Have you seen these headlines?
‘Millennial Commitment-Phobia Threatens the Future of Love.’
‘Are Dating Apps the End of Romance?’
‘Love is Dead, and Millennials Killed It.’
Thanks for the laughs, Google. I wholeheartedly disagree.
While everyone is different, I believe that most Millennials do believe in love and commitment in some form or another. The fact that we’re free to feel otherwise and/or change our minds can actually strengthen our ultimate resolve to have these needs met. Millennials want joy and fulfillment in our relationships, in whatever way we feel is best for us.
Maybe that’s the key difference that’s scaring everyone. We don’t choose partners based on “whatever society says is best,” or even “what our parents think we should do.” We love in whatever way we feel is best for us.
The ways in which today’s singles ‘hunt and gather’ in relationships looks drastically different than previous generations, but that’s not necessarily new. Our parents’ love lives were different from their parents, just as their parents’ were different from their grandparents. As technology and culture jump forward, so do the ways in which we live our lives. Call it evolution, development, advancement, whatever – change can be uncomfortable for some, but it’s important.
In the 60s, ‘free love’ was said to be the end of relationships. Was it?
When women began prioritizing their education and careers, they were said to be ‘destroying traditional family values.’ Did they?
When divorce was legalized, it was an outrage. “Commitment is dead!” they said.
Fast forward to 2017: same kids, new toys. Millennials are not the first generation to shake things up, and it’s okay. Commitment phobia, ‘ghosting’ and one-night stands are not new concepts. We just have flashy new apps, websites and catchphrases for them now.
Instead of going out for milk and never coming home (as great-grandpa did back in the day), we can just press ‘block,’ ‘delete’ and then go on with our lives. It’s cheaper and safer than the old-fashioned alternatives, especially if marriage hasn’t entered the picture. Millennials aren’t forced to enter legal contracts before they’re ready (risking long-term unhappiness, family dysfunction, infidelity and more). We are free to pick and choose the kinds of relationships we actually want.