A Millennial's Year In Review: Looking Back On Love And Life In 2015
Navigating relationships, dating, love and careers can seriously be a motherf*cker.
Some people easily achieve success. They know what they want, where to find it and have a knack for making things happen.
Others can be stuck in neutral in one or several aspects of their life. A career can be spot on, but the love train can be non-existent or vice versa.
Additionally, a number of Millennials straight up DGAF. Certain life goals may not be a priority and they prefer living for the moment.
It's not uncommon to be clueless as to what we really want or how to make it happen, especially in our 20s.
When it comes down to it, it's a natural instinct to compare ourselves to others in terms of life and love and where we fall on life's “have my sh*t together” scale.
Statistics can be chaotic, and probably end up looking something like this:
I spoke with Millennials in various stages of life on a full spectrum of careers, geographic locations and varying perspectives on today's dating scene.
I found out where they are, where they are going and just how they roll.
Hopefully, this will satisfy the curiosity many of us have about people we meet -- whether it's a successful professional, that perfect couple, a hottie or those few individuals who always seem completely confident and together in every aspect of life.
**The names of the participants have been changed to keep this anonymous.
Most of the people I interviewed are relatively happy with their job, even if it is not the field they originally intended. It is not uncommon for people to work in a position unrelated to their field of study.
Of the participants who are not happy, the majority plan to change their job in the near future.
According to Forbes, Millennials look for "work with a greater purpose." Forbes goes on to back up how the Millennial generation is dedicated to conformity.
Seventy-two percent of students, compared with 53 percent of workers, consider working in a position where they are able to make a big difference is integral to their overall satisfaction.
The majority of Millennials do not plan on staying in one particular job for very long.
Adam, 26, for example, states,
I am happy with my current job in life but the Millennial generation 'updates' their careers more than any other generation. I will choose to update my career several times in my life and now is no exception. The world requires us to adapt.
Relationships, love and dating
About half of the people I interviewed are in a relationship. The rest are either looking for that “special someone” or not interested in an exclusive relationship just yet.
I want to date different guys now, so I will really know what I want and don't want. Only then I will feel confident about a serious commitment. - Kate, 23 When I'm in a relationship it seems like everyone is single and partying it up with their single friends. When I'm single, everyone has a special someone. WTF? Can't win! But I guess when you meet the perfect match it really doesn't matter. - Samantha, 25
According to The Atlantic, statistics reflect the majority of Millennials are putting off getting married. Casual dating is more the norm today and women are fulfilling their career dreams to the max. Marriage seems not to take priority in the early 20s as it used to in previous generations.
For males, "by 30" seems like the magic term when most guys want to have their “serious relationship game” in order.
Most single women are more likely to say "now would be good" when asked when they would like to meet Prince Charming and start a committed relationship.
Where are we meeting new dating prospects?
Both genders revealed they mostly meet people through mutual friends, at parties or work events and usually over the weekend.
Many singles like using Tinder and online dating sites, although that's not where they feel they will meet that special someone.
I really like the chatting aspect, but I honestly don't know if I'd actually ever meet up with them in person... it's the unknown! - Chloe, 22 It doesn't bother me to meet someone random as long as you first break them down and ask the right questions. - Brett, 27 I think dating apps are great for casual dating, but when ladies are getting husband hungry or when guys decide to settle down it's time to search harder and dig deeper. Picking out a headshot out of thousands does not make for a good love story. - Jack, 26
What we are/are not attracted to.
When it comes to attraction, the majority of men and women agreed confidence and ambition are key.
Based on interviews he held, Match.com's relationship insider Whitney Casey reveals, "Self-confidence is key when it comes to men's attraction. It is the smell, the makeup, the hair, the clothes that make a woman appear self-confident..."
Attractive people for me are generally curious to learn and are positive and proactive in shaping their own world. Closed-mindedness and unwillingness to try new things are the biggest turn offs. – Adam, 26 I don't think it's fair women or men hold back when honesty is key. It's not worth beating around the bush and ending up hurting someone 10 times worse if you stay involved or lie. - Leah, 26 I like a confident girl who has a healthy career focus. Someone who takes her work seriously, stays in good shape and knows how to have a good time; someone who is grounded and in good balance in life. - Jack, 26
A glimpse into a few Millennial profiles:
Chloe Age: 22 Job: Surgical Scheduler at a major hospital Location: NYC Status: Single
Chloe is in a good place in the job department.
She's totally “single and ready to mingle” once she moves into her city apartment.
What better place to meet people than in the awesome social scene of Manhattan?
Although Chloe loves to have fun, she reveals she's at a point in her life when she's definitely open to commitment.
I had so much fun in college, but now I'm ready for something a little more serious.
When she has an awesome time on a date and doesn't hear from the guy within the next couple of days, she won't think twice about making the first move and shooting him a text.
If I don't feel comfortable saying 'I had fun,' or 'When will I see you next?' I'll at least come up with something vague that shows that I was thinking about him.
Jack Age: 26 Job: IT Project Manager Location: Connecticut Status: In a Relationship
Jack is happy with his career choice and sees himself continuing down this path.
He and his girlfriend met in college.
I definitely missed out on some prime girls because I was afraid to reach out first. I would have loved if the girl reached out first. Just remember, if he doesn't say anything, it doesn't mean he's not into you. I think between 28-32 is when I've always seen myself getting married. Not too young and not too old. Gives time for a career to grow and leaves time to have kids young.
Emma Age: 22 Job: Marketing Product Trade Show Coordinator Location: Connecticut Status: In a relationship
Emma is very happy with her job and career choice.
She currently lives in the suburbs and met her boyfriend in college through mutual friends.
Even though they live six hours apart, the distance does not stop them from supporting one another.
When we see each other it makes it all that more special. In a way it makes it easier to be independent, yet in a relationship at the same time.
Emma's ideal plan is to focus on traveling and her career while she's in her 20s. She wants to grow before settling down and tying the knot.
I want to enjoy only having to be responsible for myself while I can. Marriage is definitely in my future, just not the near future.
Brett Age: 27 Job: Senior Financial Services Consultant/Team Lead Location: NYC Status: Single
Brett is definitely on track with his career and puts himself under the category of DGAF.
I'm at a point in my life where I am fine with being single but always have my eye out for the babe that rocks my world. I am working on myself right now. I don't see myself getting married until I am closer to my early 30s.
Neediness and “money talk” both turn Brett off.
I took out a girl recently who happened to mention that she 'only dates guys who make over 200K.'
Leah Age: 26 Job: Catering & Events Coordinator Location: Houston, Texas Status: In a relationship
Leah loves her field and it loves her back, even though she's not happy with her current employer.
She's having fun in this stage of her life and she's in a relationship with someone she met on OkCupid.
I really enjoyed my experience on a dating site and think it's a lot less awkward than meeting someone randomly.
In a perfect world, Leah would love to have a house within the year, be engaged by 28 and tie the knot by 30.
When it comes to waiting for a guy to reach out or making the first move herself, Leah reveals as she's gotten older she's less likely to always wait for the guy to initiate.
Adam Age: 26 Job: Cultural Trainer in Education and Management Location: Chengdu, China Status: Recently started relationship
Adam is living the good life. He is very happy with his current job.
The perfect scenario for Adam would be to stay single until he is 30, then start thinking about marriage.
This plan can change when you meet someone whose vision and life coincides with your already existing life plan.
Adam thinks meeting someone too early in life can cause you to toss away your dreams for him or her.
Advice from Adam:
A man's biggest fear is breaking a girl's heart. Girls tend not to realize this and men often don't admit it. Sometimes he doesn't call back because he likes you and doesn't want to hurt you. It hurts you less not to call back after one date than if we had waited to do the same thing after several dates. A guy doesn't want to feel pressured into jumping ship from his single life too quickly.
Bottom line, whatever makes you happy is the right course. Stay focused, stay real and create a path that gets you there.