Mythical creatures are beautiful fantasies that get conjured up on a daily basis; Millennials, not so much. But as the generation of the “echo boomers” (have you ever heard that phrase before? Me either), we have been posed a simple question that quite honestly has been so damn annoying; WHY ARE MILLENNIALS SINGLE?
To give you a little history lesson, Millennials or “Generation Y” are the group of people that were born starting from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s. I was born in November 1993, making me a prime example of today’s greater Millennial generation. We are considered the generation that grew into adulthood at the turn of the 21st century, are conveniently tech-savvy, apparently disillusioned, and extremely narcissistic (Thanks, TechTarget.com). In theory, what does all of that have to do with our singledom?
Here’s what I came up with in my research:
- According to an article from USA Today, Millennials are “single, not sorry” and “making the choices to live life solo intentionally”. Tinder conducted a survey of more than 1,000 single people ages 18-25 and found that 72 percent of young Millennials “have made a conscious decision to stay single for a period of time”. Millennials invest more time on their careers, social lives, and personal time when single. This also comes with “savoring this time in their lives more than any other generation, recognizing how valuable it is for them” says Jenny Campbell, Tinder’s chief marketing officer.
- Women are more likely to be single because they love the feelings of independence and empowerment. This has also lead to a decline in marriages (and divorces), which makes it that much more empowering for women who take their lives seriously. According to an article from Mic.com, women feel pressured to be the perfect or ideal person to their partner, leading women to push aside their true personality and character aside. (Oh, look! The article: 8 Brutally Honest Reasons)
- Being single allows the person to do things they have never done before without the consultation of another party (i.e. The Significant Other). This allows a person to truly enjoy the great things life has to offer without being worried about what XYZ has to say about their choices.
- We’re picky AF. I know I am when it comes to dating, I have been single for 8 years and although I’ve dated here and there, it comes down to being picky, which is both good and bad. Not only do we have expectations, but we have created a fictional dimension for ourselves where there are very few “perfect” people in the world that would compliment our person.
- Our generation has been more outspoken about the detrimental effects mental health has had in their daily lives, as well as their dating lives. We live in a society where our every move, breath, blink, and swallow are judged or put up on social media to infiltrate. On a blog post by Jenny Marie on the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), she mentions how her two Millennial children suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety and panic disorders, as well as having a history of mental health issues in her family. While the topic of mental health has become more prominent in the last few years, it also plays a huge role on how Millennials approach the dating scene.
- Fear of intimacy, ranging from emotional to physical, this plays a role on how we approach certain situations, one of them being dating. Most people are not comfortable with being an open books, while others blossom in this department. Especially when it comes to emotional intimacy, its develops a sense of closeness with someone over time (this Bustle articles tells you why).
- Millennials are selfish. There, I said it. I know for a fact that I am extremely selfish. I have become a recluse in this world because I feel like my time is priceless and should be spent accordingly; allocating it between my job (that I currently do not have), my family, my friends, and myself. Narcissism has also been a hot button topic when it comes to selfishness among this generation. We have been constantly badgered by previous generations that we are so caught up in the hype, we neglect that fact that we are in fact, adults. Now, what does that have to do with being single? A heck of a whole lot actually. I’ll explain in the next bullet point.
- Because our generation is currently living in a social media world, we tend to paint very beautiful pictures of ourselves, making it even harder to date. While selfish and narcissist tendencies are huge among Millennials, most people could care less about others because they are more worried about how they look. Not to diminish this as a “toxic trait”, but have you asked yourself lately if you’re selfish? If the answer is yes, then you’re not any different from the millions of Millennials that walk on this earth.
- “Hook-up Culture” is alive and thriving. Again, it goes back to selfishness; all we want is to satisfy our need for the moment and then move on. Because of the vast availability of dating apps/sites on the internet, we are constantly looking for a quick meet-up, leading eventually to one-night stands or the ever famous “friends with benefits” route. Not only do you avoid the emotional connection, you’re also satisfying the itch without the attachment. We love a good walk of shame.
- We don’t like dealing with other people’s problems. Simple as that.
Now, from one single millennial to the next, we all have this great encompassing idea that being single is horrible. But after looking at all the possibilities and doing some research, everyone’s views on dating are different. I love being single, it gives me the autonomy to do whatever the hell I want without worrying about everyone else (to an extent, I’m aware of that). Do I wanna see people’s wedding plans or their cute pictures of them with their significant other? No, not really. But that’s just part of our culture as Millennials. We are the open society generation, we put everything on social media for the world to see, our singleness should not be something to be ashamed of. How about we swipe right on being single for a while?
I also want to thank Lauren from @laurenmarigold on IG for initiating this conversation on being single in a social media world! She inspired me to write a blog post about being a single millennial and what our views on this topic are. Thank you Lauren!
Thanks for reading!
p.s: Be on the lookout for an IGTV episode on this exact topic later this week!