Does anyone else feel like dating is an infernal nightmare? You can meet the greatest people and bond amazingly, only to find out that they’re not really looking for anything serious… but they still want to see you? What is up with that? Why does it seem like everybody is dating everybody and nobody wants to settle down? You’re not just imagining things. Millennials are actually redefining relationship culture as fast as they’re making new iPhones.
According to experts, attitudes towards monogamy are changing on a huge scale. What is monogamy? Being with only one person. When it comes to dating, this seems preferable. You would think that nobody wants to be anyone’s second choice or side chick. Yet, weirdly enough, it is becoming more and more apparent that not only is the opposite true, it’s actually becoming preferable. Millennials are realizing that they can optimize the dating game the same way they can drive markets and politics: They want more, they want it faster, and they want it better. Naturally, better, faster, and more mean different things to different people. Millennials aren’t a monolith, after all. Here are 15 reasons millennials have to kiss monogamy goodbye, and the various ways they’re expressing their discontent with tradition.
15 Dating Apps Have Changed Our Attitudes Towards Dating
In a watershed 2015 article by Vanity Fair, the New York City dating scene was likened to an “apocalypse” because of popular dating apps. The article quoted young people who used the apps as saying, “You can’t be stuck in one lane … There’s always something better.” Nobody is getting into real relationships! It’s no question that the combination of social media and dating have changed the way millennial approach relationships. People who use dating apps or date online often lament that because everybody is using it, it’s actually more difficult to find somebody serious. For many people, the idea of the grass being greener with someone else stops them from wanting to make premature commitments. If it doesn’t work out…. on to the next one.
14 The Idea That Monogamy Is Natural Is Losing Popularity
Many research is being conducted into the question “is monogamy natural?” A lot of experts contend that while monogamy is often seen as the best choice, biologically we are deferential to seeking multiple people. According to Psychology Today, the primary reason humans tend towards monogamous relationships: caring for kids. For those of us who don’t have kids, either because we’re too young or don’t want them, it seems like we have a biological imperative to avoid monogamy. This doesn’t necessarily explain why people cheat, but it might give some insight into the millennial tendency to avoid committed relationships. Of course, the question regarding how natural monogamy is doesn’t justify breaches of trust in relationships, like infidelity, because humans are also bound to social structures built on mutual respect and support which aren’t necessarily natural either.
13 "Monogamish" Couples Have Higher Levels Of Trust
The word “monogamish” was coined by relationship columnist Dan Savage. It is exactly what it sounds like: mostly monogamous, but not. While the definition is broad and differs from couple to couple, the general similarity between cases is that most monogamish couples preserve emotional and social monogamy with each other. Monogamish is not an excuse to cheat, but an opportunity for couples who think outside the box about what boundaries they set around romantic relationships. The difference between monogamish and previous incarnations of non-monogamy is the express intent to preserve the emotional connection through communication, which other forms of non-monogamy may lack. Of course, it’s the responsibility of the individuals involved to self-regulate to ensure they’re not trespassing or using the tenets of monogamish relationships to cheat or conduct emotional affairs – the whole point of labeling it is to allow people to define their space respectfully.
12 "Monogamish" Couples Learn To Balance Stability & Security With Excitement
Monogamish couples are actually better at balancing the stability and security of their relationships with the excitement of meeting new people – something that isn’t really possible within traditional monogamy. With open channels of communication and respect for each other, monogamish couples can transcend the anxieties that can thrust monogamous couples into the throes of despair. Why? Because for many monogamous couples, the desire to see new people is probably going to lead to resentment, infidelity, or breaking up. Ideally, none of this occurs within respectful monogamish relationships. It’s not infidelity if everyone involved consents. If everyone involved is comfortable with the idea of meeting new people without having to end the relationship, then maybe it is a good idea to embrace it. However, just because this might work for other couples, that doesn’t mean it necessarily has to work for you – it’s ok to aspire to something traditional.
11 Certain Apps Actually Worsen The Chances Of Young Adults Finding A Successful Long-Term Relationship
A lot of people using apps might be looking for love in the wrong place entirely. If the majority of a user base is looking for something casual, it’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to find anyone looking for a serious relationship. The problem? Some users would be totally willing to lead people on into believing they’re also looking for a long-term relationship when they’re actually looking to commit to something a lot less serious. While millennials have a lot to worry about when it comes to apps, it’s actually also a huge problem for older women as well. In a 2017 article by The Independent, one older woman said, “There are just so many time wasters. Older men can be the worst because they didn't grow up with the Internet so, for them, it really can be a candy store.” Looks like everyone is out of luck.
10 Millennials Might Be Weird Hippies But They Are Better At Managing Jealousy & Non-Possessiveness
One quality associated with people who choose non-monogamy is that they tend to seem like weird hippies. This is parodied by artists like Chris Fleming, who made a song about how it never seems to be attractive people who are public about choosing a monogamish lifestyle. Despite this, it actually seems like those who partake tend to be better at managing jealousy and possessiveness. The same can be said for millennials in general, who are thought to be less jealous when it comes to relationships. Why is that? It seems, based on anecdotal evidence, that millennials are less jealous because they have lower expectations regarding relationships. This isn’t necessarily related to hippie free-love non-monogamy, whereby the people involved are thought to be aware of their actions and how the actions affect their partners, but it’s an interesting trend nonetheless.
9 Millennials Constantly Have So Many Options At Their Finger Tips, So Monogamy Seems Less Appealing
Too many fish in the sea? Millennials, both men and women, are less likely to settle in monogamous relationships if they feel like they still have a chance elsewhere. With the constant availability of new people thanks to apps and changing attitudes, it’s harder than ever to find long-term partners. Because of a perceived surplus of options, it, unfortunately, makes acts like ghosting or text message breakups easier to facilitate, demonstrating a further emotional detachment from the people you’re connecting with. Ghosting, in particular, is a huge problem because it can be hugely damaging to the ghosted partner’s self-esteem, causing them to contend with rejection without explanation. While cutting people off without warning isn’t new, ghosting itself has risen in popularity because online dating allows people to meet each other without mutual contacts, allowing the ghosting partner to drop out with minimal social repercussion. Bottom line: don’t do this, ever.
8 Cheating Occurs Regardless Of Set Boundaries
Even if both of you are totally committed to the idea of monogamy, cheating can happen anyway. There’s a million reasons as to why somebody might cheat. He might be a narcissist, insecure, or bad at communicating. He could just be a Libra. Just because lines are drawn and boundaries are established does not mean they will always be respected, although you might be operating blindly under the assumption that they are. This is why it is important to never take good communication for granted! If you’re wondering what good communication in a relationship looks like and are unsure of what to look for, do your research. Relationship experts like therapist Esther Perel, host of the viral Where Should We Begin couples therapy podcast, are a good place to start. Never be afraid to ask questions if the answer might make you happier or safer.
7 Self-Destructive Behaviour Makes Cheating Possible Even Under The Best Circumstances
Some monogamous relationships are doomed from the start. You can have the best intentions, but if either partner harnesses a self-destructive mindset with regards to the relationship, cheating is a likely outcome. Different couples might define cheating differently. For some, it could be something as small as leaving too many comments on another girl’s Instagram. For others, the understanding is more traditional. Either way, if one partner realizes that they can manipulate the other by acting out and cheating, it’s a sign that the relationship is probably too unhealthy to be saved. Not all infidelity is a death knell for romance, but it can often be unforgivable – especially for repeat offenders. If cheating is a constant problem in your relationship, or even across multiple relationships, it might be time to step back and put some distance between you and romantic partners. It will be good for you.
6 Open Relationships Are Becoming Popular Once Again, Where Couples Can Experiment More
Open relationships feel like a social experiment. While they’re nothing new, they seem to be gaining traction as another form of intentional non-monogamy in couples. While “monogamish” relationships defined previously tend to preserve the emotional and social aspects of a monogamous relationship, and are themselves a type of open relationship, it seems that open relationships tend to be more broadly defined. One could argue that “monogamish” is the open relationship for the sensitive academic while everything else is for people are might be more experimental. It’s easy to understand why – despite the abundance of choice when it comes to dating thanks to apps, it’s not easy to replicate the connection the heart to heart connection in a monogamous relationship. This takes the connection while allowing space for everything – and everyone – else.
5 Open Relationships Redefine Boundaries Around Intimacy
What does it mean that open relationships redefine boundaries in ways that previously discussed forms of non-monogamy doesn't? Aren’t they all different names for the same thing? Not necessarily! Open relationships might take a more casual approach to being in a relationship. Maybe you’re both seeing other people, but appreciate the time you spend together. Maybe you’re not ready to call each other ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ yet. When done correctly and respectfully, open relationships can allow people to figure out exactly what they want before settling – even if that means settling with non-monogamy! Open relationships can act as a transition between traditional monogamy and non-monogamy. For those who are interested, this can be a healthy way to explore non-traditional options while still maintaining a close emotional connection with somebody you care about.
4 Casual Relationships Are More Common Among Millennials - Stopping Monogamous Relationships From Even Beginning
It seems like every generation is a bit more relaxed than the last with regards to how it approaches casual relationships, but this isn’t necessarily true. What actually changes are our attitudes surrounding casual relationships and the ways we talk about them publically. In the present, it seems like society is open to the idea that millennials are prioritizing casual relationships over monogamous long-term relationships – which isn’t to say a casual relationship can’t be monogamous in the first place, but again, it comes to defining those boundaries. There is so much grey space when it comes to relationship building. Unfortunately for some people who habitually form casual relationships, a long-term relationship might be more difficult to achieve. Old habits die hard, and as we’ve uncovered before, once you’ve had a taste of abundance, it can be difficult to let go. It’s the same with good coffee or high-quality makeup.
3 Serial Daters Are Reluctant To Clarify Boundaries & Want Too Much From Multiple Partners
Uh-oh. Does this sound like anyone you know? The girl who has 3 different guys wrapped around her fingers, constantly weighing her options for or against them, and never settling on one because she just can’t? Even though she really wants to? And she never listens to your advice?! We’ve all been there. Seeing multiple people at once can be fun because you get to preview how each relationship might be with each person. They share qualities that keep you close but differ in their reasons for not wanting to cut them off. Even for the most traditional, monogamous, cotton-eyed-Joe kind of girl, this is probably the most common way to fall into a pattern of non-monogamy. When everything is just okay enough to hold close and there aren’t too many red flags, it can be difficult to decide what you really want. No rush, though. They’re probably in the same boat.
2 The Constant Excitement And "Thrill Of The Catch" Is Very Alluring
One of the reasons people cheat in relationships is because the “thrill of the catch”, the rush of excitement at the beginning of a new relationship, can be very addictive. People experience a rush of adrenaline and emotion – barring other feelings – when they meet new people, and whether you’re in a committed relationship or meeting new people, this is pretty much the same for everyone. It makes dating sound a bit like hunting, but sometimes it sure feels like that. Even before relationships begin, the ability to meet new people constantly allows serial daters to never let go of that immediate thrill. While gratifying in the short term, in the long term it could stunt them emotionally while leaving them without the skills necessary for turning these brief flings into something more serious.
1 Thankfully, While Non-Monogamy Rises, There Will Always Be People Who Are Fine With Exclusive Relationships
Feeling a bit down about dating? Don’t. Despite everything, non-monogamy is still practiced by a minority of people. While it’s a good thing that it’s gaining traction and allowing people to express themselves romantically in ways they would not have been previously able to, it’s also not for everyone. At the end of the day, the majority of people want the same thing: Love! We’ve discussed, of course, the ways in which people are actually shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to dating due to the formation of bad or self-destructive habits, but by encouraging good communication and being honest with yourself, you can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. There will always be somebody looking for the same thing as you, even if finding them takes a little bit of effort.