If there’s one thing Millennials have made clear, it’s that they have a hard time committing. Many have a difficult time picking a realistic, lucrative career path, putting roots down, and some mistakenly believe that 30 is the new 20, keeping them from growing up past teenagehood by failing to commit to adulthood.
But even worse, Millennials can’t commit to each other. Marriage rates continue to decline, our fear of labels drives many young singles to opt for casual romantic relationships, and dating apps don’t seem to be losing traction anytime soon. Most young people have tried out a dating app, and it makes sense as to why. It’s easier than getting gussied up, going out, and hunting down the perfect guy, or even just having the patience to wait for romance to find us. It’s also far less of a commitment than meeting someone the old-fashioned way, allowing us to easily ghost a match when we grow tired of them.
If no one wants to get married, what’s even the point of dating anymore?
But this leads us to the question: If no one wants to get married, or even offer faithful, long-term commitment in any respect, what’s even the point of dating anymore?
The State of Romance Today
Our reliance on dating apps to send ready-to-date singles our way whenever we get the hankering for a fun night out, or seeking out meaningless hookups and casual relationships as a salve to our loneliness, has led to the demise of romance, erasing the very point of dating.
We think our ability to carelessly treat people like clothes to try on and throw off is “personal freedom.”
Instead of committing to another person, we’re committed to exercising what we think is personal freedom — our ability to carelessly treat people like clothes to try on and throw off and to experience a random person in the most intimate way possible like it’s nothing. It’s reached a point where dating has lost all meaning.
We Underestimate Our Need for a Lasting Connection
Despite our nihilistic approach to dating, we can’t quite shake the feeling that there's supposed to be more to this whole romance thing. We’ve all had a friend or coworker who laments their latest fling not wanting more than just a couple weeks of spontaneous encounters before ghosting, or maybe we ourselves experienced a disappointing end to what we hoped might turn into a long-term relationship. And after all, isn’t there a reason we’re all so obsessed with dating apps and finding someone new to go out with?
We have an intrinsic desire for connection — and this desire is actually a good thing, provided we engage with it healthily. The issue is that we actually stop short of fully realizing this desire when we hop on a dating app for a one-night tryst every couple of months.
Sex and dating are designed to match us up with, and keep us faithful to, the right person.
Just like we need friends we can count on, we need a person to call home — a person whom we belong to because we’re deeply relational beings. And once sex is on the table, we’re biologically hardwired to seek out a lasting connection with that person because of the way sex bonds us. So in reality, sex and dating are designed to match us up with, and keep us faithful to, the right person.
While we might think handling dating and casual relationships like it’s no big deal will keep us from getting too emotionally invested, therefore protecting ourselves, it actually does the opposite. We seem to have forgotten the point of dating today, and treating it carelessly, the way we’re constantly encouraged to, is ultimately damaging to us due to our need for a longer-lasting, more meaningful connection.