or any other problems in their relationship, it will not get better if you marry that person, so why marry?


Overall, LaVigne had some interesting points in his video. Marriage does not necessarily make a relationship better nor does it make it worse. Staying in a committed relationship without marriage is a common trend right now, but why? Does the younger generation today believe that marriage is not significant? The entertainment industry is severely followed by these same young people and very seldom do you see a happily married couple glamorized in the media. We constantly see couples get married and divorced in less than a year. So how can this not affect the younger generation today? Can you really get mad at LaVigne's viewpoint when all this generation is seeing the opposite of committing?

We are living in a time and age where open relationships are acceptable. Committing is shown as sign of weakness to young people. Keeping this in mind, do young people still consider getting married? Kayode Adegoke, 21, believes, “Commitment is something the youth take for granted because it’s being manipulated in the media as if it's not a big deal. Rap songs and movies glamorize being the player or having a lot of women.” Adegoke believes in being in a committed relationship and that eventually marrying someone is important but has not found the right one to be committed to.

On the other hand, Greg Williams, 19, believes that committing to someone in general is “scary.” He claims, “You actually have to watch who you are committed to, and some people don't do that before they get married. Therefore you have people who go through the divorces, and it’s all about who gets what from the marriage and various legal ordeals that is not worth it.”

Williams said that both of his parents are in the same household but have never been married. “I think it's dumb that they haven't gotten married, but at the same time, they do what married people do,” he said. “They had me and my sister, established a household together, but it's just not on paper.”

Believe it or not, parents of this generation have a huge affect on their kids and whether or not they believe in marriage. The majority of population is raised in single-parent homes; for this generation to not believe in marriage should not be a surprise if their own parents were never married. But it could also do the opposite for the child and encourage her or him to get married if they didn't see marriage in their home.

Williams wants to get married, but says that it's not as important to him. On the other hand, Miriah Mark, 19, has lived in a single-parent household and still wants to get married. When asked if her mom being single has changed her viewpoints on marriage she claims, “My mom never put down marriage. When she does talk about life, she will talk about a married couple as well as someone being on their own. I understand that if I am going to be alone, I can cope with that, but I would prefer to be married.”

Twan Love admitted that he is not looking for marriage but feels that everyone wants to get married more so to find their significant other. “Everyone was meant to be in pairs, and it depends on if that person finds their match or not.” Love's parents divorced while he was a child, and he feels that seeing what his family went through encourages him to stay married if he ever did.

Miranda Walker, 22, has been in a committed relationship for three years. She has talked about marriage with her boyfriend but is not in a hurry to walk down the aisle. Walker looks at marriage from more of religious point saying,

“Even though a couple can already act as if they were a married couple, it’s when they actually say those vow before God because He honors marriage.”

Walker believes strongly in marriage because she watched her mother support and stand by her husband when he was struggling with cancer. “Like the vow said ‘through sickness and through health,’ you have to stand by your significant other like my mom did and that really made me think that there are not always great times in marriage but to have someone support you like my mother did is deep.”

LaVigne asks, what is the purpose of getting married when a couple might already act as if they were a married couple? When asked how marriage could enhance or improve a relationship, all except one did not have an answer.

Adegoke believes, “Marriage will me help grow up and see what life is really worth, knowing that I would have to provide and look out for someone and a family will help me see life in different perspective.” He assumes that he would know he's ready to marry a mate when he “cares and love the person deeply and wants to see and be with that person every day. When that person becomes one with you, you're always looking out for their wellbeing as if they were you.”

Love said, “The purpose of marriage is becoming one with that person, not just on paper but spiritually. There’s also a lot of meaning with the title; you are no longer just boyfriend and girlfriend but husband and wife, and that’s when I feel like you're establishing a real commitment emotionally, physically and spiritually. Things may get worse, but things will also get better. Marriage is still significant; it’s just that people are scared to step into those boundaries and are afraid of the unknown.”

Maybe LaVigne is just afraid of the overall commitment that comes with being married. It does not seem that young people agree with the idea of not getting married at some point in time, regardless of if they were or were not introduced to marriage. The interesting point is even though our generation believes in getting married, we don't know the sole purpose of getting married. We just believe it's something that is the right thing to do but don't know why it's right. This could be why today we have so many divorces. Maybe most people, young and old, don't know the importance of marriage anymore.

Even though LaVigne does have a few good points in his argument, it still does not convince others to believe that marriage is not important. Not only is marriage a symbolization of a real commitment between two people, but it is a way of showing maturity in life itself. Perhaps this generation isn't completely skewed as most believe.

-Photography by GMO Photo Editor Billy Montgomery

Ebony Hall

Ebony Hall

Ebony Hall is a Columbia College student and a writer for GMO. Born in the outskirts of Chicago, she is focused on getting her bachelor’s degree in journalism.

She can be contacted at