Share Less, Gain More: Why This Generation Should Be More Mysterious
As part of the Millennial generation, we often pride ourselves on being perceived as "chill" in relationships. We consistently make it clear that we are content with the lack of labels and keeping things casual.
However, here's the irony: Although we maintain laidback personas, the way we interact with others can potentially exude a sense of desperation.
As a result, we often prevent ourselves from progressing favorably in relationships. Here are four ways our generation leaves little to the imagination:
1. Our obsession with broadcasting our every move to the world.
The Millennial generation's obsession with social media is no new concept. Remember how we would get excited about "show and tell" day back in second grade?
This was our shining moment to brag about our latest toys or cool memorabilia. (I distinctly remember bringing in an autograph from soccer player Mia Hamm one year, who was super relevant at the time.)
Today, we still get a similar satisfaction from showing off, except it's in the form of tweets, Instagrams and Snapchat stories.
This holds especially true for relationships. After all, the whole "#relationshipgoals" phenomenon originally stemmed from couples sharing excessive photos of their "perfect" relationships.
Why should other people really care that you and your boyfriend are on a cruise in the Caribbean? They shouldn't, really, but many do.
On the demonstrator side of the spectrum, we get satisfaction from showcasing how adorable our relationships are and thrive off our jealous friends' compliments.
We would never explicitly admit it, but it's true: Knowing that we are instigating envy in others boosts our own self-esteem.
As observers, we feed on noteworthy events from other people's lives. Conversely to demonstration's effect, observing reduces our self-esteem.
We can't help but negatively compare our own lives to theirs, and sometimes we even get irrationally upset about it.
It doesn't matter that we all know everyone's lives look 10 times cooler on social media because in that moment, all we can think about is how we want to be sharing a piña coladas with our boyfriends on the beach. (Whether the boyfriends actually exist or not.)
2. Being too aware of each other's intentions.
The popularity of dating apps allows individuals to meet and initiate potential relationships with a little less effort than through traditional methods.
Of course, the initial interaction between two new people is always forced and often awkward, as it would be on any first date.
We engage in standard small talk because we feel we have to when both parties know that they have one thing in mind.
However, that one thing isn't necessarily always sex. You could be actually interested in developing a relationship with someone, and that other person may be fully on the same page as you.
Great! Or is it? The problem is, both of you swiping right solidifies the fact that you are fully interested in each other. Where's the real excitement in that?
The point is, when you're both at least somewhat aware of each other's intentions, it can take out all the fun.
In defense of instigating potential relationships at bars, which others put down often, at least there you are embracing the unexpected a little bit more.
Plus, when you're meeting up with a Tinder date, it's difficult to focus on the ambiguity (and excitement) of whether or not there will be a connection because you're too worried you might be getting catfished.
3. Oversharing details.
When you go on a date with someone new, there's no question you'll dish to your best friends about how it went.
While there's nothing wrong with discussing your romantic life with others, blabbing details constantly can get you into trouble.
Just because we're not in high school anymore doesn't mean rumors and gossip are gone forever. Unfortunately, immature (and evil) people still exist. Others can still twist your words and cause problems that weren't there in the first place.
Plus, when you ask for advice from others, the feedback can be potentially negative. This can cause you to doubt yourself, or overthink things you shouldn't.
While ultimately it's you who knows what you want or how you feel toward someone, it can be easy to get persuaded by others — and that isn't always a good thing in the long run.
4. Being impatient and giving up entirely too quickly.
How many times have you heard a friend complain he or she, "always goes for the wrong people," or, "has the worst luck in relationships," and just really want to find something real?
Maybe you've said similar things yourself.
We often we take steps backward by going after people we know are wrong for us.
It's not necessarily as impossible for us to meet genuine people as we claim. The truth is, we don't always want to spend time searching.
It's easier for us to accept that we will be "forever alone" and get cajoled into hooking up with our exes again because we're lonely. Of course, revisiting bad habits is always a bad idea, and we inevitably feel even worse than before.
It's a vicious cycle, and it's more difficult to escape than we'd prefer to admit.
We claim we want something meaningful and then engage in actions that fully contradict our statements.
The bigger problem is this behavior just makes us seem constantly available. We give off the notion that we are ready to accept anything that gets thrown our way, or that we are fully okay with consistently crawling back to people out of convenience.
When we aren't taken seriously by others, we don't really have anyone but ourselves to blame.
Maybe instead of focusing on showcasing everything to the world and instilling jealousy in others, we should face our own problems. Once we are honest with ourselves, we can eventually stop engaging in toxic habits.
So, leave more to the imagination. Spend less time sprucing up your dating profile, and more on your actual appearance.
Instead of sharing every detail of your relationship (whether through word of mouth or Instagram posts), take a breather.
Focus on what's truly important.
You may be surprised by how the element of mystery can finally turn things around to the way you want them to be.