Ever wonder what the Millennial generation will be known for in decades to come? What I fear most is that it will be that we gave up on love. We don’t date to find a mate – we date to mate. We have forgotten the art of love – which seems ridiculous but oddly true. The fact is that most people have never had a good understanding of love as it was never properly modeled for us. So, the only question that remains is whether we’ll be remembered for being the first generation to accept a more logical and rational take on love or the generation that gave up on it altogether. You be the judge – here are 10 things to ponder regarding Millenials and love…
#1 Instant gratification is above all else.
We grew up and continue to live in a culture that allows us instant access to just about anything. If we are hungry, we food delivered with the click of a few buttons or we walk a block or two and get dinner. If we are bored, we have endless distractions in the form of phone apps and cable TV. If we need directions or a question answered, we “Google it” and it only takes us a couple of seconds. The trouble is that instant gratification can be addicting and often these habits tend to seep into our relationships. Love is not something to be experienced in an instant, but over a lifetime.
#2 We have a culture founded on drugs and alcohol.
This seems to go hand-in-hand with our generation’s “need” for instant gratification. Drugs and booze are often a common form of self-medication. Whenever we feel sad or unhappy, we go out for drinks. But when we’re stressed or unable to handle our lives, we may turn to more intense substances. Of course, not everyone drinks alcohol and/or does drugs, but it is definitely a trend among our generation. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol often end up being love’s worst enemy. The substances give us the illusion of an alternate reality — a reality in which our emotions are heightened, and the love we experience becomes exponentially intense. All of this becomes confusing, making us believe love is little more than the feelings we experience. But nothing could be further from the truth.
#3 We sleep around — a lot!
Ok, some less than others, but most individuals have multiple partners each year. And as wonderful as sex is, sleeping around leaves me feeling empty. It starts out feeling exciting and gratifying, but ends up making us feel even more alone than ever. Worse, it makes finding someone to love infinitely more difficult. Not only are you wasting your time with people who mean nothing to you, you are likely to turn sex into a sport. If that becomes the case, good luck trying to make love. It sucks when sex is no longer a special or unique experience, but just another trivial evening.
#4 We are egocentric.
While every individual in the world is egocentric, we seem to be obsessed with it. We think about our needs and only our needs all day long. While this is somewhat a part of human nature, when it interferes with the ability to be empathetic, it’s a real problem. Relationships are really nothing more than granular communities; when we focus on only ourselves, our needs, our wants and desires, the needs of the others in our community typically get overlooked. When this happens in a relationship, it all begins to deteriorate.
#5 We date for the sake of dating – and nothing else.
Dating too has become a sport — a favorite pastime. We date because we believe we are supposed to. It’s like we are set on dating but not falling in love or committing – isn’t that what we are supposed to be after in the first place? This backwards logic brings about countless relationships that never ought to have existed in the first place. Each time you date someone who isn’t right for you, you are giving up your chance to meet the right person who is.
#6 We are not fans of making compromises.
We like to have things our way all the time. And why wouldn’t we? If we can have it our way, why in the world would we settle for anything less? This logic makes sense until we get in a relationship. When we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves, we are only a piece of a greater whole. What we want and need is not nearly as important as what the relationship needs – and what the relationship likely needs is for you to compromise.
#7 We are committed to fairytale endings.
Which movie was our fav growing up? Most of us will say something from Disney. We grew up on Disney cinema and learned all about love through the stories they told — or at least I did. The trouble is such movies are incredibly inaccurate and sometimes end up doing more harm than good. They tend to create impossible expectations — expectations that always leave us disappointed in the end, not to mention confused. How could you not question your love for someone when your story doesn’t line up with what you believe defines a happily ever after? It’s a bummer things don’t always end up as we thought they would…
#8 We believe perfection is attainable.
But the truth is that it is not. It never has been, never will be, and yet, we still look for that perfect individual. Or, we are all looking to become that perfect individual. No matter how unrealistic our expectations are, the disappointment we feel when they are not achieved is very real. Our hearts feel it and our minds don’t forget it. The grass always seems greener on the other side; but who the hell told you to look for greener grass?
#9 We are goal driven, but often are not team players.
While it’s awesome that our generation is really the first generation to put the focus on the individual, allowing for personal growth and development, we also need to understand the difference between the things and individuals in our life who hold value and those that do not. Oddly, this is an area in which our generation is greatly lacking. Most of us tend to put off finding someone to love until after we get the rest of our life together. I’m not sure why no one realizes finding a partner is the most important piece of the puzzle.
#10 Most of us are really bad at loving others.
Love seems to be forever confusing. It seems to have layers and changes over time and then again with each new partner we let into our lives. Love seems so incredibly complex that most people simply haven’t been able to get a grasp of it. The real question to ponder is: Are we getting better or worse at loving? It’s a question I’m not able to answer, but I fear it maybe the latter.
Of course, each of us is different in his or her understanding, but most of us seem to be incredibly lost. The issue is that if we don’t come to understand love better — its purpose, boundaries and shortcomings — we may never be happy. That is nothing short of fact.