Millennials are the worst. They do nothing but build start-ups and care about the environment and want social change… Well, perhaps they’re not that bad then. However, there is one thing they’re terrible at, and that’s dating. It’s like they’ve forgotten how it is to be in a relationship and they are too busy to work on one. But what are the reasons for this change in dating style, what has come out of it, and how do millennials fill their need for love?
If it isn’t online, it didn’t happen
There’s a whole lot of people dating online today and it’s an increasingly popular way to meet potential people. With nearly 50 million people trying out dating apps and over a quarter of them being 18-24 years old, it’s clear that this is the preferred way to date for a lot of young adults. 60% of women on Tinder say they want a real relationship instead of a hookup, but the guys aren’t responding. It’s no wonder that a good chunk of people quit online dating after only three months and presumably a 100 conversations that died after a “what’s up?”. The rise of the “hookup culture” is presumed to have many causes, but one is certainly the feeling of having an endless choice of potential partners online.
Lack of commitment
We’re definitely seeing young people who in theory would love to be in a committed, loving, long-term relationship, but they don’t want to put in the work of building that relationship up, partly because the relationships of younger people are thought of as temporary and not long-term, and partly because young adults are more and more engaged in work and hobbies outside of school which takes up time for them. Pair this with the change in culture that says that you don’t have to marry at 25 anymore and you get a generation of people not prioritizing romantic relationships in their lives.
The lack of traditional dating doesn’t mean that millennials don’t have sexual and romantic needs that need to be fulfilled, which has given birth to a whole new industry in dating. Apps and websites are, of course, a big part of this, but there have been other industries that are also tapping into this. One that is on the rise is the services of escorts, who will keep you company for a certain time. Many women and some men use this as an opportunity to scratch the dating itch and earn some money while doing it. This has also come from raising the stigma around this work and people being very sex-positive, especially in online spaces.
Responsibility as an afterthought
We’re hearing more and more about the practice of “ghosting” – disappearing out of someone’s life with no explanation and no goodbye. It’s used as relationship slang, usually when someone just stops responding to messages after some time and a few dates, or rarer but worse – when they don’t show up for a date and then don’t reply to any of the messages. On one hand, it’s easier to understand because it’s easier to just avoid any confrontation and awkward back-and-forth. However, the lack of empathy that this shows is concerning, considering the frequency with which it happens.
Relationships that do happen
There are certainly some relationships that live to see the light of day, so how do they do it, and is it harder than it once was? On the one hand, we’ve mentioned that people feel like there are a lot more fish in the sea, so they might not feel inclined to work on their relationships as much. And secondly, with modern technology it’s way too easy to get jealous and see things that aren’t really there, making you paranoid. This could be the reason why so many relationships aren’t as long-lasting as strong as they once were.
So, if you’re a millennial trying to beat the odds, just remember that you’re living in a new society and tips from the past might not apply. Therefore, make your own path and just try to remain as human and empathic as possible.