The Animalistic Generation: Why Accepting Minimal Intimacy Hurts Us
It's safe to say you see it all during your college years, so it shouldn't have been a surprise to me to find a lone bed, in a small room, in the basement of a friend's fraternity house one late Friday evening.
Ideally, the bed was there for the brothers' one-night stands and various sexual escapades when their own rooms were unavailable for use, or, perhaps, to avoid intimacy, as so many of us Millennials do.
My head took much longer to catch up with my observances than my eyes, but when I finally wrapped my brain around the entire concept of this sight, I realized something.
The absence of commitment, relationship labels, chivalry and the works of traditional dating patterns perpetrates these hidden "gems."
With the revival of the established practice of dating, we may be able to prevent the grotesqueness of a sheet-deprived mattress that is likely crawling with disease, and shake off our generational label of "selfish narcissists" at the same time.
Generation-Y is infatuated with the casualty and ease that comes wrapped up inside an 11:30 pm "You up?" text message.
It's too easy for us to engage in 30 minutes of coitus and return home to an empty bed all to ourselves, than to stick around and actually get to know the person we are sleeping with.
Romantic freedom is our pride and joy, and we love to attach ourselves to the talk of an emotionless sex life, rather than putting ourselves out there for someone else to get to know.
It's all bark and no bite, if you ask me. We like to think we enjoy being used and using others when, in reality, our external shield protecting against feelings may do better made out of Egyptian cotton rather than steel.
We all need love, and that's a fact. We crave it, even if that craving comes in the form of casual sex or intimacy.
Of course, the flip-flopping of separating the business of dating and the pleasure of intimacy can get confusing.
I have always told myself I can causally hook up with someone for a period of time without developing feelings, and I prove myself wrong every single time.
Maybe we don't all want love, but there have been far too many encounters, with both men and women, who struggle with resigning to a non-committal exchange of intimate favors while still craving consistency and effort from their counterpart.
To make us feel better about our informal tendencies, we've coined terms like f*ckboy and f*ckgirl, which validates that the person we are having late-night flings with is just like that.
We tell ourselves we are not the reason why this person never wants to spend the night, or grab dinner beforehand.
But, what ever happened to chivalry? Commitment? We may be able to rid ourselves of the label of "most self-involved generation" if traditional patterns of dating resurfaced.
Do you ever find it difficult to explain to an older adult what the label is with the person you're interested in, or, perhaps, simply hooking up with?
I have struggled to explain to my parents I'm seeing someone when, in reality, we only grab coffee between rounds of fornication, occasionally.
Relationships should be built on love and trust, and not labels by any means, but when we think about how the hook-up culture has evolved, it becomes clear that most of what we engage in is animalistic and pushes the meaning of love aside.
Settling in to accept the bare minimum of intimate satisfaction does us no good.
Why are we okay with the fact that someone brings us to the basement of his frat house for a quick f*ck on a mattress that has seen the ins and outs of many other meaningless intimate affairs before?
And we like the fact that the person we are sleeping with wants nothing to do with us before or after an exchange, besides a text message three days later asking for more?
The very needs that make us human are the needs to love and to be loved. It's what has been the main factor in our growth and development since human beings began evolving.
From the moment we take our first breath, we are told we are loved, and while romantic love fosters and matures in different ways from paternal love, it gradually becomes something each of us lusts after.
Entirely, Generation-Y has lost the treasure in what it feels like to fall in love.
It's the first time you fall in love with the girl who builds a castle out of blocks with you in the second grade; the boy who asks you to prom with a bouquet of flowers and a sign that spans across the dining hall of your school; the guy who walks you home from a late-night out in college.
Because every single time we fall in love, everything around us stops like magic and hardly anything else really matters, but that doesn't even matter to us anymore, anyway.
Perhaps, we simply don't care about setting goals for the future of our relationships, but when we are curiously staring blankly at a phone screen waiting for the text that indicates we'll be getting laid that night, the thought can dart across our minds.
It might not matter to any of us how our generation is labeled -- based on our patterns of intimacy, either -- but giving love to another individual in the conventional style can release selflessness into the world.
It can cultivate a genuine happiness within, of which a hookup simply doesn't have the capacity.
Anyone and everyone can do as they please when it comes to their romantic life, more importantly what brings them happiness.
But, to take an angle that makes dates happen at 7 pm instead of midnight, and consists of more than just a booty call, can do a whole lot more for Generation-Y than we think.