So many people ask whether millennials “believe in love.”
As a generation that has been liberated in more ways than one, the dating pool seems shallow and complicated with the additions of social media and online dating and so we wonder, “Does this generation still hold love in high regard?” Well, very quickly I would say yes because when presented with examples like Jay Z and Beyonce or Michelle and Barack Obama, we all swoon with affectionate tweets and Instagram timelines full of their pictures so where is the disconnect?
I would say that the desire for love and belonging is there. I don’t think that ever stops. But I would also say that we have lost our resilience and that’s what keeps so many of us in the rat race of trying to find “the one” and seemingly coming up short. We are afraid it won’t work because many relationships before us have ended up in disaster, whether it be our parents, siblings, or celebrities we look up to.
Many of us in this generation want the Michelle and Barack kind of love, but we are scared as heck of what it actually takes to get there. We try to circumvent the scars and the failures because we have lost an ability to be able to recover. We don’t want to be hurt and so either we develop surface connections that can’t grow into anything or we avoid connection altogether by taking the situationship and “what is this really?” road which only ends in confusion and mess. We often substitute sex for real intimacy, when what we’re missing is vulnerability. And the list really goes on.
CLICK TO TWEET /// We try to circumvent the scars and the failures because we have lost an ability to be able to recover.
In a time where we tell women to chase money, not love. In a time where men are given passes for acting a certified fool because we slap a “liberated” label on ourselves, how could we ever cultivate that kind of love? We go after a lot of the wrong things when it comes to love. Michelle didn’t fall in love with POTUS, she fell in love with Barry. Sacrifice, standing in a position she didn’t ask for is not what many of us are made of.
We don’t know how to put another’s needs before our own or take ourselves out of what would be best for us as a whole as opposed to individually. We saw many of our mothers or fathers give so much that we vowed never to be in situations that made us unhappy even if for a split second. We’ve learned to jump ship at the first sign of trouble and to focus only on how things make us feel not realizing that emotions can be fleeting.
We want it and we want it bad. We adorn Instagram photos with the #relationshipgoals hashtag, but we are deathly afraid to be seen. We are afraid to be all in. We are afraid of what happens when we submerge ourselves in the hopes and dreams of another. We think somehow our careers will come to a halt because we decide to love someone and all these things couldn’t be further from the truth.
I always want to encourage you that when you have seen the other side of what love can be - the support, the companionship, the bond that grows when you have survived some stuff together, you begin to see that it just may be worth the risk.
We’re afraid to settle. We’re afraid of losing our identity. We are afraid we may miss out on a better option. But you cannot master anything that you don’t start. Giving love a fair chance, not the one foot in and one foot out chance, but a real chance will help you to see that it may not be as scary as you thought after all.
And don’t get me wrong, there are no guarantees. Being in relationship with someone is work and just like the obstacles you face on your own, you will also face some with a partner. But we are not built to do it on our own. We are a community oriented species and we thrive better together than apart.
I say often that everything we want is on the other side of fear. So yes, we want love, but we are letting the walls of our selfishness, insecurity, and lack of courage get in the way.
Do it afraid. Build meaningful and lasting connections with people even in the myriad of uncertainties. You owe it to yourself. And that longing will never go away.