Life is different for millennials. As the first generation to truly grow up in a digital age, understandably the word view of those classed as the millennial generation is a little different: not better, nor worse, just different. And with that difference brings unique challenges. Relationships and love are not different from any other aspect of life in that regard, in that the challenges have evolved with the times. Of course, there will always be those standard feelings which have permeated relationships down the ages, but then there are issues that are a little bit more uniquely focused on millennials. Here are five examples of questions that reflect the modern age of relationships.
Is there someone better?
The word is getting smaller and smaller for the younger generations. Smaller in that the way we can communicate, travel and connect is simpler (and less expensive) than ever before. And with that fact comes the opportunity to meet more and more people, and connect with them in ever easier ways. Boundaries are falling down all around us in that respect, and then there is the inevitable influence of dating apps, which give us access to an incredibly large pool of potential partners which we can browse through and make decisions on as if we were picking a meal from a menu.
“There are good and bad aspects to this modern form to dating, and one of the negatives that has manifested in this new approach is what is known as the paradox of choice. Quite simply, the more choice you have, the more difficult it is to make a choice, and the less satisfied you become. The menu analogy rings true again, because we have all had experience of struggling to pick the food we want from a menu that is particularly varied and substantial. Dating is now the same,” points out Lidia Swinton, a therapist at DraftBeyond and ResearchPapersUK.
Why should I settle down?
Intrinsically linked to the choice paradox is the decision to not settle, and to permanently ‘keep your options open’, which is a double-edged sword.
“Of course no one should rush into a relationship, and no one is saying that you have to get married, but the fact is relationships make us happy. We wouldn’t do it otherwise (and wouldn’t have done it since year one. Not getting involved because you want to keep your options open actually limits your happiness, eventually,” argues Brian C. Rojo, a psychologist at LastMinuteWriting and Writinity.
Why do we have different goals (and opinions)?
Social media and the internet at large is creating a situation where we are increasingly spending our time connecting and sharing with those whose viewpoints and opinions reflect our own. Socially the issue with that is already coming home to roost, and in relationships it is also creating tensions where partners are unable to deal with, or fundamentally accept, when differences arise. And differences always arise between individuals, because that is what we are: individual. The irony of the digital age is that it is creating isolated online monocultures, and people are becoming increasingly incapable of bridging those gaps. When the fault lines appear in a relationship, there is a fundamental incapability to deal with it.
How can we live together alone?
This is a practical aspect of dating in the 21st century, but with the increasing cost of living not reflected in real wages, young couples are finding it harder than ever to find a place to call their own. Sure, they can share with friends, flatmates or parents) which is a growing trend) but this creates unique issues in a relationship, and is something that previous generations didn’t have to deal with to the same extent.
Why won’t he/she focus on me?
We share nowadays: that’s what we do. We have all felt neglected at the hands of another’s smart phone, and it can be uncomfortable for many people playing out a relationship in full view of everyone else on social media. A relationship is a private connection between two people, and in this day and age, it is becoming increasingly difficult to play it out that way, especially if one individual in a relationship does tend to share everything all the time. Dating in the millennial age is a microcosm of a celebrity relationship, and that creates a myriad of troubles.
Content editor Harry Conley can be found at LuckyAssignments and GumEssays where he is involved in the development of training and work flow activities to enhance the ability of writers, always seeking to unlock potential along the way.