I was born in the late 80s and grew up in a stable household with a strong family bond and, for the most part, so have most of my friends. We had the right role models growing up to pursue a similar path. However, I don’t know anyone of my generation today who has been in a relationship for longer than 5 years and even those that lasted that long are few and far between. So what is leading to the ‘dying out’ of traditional monogamist relationships in our generation?
In my humble view there are three main causes:
The Internet & Social Media
Facebook, Tinder and Online Dating offers our generation so many opportunities to meet new people by the click of a button. This abundance of choice leads many of us to believe we can always meet someone better, or at least someone else fairly easy so why put the effort into a relationship when it is going the way you’d like it?
An Exaggerated Sense of Entitlement
The second cause, in my view, is the exaggerated sense of entitlement of our generation. Through growing up watching MTV we were all spoon fed that we would all grow up to be rich and famous and are able to have whatever we want it life, including as many partners as we want. This leads many of us to jump ship quicker than we should, when things aren’t going our way, as we can always “find someone better” as the world is our oyster. At least that’s what the media has told us since we were children. The reality is that for the majority of us that will not be the case.
The Misinterpretation of Feminism
The third cause is, in my view, the misinterpretation of feminism. The feminist movement was founded to create equality for women. A noble cause that everyone should support. However, the confusion of what feminism actually is has created problems in people’s relationships. Feminism has made a generation of women more independent but also men afraid to be dominant and masculine in fear this would be considered anti-feminist.
Women can now choose to be single, in a casual relationship or married. Social pressure has substantially decreased for women to be married as soon as they are eligible to do so. This leads women to end relationships quicker and move on to the next guy without working through challenges within relationships. Men, on the other hand, have to a certain degree been stripped of their dominance and masculinity in today’s society where sexual equality has turned into sexual sameness, making so many men simply less attractive to women. So often have women told me “there are so few real men” out there anymore. The confusion that feminism has caused is, in my opinion, largely to blame for that.
So can traditional relationships still work out for millennials or does the future of relationships lie in open or ‘unfenced’ relationships as author JJ Roberts titled them in his book Sex 3.0? I think they can! But it takes two mature, confident, grown up individuals who know exactly what they look for in a relationship and have found it with one another.