Today’s post is a bit different than my usual subjects pertaining to fashion or travel, however nonetheless has been a subject on my mind.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the ever-changing dating scene us young twenty-somethings have pretty much been involuntarily thrust into. Trying to date in the age of technology has subjected us to swiping for potential partners and entertaining clever Instagram direct messages. We question every little move from how our choice of emoji might come off, down to whether we’re supposed to act casual when we really want to get serious. Instead of meaningful connections, we’re more likely to be met
with hollow encounters that never quite pan out or end in some unexplainable ghosting situation.
Our grandparents had it easy with simple notions of meeting someone special, in good faith that it would lead to connecting with someone with common goals for love, marriage and kids. It’s become extremely difficult these days to find someone whose on the same wavelength as you, and more importantly, open about what it is they’re actually looking for.
To no surprise, the casual hookup scene has destroyed much of that idyllic notion for a simple, albeit cliche, happily ever after. The complex game of dating has seriously gotten difficult. We’re essentially competing for the attention of strangers who swipe past 50 profiles a minute, and are likely dating 6-10 of them at one time. Life has finally mirrored the show ‘The Bachelor’, as dating multiple people becomes an accepted norm. With so many distractions and global connectivity available at the flick of a finger, it’s not hard to figure out why finding and choosing to be with the right person is a struggle much of the 35 and under’s are so sorely dealing with at the moment.
Disclaimer: There’s no solutions coming your way, so if you thought that was what this post would eventually be getting to, you might as well stop reading now. My intent in writing this is to have an open discussion about some personal feelings towards love and dating in a millennial world.
Now, let me give you a bit of background into why I had this topic on my mind. Yesterday was the day after Valentines Day, and a very single Jordan was reflecting on her current status. I’m thinking back to past loves and heartbreaks, memories of previous Valentine’s and the overall topic of love. I decided to get a reading done from a fortune teller/psychic of sorts a few days back. Not everyone believes in this kind of thing, but as a very spiritually connected person, I’ve been gobsmacked at some of the accuracies to which previous readings have provided insight and cautions that eventually come true.
Riding the tube on my way to school, I opened the MP3 file of my reading I had just received earlier that morning. I had asked a general question about my current situation and found myself listening to the possibilities of my future, jaw wide open, laughing in agreeance at the accuracy to which he read me. Now, I’ll state that though I heavily believe in mediums and psychics, nothing is ever perfectly accurate since we have free will that can change the direction of your path. Personally, being able to see a glimmer of what might be in the future, has always helped me when I needed outside clarity in a situation or decision I’ve been stuck on.
Frankly, this post-valentines day reading ended up confusing my head in even more than before! What positive it did give, was confirm some of the thoughts and feelings I had previously suspected towards the subject. Until, the mildly brutal truth revealed partial negative possibilities, leaving me to overthink and truth-be-told, feel a bit sad. I’m not sure why I let it affect me so much, as I try to take each guidance lightly. Yet, I found myself replaying the words over and over in my head. I think so often we try to control our fate with feverish effort. Surprises and hiccups sound easily manageable, until we become oversaturated with unexpected circumstances and challenges. But in this way, we end up forgetting blessings can come in the same way, unexpected.
Fast-forward to later in the afternoon. I’m running on the treadmill (disclaimer: I hate running), so you know I’m all up in my feelings pondering my next course of action. I end up exchanging some texts with an ex who was someone very important to me. Right before this, I’m feeling kind of down about the struggles of having an open heart and desiring to find something real and lasting, but never seeing it come to full fruition. This theme of being disappointed by the lack of symbiotic thinking from those around me, follows my spirit in a way that can sometimes feel unshakeable.
That leads me to the dreaded text from the ex. The hidden, “I still love you” written underneath the words, “You were my Valentine yesterday” cut at my core. Man is love brutal. You can feel so alone, yet totally unaware that in the same moment someone might be thinking of the love they have for you. Such simple words, that gave so much away. Yet, I’m finding myself in discomfort desiring a different person to feel that same way for me. This encounter made me consider the confusion to which I’m currently feeling, how can one recognize love in all it’s complexity, yet simplicity?
I’m out there in the dating pool, and feeling strongly about someone who might honestly see no future apart from casual dates and shared moments. When I think intimately speaking, some of the experiences I’ve shared with previous partners that I considered deep loves, have at many times felt cold and passionate-less. Yet on the contrary, encounters with someone who I know feels nothing close to that for me, confusingly emits this fiery feeling of passion and romance that might not actually exist. How can that be?! How can you love and be loved by someone, and feel as though that intimate connection isn’t full of the love you otherwise feel. But with someone who most assuredly doesn’t even hint at the possibility of love on the cards, make you feel as though you’re experiencing love and a connection greater than before. How can one trust themselves to know what true feelings they are experiencing, and trust that it isn’t just a one sided affair?
Back to those two words headlining this post, in all it’s complexities, the Millennial Love. The new love concept that threatens to destroy any real likelihood of finding and keeping true love. The casual dating that spans months to years, without any promise for commitment. The uncertain ability for millennial dater’s to stay faithful and out of readily available temptations. And finally, the tough fact that young people increasingly feel the grass is greener on the other side, and that the next person is just around the corner. The Millenial love that thinks putting up a good fight isn’t the ‘easy’ they need.
There are still many of us who believe in finding real love, and who understand what it takes to make a healthy relationship work. So knowing this, I circle back to this question about intimacy and being able to separate what love feels like versus what lust projects. It’s this very confusion that has shattered my foundation for trusting my feelings as of late. I don’t have the answers and maybe I’m just looking to see what any of you reading this think. Do you feel the Millennial dater is looking for something different than what our parent’s and our parent’s-parent’s sought out for their future? What is your experience with differentiating real love from temporary lust? Are we all doomed to be stuck in this cycle of the Millennial love? Alternatively, if you have a more positive experience in this new way of dating I’d love to hear your perspective in the comments below!!