8 Modern Dating Struggles That No Other Generation Has Had To Deal With

by Paul Hudson

Dating isn’t what it used to be. It used to be easier… simpler. Less complicated and convoluted. Everything was a bit more straightforward – predictable, maybe. But reliable nonetheless. Generation-Y doesn’t have it easy when it comes to dating and relationships. We’ve united as a generation and made our dating lives difficult.

There are obvious reasons as to why this is, and often we cannot be blamed. As we progress as a people and strive for greater things, dating will become more difficult. Although, this isn’t to say that we couldn’t ease up in areas where we should ease up. Here are 8 problems that previous generations didn’t have with dating that we managed to create for ourselves. Pick and choose the way you love carefully.

1. Sex wasn’t often on the table – at least not on the first date.

One-night stands were nowhere near as common as they are now. That isn’t to say that they never happened – but not nearly as regularly as they do amongst our generation. Generation-Y doesn’t date… it sleeps around.

Sure, we may sleep with the same person for a few months before we switch, and call it dating, but the truth is that we date to have sex. Much of the time we skip the whole dating thing and go straight for the goal. If nothing else, we are a pretty efficient generation.

2. Most people were dating because they wanted relationships.

These days you never really know. Because most of our relationships start with sex before they turn into something substantial, it can be rather difficult figuring out where exactly that line between the two is located. Are you dating? Or are you just having sex? Sure, you’re not just having sex, you’re hanging out as well. But are you sure you’re not friends with benefits?

You’re clearly not just a booty-call, but are you together? Are you together or are you officially together? Apparently there is now a difference – exclusivity isn’t always promised. With all these different levels of togetherness that we’ve invented, it’s no surprise that many times we’ll find ourselves with a person and not know how to introduce him or her to friends or family.

3. The Facebook relationship status.

Kill me now, why the hell does this matter? I know it does matter; I just don’t know why. Well, I do know why, but it’s so incredibly silly that I find it revolting that it has even invaded my own life. You’d think that the FB status would make things easier, but until you know for sure, then FB won’t know -- and that can make for awkward conversations.

To make things worse, being the first to update your FB status is like being the first to say “I love you.” It’s a step down, but it’s comparable. We place so much importance on the most arbitrary of things. Thankfully we have nothing else in our lives to stress out about – said no Millennial ever.

4. Not knowing if the other person is completely faithful.

As not knowing whether or not you’re in a relationship can drag on for months, uncertainty of whether or not you should be dating creeps up. If you’re not in a relationship then you are free to date and probably should be dating. But what if the other person finds out and you ruin your chances with him or her?

Even worse, what if he or she is dating other people and you’re being a faithful schmuck. That one sucks just as well – I speak from experience. Dating is a sport to our generation. Older generations dated for the purpose of finding someone to fall for – and for sex, of course, but they repressed those feelings and focused on romance. Unless you look way back a few generations – back then romance didn’t exist.

5. Not knowing if the person is clean.

It’s a problem. With more partners comes more chances of catching something. Sure, we may use condoms more often and have found cures for some forms of STDs, but people still catch them. The worst part is that while you used to be able to tell the kind of person who was likely to have an STD – people who lived certain sexually-open lifestyles -- when these days it could really be anybody. We all live sexually-open lifestyles – to a much larger extent than most people before us. We are the generation that grew up on Internet porn.

6. Arbitrary rules that people are meant to follow.

With every new device and messaging service comes a new rule as to how long to wait before initiating post-date contact. But there’s more. There are rules on how much you can and can’t text. How often you should or shouldn’t see each other.

No one really knows what the rules are because they’re so arbitrary it doesn’t really matter, but nevertheless we know that there are some supposed rules out there somewhere and we’ll follow our own interpretation of them. The form of communication itself makes dating more difficult. We mostly communicate over devices instead of in person. So much gets lost in a text message – even with emojis. Although they do help.

7. There was once a certain date-etiquette.

You would buy flowers or chocolates. You would go to dinner and see a movie, maybe just go for a walk. At the end of the night, you would kiss the girl on the cheek and go your separate ways. Mission accomplished – much simpler times. Nowadays there are little to no guidelines on going out on a date. I’d think that women still enjoy flowers, but then again I don’t remember the last time I saw anyone bring flowers to a date.

Not sure I’ve seen that happen in my lifetime. No more dinner and a movie because women have done that before… when they first started dating. At 11 years old. Now they want to be impressed and swept away. We’re always looking for that next great experience to update our status with.

8. There’s more for us to balance.

Life was simpler before – there was less to do, less to balance. There were fewer options, possibilities and choices to make. In modern countries, we have countless options presented to us every single day. Worse, we like to choose as much as possible because we want more – it’s human nature. We are always competing and trying to get ahead.

Generation-Y especially is filled with big dreamers. We all want to leave a legend behind, to be remembered. This may not differ from previous generations, but we are the first generation that believes we can accomplish such a feat. While previous generations brushed off the possibility of being rich and/or famous, Generation-Y was taught that anyone can be. And we all want to be in one way or another. We all want to matter.

This is all great, except that a relationship takes a lot of time, commitment and often sacrifice. Balancing a career and a relationship isn’t easy. Nowadays both men and women have dreams they are following. That’s how it should be, but it definitely doesn’t make things easier.

Photo via The Frisky

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