What Do Young People Think About Marriage?

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While young couples saying 'I do' on the decline, does that mean that young people are opposed to the idea of marriage?

Marriage Feature Image

Will Generation Y ever tie the knot? That’s the question The Telegraph asked recently, conducting a survey into the attitudes that Gen Y (anyone born in the early 1980s to early 2000s) have about marriage. In an age where online dating is no longer taboo, has this had an impact on the opinions of this generation walking down the aisle? And has marital tradition been completely lost in our virtual world?

We asked a range of young people from different backgrounds, who uphold their own cultural beliefs, on what their personal views are on marriage. Here is what they told us.

Shaniqua Insert Image

I love marriage and the idea of it, it’s part of my culture as well. It’s important [when it's with] that one special person who knows you; who is your best friend that you’ll spend the rest of your life with. The family element; the beautiful day…but the most important thing [is] to spend your life with one person that will make you happy. I believe that there is someone for everyone, it’s just finding that person. I’m a Christian, I’m Seventh-day Adventist so we believe in, like, the whole marriage thing and staying a virgin ‘til marriage. That’s why it is more important to me as well. – Shaniqua, 22


Shem Insert Image

I don’t think marriage is really important in today’s era. Statistically, marriages don’t really work these days. And, not only ‘cause of that, but, I think it is just paperwork. You can dedicate yourself to your other half without putting a ring on the woman’s finger. That’s what I personally believe [even though] I was raised to get married. Just seeing how my parents grew up, they never really worked out. I mean most marriages today don’t work out, so. Staying together and just being honest with each other, I think that is good enough as it is. – Shem, 23


Kamara Insert Image

I don’t think it is necessary to get married. People can be loyal without [being married], but I think it’s the next thing. When you’re fully committed to that person then you’re not going to have a problem with getting married. It’s not necessary in society today, but it’s something that is like a tradition, that for me, personally, I would carry on. I’d want to get married because it’s important [to me]. – Kamara, 16


Jamie Insert Image

I don’t really believe in marriage. I think that everyone dreams of having that whole fairy-tale wedding that’s like a Disney cartoon and everything. One of my friends recently got married in a Scottish castle with a sunset like out of a bloody Mills and Boon novel. But, in my opinion, I don’t think that marriage is relevant today. Relationships don’t work and usually this requires commitment, which a lot of people don’t have these days. It’s a piece of paperwork. You don’t need a certificate to prove that you love someone. You don’t need to put a ring on their finger. Love is through how you feel about someone. . – Jamie, 24


Michel'le Insert Image

I don’t think marriage is a necessity. I think that the sanctity of marriage has been abused, so it’s very difficult now to be like, “Oh I want to get married because it is going to be forever”. Some people just do it because people put the pressure on [them].  So personally, I probably would like to get married…maybe. I’ve just never thought of myself as someone to get married, but I think if I did, I would like the fact that everyone should be able to get married in a safe environment, as well. If two people really love each other, and, you know, they give their vows and that’s what they promise to each other – good luck. – Michel’le, 22


Sanna Insert Image

It’s not necessary in this day and age [to get married]. I know lots of couples who have children [and aren't married] and you don’t judge people anymore for having children without being married.  Having a wedding is an opportunity to celebrate your love with all the people you care about, I think that that’s still a nice thing to be able to do, you know? You can’t go round saying you love your partner all the time, so your wedding is a nice opportunity to just share that with everyone around you. And I think it’s nice that’s still a tradition that is upheld. – Sanna, 21


Helen Insert Image

Marriage is a beautiful thing, especially in my culture [Eritrea, East African]. Traditional clothing; the food. I think people take it too seriously nowadays, it’s like, “Oh, yeah, you’ve been together for ten years, she doesn’t have a ring on her finger?”. For me, because of the way I’ve been raised, it’s very serious. If I marry someone who’s not from the same country as me, that would kind of be like…my mum and dad say it’s insulting the whole family, and I’m like why?  Love, is love, you don’t need to fall in love with someone that is the same colour as you. I’ve had an argument with my parents about this, I was like, “Mum; dad, I’m not going to marry someone just because of where they’re from. I’m going to marry someone if I love them.”

I personally want to get married because I’m all about the whole wedding dress and all of that. For me, it’s a choice. I’m not doing it because of where I’m from. At the end of the day, it’s up to you. If you’re in love with someone, you can just be in love with them, you don’t need to get married. If you’re all for marriage, then go for it. – Helen, 18

Are you ever planning to walk down the aisle anytime soon? What does marriage mean to you? Leave your comments below, and let us know what you think about tying the knot.

Feature image by Sasha Wedding Photography.

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