I’m lonely. Not in an existential “The world is so lonely and the barista made my latte wrong, I hate my life” lonely. More so, I miss having someone I can confide in totally. Someone who I look forward to seeing and who looks forward to my texts. I miss having “my person.” If you’re lucky enough to have that person and they’re lucky enough to have your fine ass, then you can probably go read a Buzzfeed article about Meryl Streep’s greatest movies (Spoiler: All of them), because you’ve won. You deserve a trophy (Unlike those t-ballers who can’t tie their shoes. They think they deserve a trophy? Psh. What an entitled generation). But for the rest of us who are left holding a body pillow night after night, this article should offer some level of connection knowing that others feel our pain.
There’s a fantastic book by Aziz Ansari (Yes, that Aziz Ansari. Is there another one? Is this parenthetical somehow racist now?) called Modern Romance that presents data about dating in the modern, technology-and-data-driven age. In it, Ansari and his co-author/contributor Eric Klinenberg take a look at not only the advantages modern technology and a greater social connectedness provide to love-seekers, but also layout how those same great advantages pose a threat to our happiness. If you want to learn more about the differences in how we dated 80 years ago and how we date now, I highly recommend checking this book out. It’s one of the most informative and humor-laced books I’ve read.
In my own life, I’m surrounded by other Millennials who are at all different places in the quest for not just companionship, but that true soulmate match. I’d say the number of people who have met through and online platform, whether it’s a more mainstream social media platform like Facebook or Instagram, or a dating app like Tinder or OkCupid, is equal to the number of people who meet through more “traditional” methods like mutual friends, bars/social gatherings, and family set-ups.
So, it would seem that finding someone is possible, right? Then why are so many of us single? Do we come off as desperate? Are we, as my friends say about me, just too picky? Or is there something deeper? Are we a generation with so many options at our fingertips that we overlook the best option who is 99 miles away for the third or fourth best option who is available for a hookup in 20 minutes? I refuse to believe we are the hookup generation. In fact, the LA Times ran a piece last August about how Millennials are having less sex than any generation in 60 years. Harvard released a study in May that shows Millennials are more interested in dating and hanging with friends than we are with casual sex. We are getting married later, having fewer kids, and marrying people who grew up farther away from where we grew up than any generation in modern history. This is in line with our generation growing the “gig economy” and being more likely to be dissatisfied with our work lives than our parents.
Does this increase in options in most areas of our lives, paired with our seeming propensity for unhappiness, provoke us to move on more quickly when things get tough? Are we good at finding someone but bad at working through the tough stuff? I guess this post is less informational and more thought-provoking.
What do you think? What is your experience as a Millennial in the dating world? Can you tell us what’s wrong with Millennials?
“If you’ve held someone you love and watched three to ten hours of a critically acclaimed drama, you’ve experienced the peak of human happiness.”
— Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance stand-up tour
Adam Tidrow is the Founder of Hoosierpreneur LLC, an Indiana-based consultancy focused on guiding entrepreneurs through the start-up and business development process. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org