Does our generation want relationships? Or do we just simply want a partner to spend cold nights and post funny Snapchats videos with? Our generation, the Millennials, are slowly lowering our standards and losing our hope for the fairytale enchanted romance that we used to see in the Disney films.
The reason why? Well, it has been caused by the rapidly advances in technology, with all the dating apps and social media sites. What we want is a Facebook official relationship with tons of likes and comments, overly-publicized engagements and those cutesy pictures that make our friends wish they had those as “#relationshipgoals.” Unfortunately, our generation is plagued with instant gratification, quick answers—and that is why we rush into things. There is this constant struggle between social media and privacy. Everyone wants to know who is doing what every second of every minute. We are losing the grip on what it is like to wonder about and miss someone, if we can constantly check their Facebook or Instagram to see exactly what they are doing.
Kristi Wilkinson, a blogger for Huffington Post, said “we want a date for Sunday morning brunch, someone to commiserate with during the drudge of Mondaze, a Taco Tuesday partner, someone to text us good morning on Wednesday. We want a plus one for all the weddings we keep getting invited to (how did they do it? How did they find their happily ever after?)” But, we do not want a seriously committed relationship.
Maybe our jobs, our academic goals—pursuing a Masters or a Doctorate, our daily routines have inhabited us to never have enough time to invest in a relationship. Or, at least, those are some of the excuses we use. There is a high percentage of couples that separate while one, or both, partners are pursuing a higher education degree. It’s not healthy because we need that constant support to remind us that we are still humans and that we can love someone else besides family members.
We want someone to “talk to,” but we prefer to text them about our daily encounters, vent about our “sucky” jobs or homework, or to just send stupid pics of ourselves throughout the day. We want to casually hangout and not actually go on a date. We grab a couple of drinks to deviate from the classic “dinner and a movie,” but at the end we do this to avoid having a heart-felt conversation or to make plans for the future. Why are we so afraid to open-up? Why do we need to keep our companion at arm-length?
In the digital era we live in nowadays, it is hard to find a deep connection with somebody, especially when people no longer ask for your phone number to chat instead they ask for your Snapchat username or Facebook name (because let’s face it most of us do not use our full real name). We are too busy looking at our phones, scrolling through our newsfeed to pay close attention to anyone. We want to find common ground but never enough to feel attach to anyone because in all reality, we want to remain “on the market,” independently, standing on our own two feet.
Maybe our fear of commitment only lets us hide, leave, look for other “suitable candidates” because after all there are more fish in the sea. We do not want to build upon something stable because we want to live in the fence, straddling an invisible line between commitment and freedom for when things go sour—”I’ll bounce without looking back.”
Why is love so complicated? Or why do we make it so complicated? True love is supposed to be effortless and natural. Yes, we have all watched one or two Disney movies, and we feel like we are entitled to love without lifting a finger. We think our godmother has it covered for us, she has our shoes, clothes, etc., and we just have to show up to the ball. In reality, it is not like that!
We can’t sit around and just expect an app to match us with a near-by single, we cannot just treat everyone as a “Netflix and chill” buddy, we cannot just make plans to “hangout.” We have to work on maintaining the relationship by constantly nourishing it. It is not enough to just change the Facebook status from “single” to “in a relationship.” Don’t make so many rules, don’t discard someone because of a silly little flaw—for example, he is too short for me or she never answered my text; don’t play with people’s emotions. We are tired of being “#foreveralone” but we do not give the time of day to someone who is making an effort to pursue us. We need so stop thinking that everyone is thirsty just because they send us a “Good Morning” text, maybe this person is genuinely thinking about you in the mornings.
Apart from all these technological advances, we are, also, frightened what others might say about our relationships. Society wants to dictate exactly how we should feel about and behave around other individuals.
Our problem as a generation is that we like the idea of a relationship but we do not want to work on it. “We hope to swipe right into happiness.” We developed all these rules to not get hurt, find a “cuff buddy” for the winter months to discard after, a summer fling for bonfires and beach trips. But at the end of the day, the problem is that we are too petrified to admit to ourselves that we do WANT the relationship and that we do want to be loved and wanted.
Side Note: On YouTube, there is a channel called Skin Deep, this channel is an interactive documentary that brings you into the emotional space of real couples and their dating experiences. It explores the underline meaning to many intense debates in Modern Love such as jealousy, sexuality, too afraid to say “I Love You”, race, religion, among other topics. Those are some of the things that we as millennials still have an infinite number of questions, yet no congruent answers.
Author: Ambar Q
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