Recently I came across an article as I was trolling the Facebooks for something to complain about (something that I doubt is linked specifically to my generation). The article was an editorial written for a site called “The Good Men Project.” Never heard of it? Good. The site claims to be a place for men (them’s the ones with the penises, presumably) to talk about things that men might otherwise feel comfortable talking about…things like how stay at home dads might get a bad rap, and–specific to this article–how there are “8 Modern Dating Struggles That NO OTHER GENERATION Has Had to Deal With.” No other generation, in this case, being my generation…Gen-Y. Millennials.
If you’d like to check out the original article (although I can’t imagine why), there is a link to it above. I just thought it pertinent to lay out all of these supposed “issues” that this blogger had with Gen-Y daters and how they uniquely struggle day-to-day…or, as I read it: “We’re all just a bunch of tech-hungry brats who feel alienated in a world that is essentially ours for the taking.”
1. Sex wasn’t often on the table–at least not on the first date
Of course, none of us can have human evolution or population explosions to look to in order to provide a glimpse back before our iPhones had Flappy Bird (for those few glorious weeks). So it’s impossible to say whether or not people of any time period before our own simply wanted to go out and get laid.
There has always been pressure and sexual tension in the dating world and to think that Millenials are uniquely pressured is utter nonsense. Because of open source sex education, pornography, and the magical ability to send dong-pics to your friends that disappear in 5 seconds, we’re a more sexually conscious generation, sure. But the generation behind us will surpass us in that without problem.
To say nobody slept around before the generation who grew up with Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego is like saying that Cliven Bundy saying blacks were better off as slaves. And if people didn’t sleep around as much, it’s because they were terrified to do so (which we’ll discuss in a moment).
2. Most people were dating because they wanted relationships.
If there’s one thing that’s true of all people and has never ever changed, it’s the way we get old and misremember everything about our past. No matter if you’re 25 or 105, things were “always better back then.” Most people were dating because they wanted relationships? Most people were dating because they felt like they had to. And the people who weren’t dating started dating Uncle Sam, because “Fuck it.” History is also written, recorded and remembered by the victors, and the “victor” is usually not the side-piece your grandfather had in 1945.
The blogger mentions that our generation is never really sure what we’re doing. We’re beautiful little plastic bags in the wind that have the hardest time trying to figure out if we’re officially together with someone, or if it’s just a casual fuck. Again, I don’t see how this sets us apart from any other generation, but let’s humor this notion briefly.
“It’s no surprise that many times we’ll find ourselves with a person and not know how to introduce him or her to friends or family.” If you’re introducing someone to friends and family, you’re probably at least dating, unless it’s the same day you met them, which means that you’re probably at a family function, which means your date is almost certainly your cousin. Case closed.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution for this so-called “problem.” And that’s honesty. If you’re honest, you have nothing to fear. If you’re with someone and pretty much understood to be “dating” (even if it’s not totally serious yet), say it. You could always go with the catch-all answer, “This is my friend.” But that’s usually a cop out and reserved for occasions when you probably need to have a talk about what’s going on.
People want to be loved and settle down but they also want to be with the right person. No matter what they say, everyone “wants a relationship”–they just want something on their terms–whatever they may be. As we evolve and develop our cultural identities, we learn more about ourselves and the piece of shit we used to be in high school tends to disappear and we realize how unpalatable we all were. Could there have been more people who wanted relationships back in whatever unspecified period of history this blogger is talking about? Sure, maybe. But people don’t always get what they want. And today’s generation is no exception.
3. The Facebook Relationship Status
Ah, here we go–a topic that completely and directly targets Millenials at our core…well, at least for the first couple years of its existence. Facebook is a behemoth on a Starbucks level that took everyone by surprise.
The blogger seems to flip shit about how Facebook statuses shouldn’t matter and hates that they invaded his life. It’s starting to seem more and more evident that someone has pulled the curtain back on this man one-too-many-times.
He says that the first person to change their Relationship Status is equivalent to the first person saying “I love you” which is a SUPER bizarre thing to say considering that one requires no thought or consideration for anyone else’s feelings.
The relationship status could be a powerful tool when placed in the wrong hands, like a sharpened toothbrush in prison. Just as seeing the phrase “A and B are now in a relationship” can make people feel all warm and fuzzy, seeing the phrase “B is now single” after you thought what you had was just a minor disagreement can cut you like a…well…like a sharpened toothbrush in prison.
Personally, I love the notion that “A is Now Single” is translated as an open invitation for thirsty friends to come out of the woodwork and declare their love for you.
But other than that, the Facebook issue (for our purposes today) is certainly not one that relates specifically to Gen-Y. Interestingly enough, though, it does seem that younger generations are being proven more and more to share less and less about themselves on social media…so that could be a…thing?
4. Not knowing if the other person is completely faithful.
If you were born around the 80’s/90’s, you’d know by now that the Pre-Cogs of Minority Report were actually killed off by the time you came into this world, leaving us with no way to accurately tell the future, nor predict what our significant others were going to do. This is a shame, because, now–according to this article–we have no scientific method of trusting other human beings. Shit, that’s depressing.
The blogger says “I speak from experience”, so I know he’s super-cereal, you guys. He says:
Dating is a sport to our generation. Older generations dates for the purpose of finding someone to fall for–and for sex, of course, but they repressed those feelings and focused on romance.
First of all, what?! Second, what the fuck are you–?!
Reading this article conjures up images of a sad human being who has unfortunately been fucked over more times than any person should, but I’m not sure if taking it out on your entire generation is the best option.
Most people know what it feels like to be dumped, or worse, cheated on. It’s not pleasant, but if it didn’t happen, certain people who are now happy as pigs in shit would have never met each other.
All in all, not being able to trust your significant other, or know if someone’s seeing other people seems like a you or them issue, and certainly not a generational one.
5. Not knowing if the person is clean.
“It’s a problem,” the blogger begins with this short sentence, as if to reassure you that the fact that you don’t have VD is a fluke. The writer is correct–I guess–in stating that having multiple sexual partners increases your chances of catching an STD, but only with respect to the kind of people you’re choosing to associate with.
Again, the blogger is going down a wormhole of bad experiences here. He says that you used to be able to tell if someone fucked around and got all crudded up somewhere along the line, but now, it could be anyone!
Returning to the point made by the first item on this list, people simply didn’t know there was danger out there. And people who did know, just kept it hidden and it was assume that getting sick or being in a shitty abusive relationship was just something that happened. Don’t talk about it, just…try to avoid it if possible.
Now, of course nobody wants anyone else to know if they have a disease, but most people who aren’t completely bags of dick tell someone about it. I don’t think I’ve ever met a girl who wasn’t completely upfront about every illness or disorder she suffers from, suffered from, or may have thought she once suffered from.
There may be a disconnect there between men and women, but I don’t think it’s too wide of a margin.
Also, I want to move on because this particular one seems to just be saying “You never know who’s a slut anymore” and I can’t get behind that.
6. Arbitrary rules that people are meant to follow.
I believe what’s going on here is that the blogger is frustrated that there may be preconceived notions of dating behavior–the “unwritten rules” of when to do things–the “bases” and when to run to them–the “Holy Book” of how to treat another human being who just wants to be respected and appreciated.
We “know” there are rules, he says. And text messaging fucks it all up, he says. I don’t know about you, but I utilize that dancing twins Emoji as much as humanly possible.
His problem seems to be (again, these are all meant to be dating issues specific to Gen-Y kids, which technically all seem specifically related to shit that’s happened to him) that one party–let’s say…girls–may think that another party–let’s say…guys–are coming on too strong or perhaps not strong enough regarding the proportionate amount of contact, from talking on the phone (which I agree people don’t seem to do enough of in relationships anymore) to communicating via text or Facebook.
I didn’t decide to go down this road to give advice as much as I did to tear this list apart, but look…there are no rules, there’s only common sense and not making the other person think you’re psychotic (unless you are psychotic, then it’s probably best to get that out of the way early).
7. There was once a certain date-etiquette.
In the South, there still is. And it’s a big part of culture. Open building and car doors for your lady-date, don’t sit down until they do, etc etc. Of course, in the South, your parents always told you to treat your sister with respect. See what I did there?
Out of all the mind blowing things this person has said, Number 7 really wins the “What the Fuck Are You Talking About” medal of excellence.
The blogger states that there were simpler times when dates got flowers or chocolates and a kiss on the cheek, when girls were taken out to dinner and a movie and that was sufficient, and says all that went away once they got to Junior High and wanted to see some REAL action!
Dinner and a walk, dinner and a movie, just a movie, just sitting around and talking? Girls don’t like those things anymore? Really?
The hypothesis made in the article is that Millenial daters are only interested in having experiences that will brighten up their Facebook feeds, which is utterly insane. Sure, everyone likes some excitement thrills. If there’s nothing exciting about your relationship, you’d put a bullet in it (because we’re Americans, dammit!). But there’s something to be said for walking around an Art Museum or having a picnic, too. It’s not skydiving, but it’s peaceful and romantic for a change of pace.
It really seems like the author is in a dark place…or maybe he just doesn’t have time to give anyone any kind of meaningful consideration, because…(wait for it…)
8. There’s more for us to balance.
In his final effort (because I assume making it to 10 Things would have taken too much time out of his busy schedule being a pretentious weirdo), the blogger claims that–surprise–we all have too much to do!
Generation-Y kids are full of big dreams and aspirations and we’re always on the move–unlike our lazy parents and grandparents who had all the time in the world to just be romantic and drive around on motorcycles giving the finger to the man!
We Millenials definitely have the short end of the stick in a lot of different areas, there’s no doubt about that. We were spoiled and brought into a ever-evolving environment that really had no place for most of us to go, but we’re working with what we’ve got.
We don’t have busier lives, we’re just made to feel that way because we have various outlets (like our own websites) that makes us feel self-important enough to have to “work” even when there’s no need.
This article on Good Men Project was written from a point of view that seems to be making relationships out to be one of those tedious jobs that we don’t really want to do, but just do because we have to. You don’t have to do anything. If a relationship to you is the equivalent of cleaning out a warehouse of old mattresses, then you probably shouldn’t be in one.
You and your partner will go through times that may seem challenging, but you hold onto each other because you know that the good times–the times where you’d literally rather be nowhere else but with one another–are worth every second.
It’s not hard, and it’s not a science…and if you’re as good at it as you should be, tomorrow will always be so much better than back in the day.