As a millennial and as a 20-something, I feel that society is pushing me towards this culture that is cool at first, but emotionally crushing as I keep up with it. It all starts in college, when I met a guy who wasn’t right for me in a lot of ways, but I tried my hardest to make it work. When he broke up with me and he sorta kinda cheated on me with a friend, I almost lost hope in the idea that there is someone out there for me. After all, the basic equation of hard work equalling success doesn’t always apply to love or life problems.
After meeting a ton of new people, I felt renewed in my journey towards the pursuit of love. Statistically, the more people you meet, the more likely to find the right person for you. After moving a third of the way across the country from home, I find the world of adult dating is not as easy as it seems. There are more new people that my brain can comprehend, but they are all so different and polite, but not genuine. Boys know that with a few sweet words and a ton of alcohol, I might go home with them and they might get to a base or two with me if they are lucky. It’s rare to find someone who is willing to share their precious time with me or that I am willing to share my time with after a long day of work, exercise, or day drinking.
It’s an crazy awesome existence that we live in with all of the social upheaval of issues that needed to be dealt with, but it’s hard to deal with the lack of emotional intimacy in my generation when that’s what I need the most in a partner. It takes time to find love. It takes time to even find someone remotely worthy of your affection. And it damn well takes years for someone to understand the way you are and accept you for that. It’s all this damn time to really dig into a person when my generation was raised to want the quickest satisfaction in the history of the world. I don’t like waiting at all (Thanks Amazon Prime) and yet I find myself waiting for the world to show me someone, which drives me nuts.
Annoyance from waiting can turn into little veins of disappointment. I find myself disappointed when the boy whose tonsils I got to know intimately on the dance floor doesn’t text me back at all. I find myself disappointed when no one taps me on the shoulder in a Barnes and Noble asking about my latest book choice like in the movies I love to watch while on my period. I find myself most disappointed when the attention I receive stems from wearing a killer little white bikini at the pool or being bent over on the dance floor shaking with all rhythm have in my bones.
This all may be a product of my environment, but yet the disappointment lingers in my mind as I go out drinking on the weekends again. Will all the quick connections I make be worth my time in the long run? I hate wasting time on things that aren’t of value. There is no quick fix like duct tape to form or break an emotional connection. There is no algorithm that allows me to quickly find the best person for me in the world. There is no way to determine if someone is worth your time without giving them some of the precious seconds afforded to us on the this earth. All of this takes a long inefficient path with a great benefit at the end, but lots of wasted time and pro-con lists.
It’s this gnawing confused feeling that has me soul searching to sort it all out. I’m stuck between a generation of people who got romanced with no cell phones and before a generation that will not know a world where Tinder did not exist. Especially as someone with a very analytical mind, I find myself wanting an answer or solution to my problems. Shouldn’t they all be able to be solved? I want to know what I can do to merge the fairy tales of my childhood with the crushing reality of my generation that is a lot of short mildly sexual encounters until I find the right person for me. How can I merge the idea of instant gratification with a process that takes an indeterminate amount of time to give a benefit?
My solution has sort of been an experiment. I’ve been trying to improve myself to make sure that I capture the kind of person that I truly need in my life and not what makes itself available. It would be silly for me settle for something that I didn’t truly want or need in my life. If that means traveling all over the world for work, learning a couple of new languages and skills while improving my yoga practice, I cannot complain at the life I get to live. I can say that after a few months of working on me, that gnawing feeling receded and left a little bit of hope that there is maybe a man who is ready to handle all the awesome that is coming. I’ve met a few contenders, but they still a lot of time to put in to prove if they are right for me. If they are not, there are more coffee and wine regions I haven’t visited, old and new friends to have wild weekends with and hungover brunches to attend.