The Millennial Dating Theory

If your high school was anything like mine, there was a copious number of couples holding hands, hugging, and kissing in the hall ways. This isn’t as commonly seen in college. I see couples holding hands walking together, and an occasional peck-and-go style kiss. This got me thinking: why aren’t there as many couples on college campuses than there are in high schools?

I did a little research and I found that most millennials prefer to opt out of dating in college. Millennials want to be able to manage their time, be financially set, and have some kind of career before having a relationship.

Make sure that your romantic life doesn’t get in the way of your academics, or work life.

I tried having one boyfriend so far in my first quarter of college. It lasted three days before I had to break it off. I, like many others my age, have discovered that I don’t have time for a relationship. Relationships take time, and effort. You have to find the healthy balance of your time, and that’s harder to do than when we were in high school. This leads me to my theory that dating has changed, formally knows as The Millennial Dating Theory.

This got me thinking: why aren’t there as many couples on college campuses than there are in high schools?
Relationships are meant to be authentic, if it feels forced and fake, it’s probably best to move on.

Here is what I mean by my theory:

Dating has changed in the eyes of millennials. The concept is the same, the execution and timelines are what have changed. Millennials are being cautious, and that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with taking things slow. I personally feel that taking a relationship slowly is the best option for those involved. You get the opportunity to truly know each other through time. Time can be the most influential part of a relationship. A common view of millennials is that we are all about one night stands and casual hook-ups. But this isn’t true. We could be old-fashioned if we wanted to. But we aren’t old-fashioned by choice. Instead of “dating,” we are mostly just “talking.” But the common mindset is that if you’re “talking,” you are only “talking” with that one person.

Millennials are being cautious, and that’s okay.

Here’s how it works in the world:

One in five millennials are married, and one in eight is married with kids. These may not seem like low numbers, but when compared to the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, they are. By the time that the members of the two previous generations were our [millennials] age, the number of people married was significantly higher. Millennials are taking things slower than the Baby Boomers and Generation X, and there is a lot of pressure from the said generations. They want us to conform and be just like them. No, I’m not saying they are promoting “the machine,” but there comes a point where they need to let us fail. Failure makes you humble. So yes, we are doing this whole dating thing our way, however this is something we have to learn on our own.

Here’s why it matters:

Millennials are producing the next generation. They are ‘slow to start’ and this will cause problems when our current workforce starts getting older and retiring. If we don’t have enough children from the next generation, then our workforce will suffer.

This is how the media portrays the millennial epidemic. So, what? Why is our personal choice to wait for marriage anyone else’s invitation to critique our habits? When did the idea of waiting until you are financially and emotionally ready to start a family become an epidemic?

It happened when millennials started moving away from the status quo. But hasn’t every generation done this in a way? I wasn’t alive during Wood Stock, but I’ve heard some stories.

When did the idea of waiting until you are financially and emotionally ready to start a family become an epidemic?

Here’s what it could mean if we took it up:

Millennials, go out and make the world your own. Don’t let yourself turn towards hate. We live in an opinionated world, and we need to accept the differences of those around us. This includes critiques. We cannot turn our back. You don’t have to like what they have to say, but you should respect their right to give their criticism.

Baby Boomers and Generation X, we are still figuring things out; life is hard. You were our age once, so you know how hard it is to maneuver this chapter of life. Give us some guidance. At first, we may not listen; we are just as stubborn as you are.

Millennials, go out and be confident, do what makes you happy, and make the world your own.