I feel like this is what Carrie Bradshaw would touch upon in her column if she was a current millennial. But then again, is this truly just a millennial problem? Would our parents have been the same way if they had technology such as texting and Tinder? Some say no, while others say yes. Since we’ll never know, it’s our responsibility as generation Y to delve into the problem. I was just talking to a very close friend about this issue, as Chris Traeger would say, LITERALLY moments ago. We exchanged the questions we were stumped on and came up with a wide range of answers to one of life’s longest running puzzles:
Are we afraid of being lonely, or are we afraid of the commitment?
When is the right/wrong time to do date? Or maybe “dating” altogether is just dead. Since I should be studying for my upcoming test, I’ve decided to take a hap-hazard microeconomics approach to get some answers.
First, let’s touch on tastes and preferences…
- What do you want? Seriously, be honest with yourself: do you want long-term commitment or are you just looking for something short-term and fun? There is no wrong answer here, but the issue comes about when you and the one you plan to rendezvous with aren’t on the same page. Be upfront. With all of the communication options we have now a days, I’m sure you can find a way to express what you’re looking for (preferably in a tasteful manner).
- A sub genre to what you want, what are you morally okay with? There are so many expectations and related beliefs that affect your decision. For example, do you believe in saving sex until marriage? Or are you extremely worried about dying a virgin? Is society shaping your decision or are you internally processing what you’re doing? Just something to reflect on. Onward…
- What does ‘everyone’ else want? The new trending viewpoint for our generation seems to be something along the lines of – we are living longer, so why settle so young? This is more or less true, especially with a divorce rate in the U.S. of 50%. I think we can understand how some want to wait it out to truly find their match. En contraire to this, many millennials view this as an excuse not to take people or relationships seriously, ever. Oh yes, the “I hate feelings” people, what are those? These theologies greatly impact the tastes and preferences of young men and women everywhere.
What about the Law of Demand?
According to the Law of Demand, there is an opposing relationship between quantity demanded and price. Meaning, when the price is high, the quantity demanded is low. So to relate this back to the relationship dilemma – if the price of a relationship is “too high” due to an opportunity cost such as fear of missing out or settling too young, the amount of people from Generation Y looking for committed relationships is going to be low. This seems to be where we currently are as a whole when it comes to thoughts on dating. Being single leads to so many options, and we as millennials love options. Aziz Ansari even collected data for his book Modern Romance, and he concluded that older generations were used to dating or marrying people they grew up with because they were used to having a small world and actually enjoyed living that way. However, Generation Y is all about being able to be wherever, with whoever, whenever; we want to explore.
But for all you hopeless romantics out there, don’t worry the Law of Demand is constantly changing. The demand for relationships can change at any given time due to fluctuations in individual opinions, preferences, expectations, etc. Just because someone doesn’t want a relationship today, doesn’t mean they may not want one in the future. Or, just because you’re single doesn’t make you a scoundrel for keeping your options open.
The population of singles is quite large, and there are plenty of people who are looking for a relationship and plenty of other people looking to be single. So, at this point, I feel like a lot of it is just personal sifting through the sea of excited millennials in the new waves of relationship and hook-up frenzies. I think we can better answer our own questions if we give it time… I mean, hey, we all went through that ‘awkward middle school’ phase together, maybe this is just a ‘sexual/relationship experimentation’ phase we are all going through together too.