THE REALITIES OF MILLENNIAL DATING.
Hey everyone! Now before I get started, I want to say in advance that this post is not to put a downer on dating. I'm not trying to kill your hopes and dreams when it comes to finding love and romance here! Generally I'm someone with a very optimistic outlook on life. That being said, I always keep my entries real. Speaking as a single millennial woman (with an old soul), I'll be sharing my thoughts on why I think many of us are truly struggling in this complex world of dating.
Not too long ago, the ins and outs of a romantic relationship seemed far less complicated. If we liked someone, we might have gone a bit shy but we'd eventually pluck up the courage and tell them (or at least one of our friends would!) — and if they felt the same... bam! We got together. No need for the Facebook/Instagram detective work, strategy games, and all that palaver! Unfortunately these days the process of forming a connection is comparable to a military assault course (basically, a pain in the bloody arsehole), jumping through hoops, clinging onto suspended ropes and all kinds of obstacles that'll increase your heart rate — just to figure out whether you can take this person seriously?! Anddd we haven't even reached the stage of deciding whether they qualify for a first date yet! 😬 All of this can very quickly become frustrating, confusing and rather long-winded. Soon enough, one person will end up throwing in the towel, then what d'ya know? It's back to square one (reinstalling those apps)... yet again! 😩 With the rise of dating apps, social media, hookup culture, along with many other factors — the dating scene has certainly transformed. While some have embraced millennial dating habits and trends, others feel somewhat dubious about these vast changes. I assume most of us are fed up at the very least because my Instagram and Twitter feed is filled with dating horror stories and complaints (lol). I also think the majority can agree that meeting someone new, forming a deep connection and building an exclusive relationship in today's society does not come easy. Right! Well I think I've made my point here 😂 so now it's time to wrap your heads around the realities and struggles of millennial dating...
GHOSTING When we've lost interest in someone, we don't even need to tell them. We can simply just stop responding — no warning, no need for reasoning, nothing. I've played for both sides (I'm certainly not proud of being a "ghoster"), but this form of emotional stonewalling leads to the party on the receiving end feeling rejected, lost, even infuriated. On the other side of the coin, there are a number of reasons why people ghost, some of the top reasons include: they got what they wanted from you (aka. selfish assholes) or they want to avoid having a confrontation and hurting the other person's feelings. It's terrible that we’ve somehow wired ourselves overtime to think this hurtful act is okay. How hard is it to type a string of characters saying: "I’m sorry, it’s not working out for me."
HOOKUP CULTURE Today, sex is available at the swipe of a finger. The preference for this type of non-committal relationship has surfaced from various factors such as the advancement of technology, a push back of settling down, and career-driven mindsets which is fair enough. However, there's plenty of research which reveals that those who commonly engage in hookups oftentimes will do it out of fear of intimacy, rejection and emotional vulnerability that monogamous, long-term relationships provide. When it comes to casual sex, there’s zero effort made in terms of getting to know someone. It's highly unlikely a quick fumble under the sheets after one night will lead to relationship. And from some people's perspective, being hyper-sexual is a key social and cultural resource which shows empowerment and dominance. While it works for some individuals, it truly isn’t for everyone.
WHO CAN CARE THE LEAST Following on from my last point, apparently showing any form of emotion or vulnerability is heavily frowned upon. If we lay our cards out on the table and reveal that we're interested, it leaves the other person "scared" and running in the opposite direction instead of being flattered that we actually give a shit about them. We're told to play it cool, act aloof and "go with the flow" 🙄 — yeah okay, I get it. No need to start asking for a ring! But if you start developing feelings and want to know where this "thing" is headed... surely that's acceptable? I don't know about you but if I tell someone I like them and they head for the hills, then that person is definitely not for me! I am not here for emotionally unavailable people thank you very much. WE'RE OVERTHINKING "When should I?", "How should I?" — responding immediately makes us look desperate and too available. Responding with these emojis or sending more than a couple of sentences makes us look far too interested. Isn't it ironic how the luxury of having instant communication shouldn't be so instant!? This logic is completely backwards. Somewhere down the line we're taught that withholding our response times will show just how busy, important, and unattached we are. I know this well, because I used to do it! Waiting at least double the time before responding back... only to realise it didn't achieve anything apart from unnecessary anxiety. Nowadays, if I've got something say... I'll be texting back as they're still typing! I don't care! 🤣 TOO MANY OPTIONS There's no need to settle on anything because the grass will always be greener on the other side right? 🤔 Well... I agree with not settling for less than you deserve. But I think some of us have taken it a bit too far! Few of us have become so picky to the point where we're looking for the individual with a better family life, better hobbies, house, car, bank account. We go from person to person, even when we find someone that ticks the majority of our boxes and makes us feel great, something inside of us isn't quite willing to give up the search. The never-ending journey takes precedence over the actual prize itself. WE’VE BECOME CONTENT WITH BEING ALONE To be honest, I get this one. After spending a fair bit of time navigating the journey to find great companionship, I've figured that being single isn't so bad after all! I've had some great dates, I've met some lovely people but I typically leave with a "meh" feeling. I've dated people for the short term, only to realise that actually, we're not that compatible. It's a shame but I no longer feel disheartened as I used to. I've become happy and comfortable doing my own thing that I almost find the idea of inviting a relationship into my life slightly obscure. I guess for me, if someone's going to have a place in my life, then they need to be real special. And even if that doesn't happen, I'm fine with that too. WE’RE ALWAYS STUCK IN A GREY AREA Ah... this is not unfamiliar territory! I'm afraid to say that "situationships" and no-strings attached sex are the popular millennial versions of commitment. There are countless stories where people are left at their wits end, wondering where their arrangement is heading... if anywhere! Our brains are on a continuous loop wondering if we’re wasting our time. Yet we don't want to bring up to topic in the name of fear or rejection. Either no one is clear about their intentions and prefer to ride it out, or you get others who purely lie about their intentions just to have their egos stroked for a while/get what they want. This soul-sucking limbo is not where you want or need to be! WHATEVER And after going through all the above — hell and back again... we're sooo over it. In a dating landscape where sex seems more important than love, temporary fulfilment trumps long-term commitment, lazy, minimal communication gets lost in translation, and game playing is at its peak! We’re already using heaps of energy trying to get through work and our general day to day... with the added crap from the dating scene we’re becoming more jaded than ever before. A lot of people don’t even trust that love exists anymore because they're constantly met with disappointment. To date in a millennial world means you need to be persistent, patient, resilient, confident, courageous and armoured the fuck up, because trust me... the struggle is REAL in this battlefield.