Has “love” changed?
Love is still a rather unclear concept. After all, it involves emotions and we all know that emotions are pretty hard to understand sometimes. They are irrational but when it comes to love, some social constructs have helped “clarifying” it. Today things are changing. Definitions of love and relationship have taken different meanings over the years and some concepts have even changed. What was normal even some years ago, at the time your parents were dating, is now not so appealing anymore. Statistics show that love as our parents knew it has changed. But what are Millenials exactly expecting from love?
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What do the statistics suggest?
Historically, the common age for getting married has been increasing. In the past, people were marrying very young, mainly to settle alliances, the commonly accepted “age” to get married has been rising over the years. Today, Millenials tend to wait for marrying more than ever. Data indicated that the average age a man gets married for the first time is 29 while for a woman is 27. It is not an old age to get married, but if we make a comparison, a woman at the age of 27 three or four generations ago would have had already several children to take care of. Some decades ago, the majority of the married couple would have had at least their first kid at that age.
Why is there a change?
Many factors are influencing this societal change. The largest one is probably tied to the economy. Today, unemployment is a big issue, the population growth, the environmental issues, the political instability and the struggle to find a job do not positively contribute to making people want to settle down and start a family. Many Millenials have over their heads enormous student debts which they will have to pay for years, even after having found a job. With all these preoccupations in mind, it is no wonder that getting married and having kids is not a priority for many Millenials.
Also, Millenials have learned to think about their actions before. Rushing into a marriage is not as common as it was before. According to therapist Jennifer Benhke, Millenials have also become much more selective when choosing their partners. The standards have raised exponentially. Today, Millenials are looking as a partner someone who can be a good friend, who’s financially equal, who is good in the bedroom and who also seems to be able to make a good parent.
It is not easy to stand up to all the standards and failing to meet a partner’s expectations will not help the relationship. The spreading of dating apps has made Millenials aware of the fact that there can be many potential options out there. The downside of this is that when things are not working, the main idea is that the struggle to fix problems is not necessary anymore, as a “substitute” can be easily found at any time.
Are Other Factors Affecting?
Another reason for this change is the movements for gender equality and other social changes. Millennials want someone that treats them as equal, who compliments the partner and makes he or she feel proud. But also, they want a life outside the relationship. In other words, love is still being complicated. Some people might enjoy it in different ways. Some might be happy in a relationship with “old” standards, others might want more “freedom”. In any case, what matters the most is to be happy with your partner.