It’s the summer of 2014, and us millennials are left in a bit of a predicament when it comes to dating. In that, we don’t really do it. Left uncomprehended, a bit lost, and partially hopeless in the art of capturing a lover, we are a generation of misinterpretation and feigned disinterest.
Typically, dating (or hooking up, whichever) includes those pesky mind-games of playing ‘hard to get’ or letting the man ‘chase’ that have retained part of romantic routine though the ages, and what often occurs is a mutually feigned disinterest between millennial couples who refuse to accept or present their feelings externally. And when dating does occur, prepare for a crashing heap of confusion as you daze in and out of the romantic sphere working out why they haven’t texted you today.
Even more-so, millennials have a lost touch when it comes to romance — because of the creepy vs. cute dilemma, ‘romance’ is avoided: if the date isn’t as keen, you just come across as a bit of a creep. Thus no longer are women wooed over by a dozen roses, but instead by how many mojitos were consumed on that third date.
Not only are we losing touch with romance as a generation, with the explosion of the popular ‘dating/hook-up’ app Tinder, younger people are clearly no longer turned off by online dating platforms. But why is it that this app in particular appeals to millennials specifically? In its beginning, Tinder’s user base was 90% dominated by users aged 18-24, and although this has now lowered to 50%, that’s still a mighty high majority. And with 600 million swipes per day, it’s clear we’re liking the casual approach. People may refer to it as ‘hook up culture’ but we’re a generation of sexual liberation, and this has had an effect on the attitudes to relationships. So who knows if our generations ideas of love are really just lust? Could this growth of sexual freedom have replaced the old-fashioned ideas of love? Instead, we choose these lifestyles instead of looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.
It becomes increasingly difficult to actually date someone, with a general presumption that 20-somethings just aren’t looking for love. With self-confidence and independence booming in this generation, we portray this idea of being strong and not needing one another, so when there is a deeper interest, it’s difficult to admit. And when you are in a relationship, It is driven by lust, as we are a liberated generation, we’re also a naturally shallow generation. And this could be a reflection of a widely shared lack of readiness for truly full commitment, thus instead dabbling with hook-ups and the dating world, and millennial coupled relationships occur.
We’re a generation who just aren’t quite ready to give up on all those other fish in the sea, all those first-kisses, and all those late night texts.
Either that, or we’re just running away.
We’re just not that into it, or we’re scared of love. There seems to be a certain distrust in the attitudes to ‘love’ with the natural dysfunctional nature of young relationships, so maybe we’re just holding back on purpose — and this is turning us into this loveless generation.
Of course, I cannot dismiss the happy couples; there are obviously so many happy loving relationships in this millennial age, but in the words of Bridget Jones back in 2001, “I choose vodka. And Chaka Khan.” We try to detach from this loveless-ness, and end up drunk with our girls or guys wondering why the second date ruined it all. And the cycle of attempts to date turning into wine ridden lovelessness starts all over again.
Personally, I just speak my mind. And maybe it is this loveless millennial generation that aren’t so used to this bluntness and far too used to playing kiss-chase, that is possibly, most probably, why I’m single. I’ll just go with that anyway. As Charlotte Leiberman says in her article Why Is College Dating So Screwed Up?, “it’s time to speak in full sentences, not emoji.”