Millennials love to rant about how our generation has ruined the “concept of love.” We vent on vlogs and put it into perfectly organized lists about why it is that we embrace this horrific hook-up culture. We want companionship, and we don’t necessarily want to fight for it. But we haven’t give up on love.
We’re the generation that has given up on dating.
You see, there’s a difference, and a big one at that. We all want love, we’ve been chasing after it since we sat down to watch our very first RomCom with our mothers. For many girls, we learn to want love before we even learn to enjoy food, water, or oxygen. It’s ingrained in our socialization. We love to love. It’s when dating gets involved that things get a little wonky. Technology, social media, and mass globalization have ingrained in us one very valued trait that didn’t exist, say, 20 years ago: we want it quick, orderly, and perfect. Essentially, a one stop shop.
We love fast food, quick updates on our iPhones, and we especially love not having to wait around 2 minutes for commercial breaks thanks to the real MVP, Netflix. So we use dating apps to land us those quick intentional hook ups, and we make it clear, while presenting ourselves in perfectly crafted bios and photo selection, exactly what we’re looking for. It’s a game that we can all pretend we don’t know the rules to, but we most definitely do. If you’re looking for a relationship, there’s a special site, technique, and agenda for that. Just searching for a one night stand? No worries, there are places to look for those too. But the term “look” really means swipe, tap, and slide. There’s not too much searching to be done. But that’s okay.
Maybe we’re just the first generation that knows exactly what they want.
Sometimes we can be kinda stupid; I mean, we toss around forever and always as if we’ve hit the jackpot on the first pull of the trigger slot, and we support trends that involve swelling our lips up to look like someone whom we most definitely shouldn’t be looking up to, but we’re also determined and have a pretty good idea of what it is we expect out of love. We have the freedom to be picky and to decide for ourselves whether to swipe right or left and we love that.
So, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that our generation is a lost cause in the love department. I think we’ve just cut the bullshit. Those who are old-fashioned are still going to take their time with dates and long late night phone calls, but those who aren’t interested in that, don’t have to put up with the social expectation. “Our generation” no longer takes one clear path for what we want; we’re a group of reckless and wild youth who have paved new paths every day for how things can, or in our minds, should be done. It’s not always disrespectful, and it’s not always dysfunctional, it’s just new to the ancient realm of being in love. To anyone reading this with a scoff and a cough, I’m not crazy. Dust off your 1920’s loafers and welcome to 2016. Love how you want to love, because times are a’changing.