She receives an all too familiar text Friday night reading, “Hey. What are you up to later?” She reads it and ignores it for thirty minutes to come off aloof to him, the guy she’s been hooking up with for four months. All of her weekend “non-dates” have had the elegance and charmlessness of a keg stand…but hey, at least she doesn’t have to deal with the emotional entanglement of a relationship being a twenty-six year old young professional in pursuit of becoming successful in a high paying career.Her story is all too familiar in the casual, unattached and promiscuous culture that defines dating culture amongst Millennials.
Photo from Judgy Bitch article
Maybe you thought the ambiguous cloud known as “hookup culture” that has dominated your life in the past few years as a college student, and has you constantly checking your phone on weekend nights, was just a college thing. Due to busy schedules, a focus on a successful career and unwillingness to commit the time and energy to build a serious relationship has caused Millennials to abandon traditional dating and embrace hooking culture even past its college roots. Hookup culture, casual sex with strangers and friends-with-benefits arrangements have replaced the long-term romantic relationships previous generations have embodied.
How do Millennials define courtship? Picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date? Forgoing that 140 cryptic tweet and asking someone on a date in broad daylight? The focus on becoming successful in a high paying career or asynchronous technological communication such as texting has further perpetuated the upending of dating culture. But securing “plans” for the night has become as easy as sending a text reading “Sup?” and older generations simply do not get it. The Boston Globe has created a matchmaker service named Dinner with Cupid to promote traditional courtship amongst Millennials. That is, going on a date face to face and getting to know each other through conversation, even reimbursing date dinners for up to $100.
Photo from Jon Mertitt On Faith and Culture article
As I took the Millennial Quiz by Pew Research during my layover in Philly, I was sure I would receive a high score. I was raised by multi-racial and multi-cultural parents, enjoy body art and although I live by Buddhist mantras, don’t identify myself in religious terms. To my surprise, I scored a 59 on this quiz which left me a bit quizzical as to if the quiz included enough personality and value metrics to accurately gage how Millennial I truly am. Sure, I hate online shopping, sipping on Starbucks coffees and find twitter irrelevant, but I began to question what cultural value of Millennials I not identify with. Then finally it hit me like a ton of bricks as I texted my boyfriend what time to pick me up from the airport.
Maybe hooking up and going separate ways is truly Millennials’ cup of tea, but will this change in the next few decades as we mature as a generation? Will the Millennials’ continue to enjoy casual hookups into our golden years or will there be a renaissance to the lost art of dating?