It’s fairly obvious that millennials have a different approach to dating than us midlifers. Many people view millennials as unable to commit when it comes to relationships, a product of the digitally obsessed world and hook up culture. However, the way millennials jump from date to date is not necessarily a bad thing. Is there something us midlifers could learn from the millennial approach to relationships?
Is the Secret to Lasting Love to Take It Slow?
Millennials are dating less, having less sex and marrying much later than any generation before them. Younger millennials in their early 20’s are more than twice as likely to be sexually inactive than the previous generation. In 2018, the average age for first marriage was approaching 30 on average, 29 for men, 27 for women. This is showing quite a delay from 1980 when it was 24 and 22 respectively. As well as waiting till their older, millennials are also spending an average of 6 and a half years together before marrying, compared with an average of five years in other generations.
It is easy for us to look at these stats and think that millennials don’t find commitment important. But in fact, a survey last year found 70% of singles want a serious relationship.
Millennials are taking it slow, taking their time to consider things before jumping headfirst into a marriage. Delaying walking down the aisle doesn’t mean that they don’t value marriage. In fact, it may mean they value marriage more. They want to be sure about the person they are with when they make such a big commitment.
A lot of millennials come from divorced houses, which can result in broken relationships or messy finances. This can lead to a more considered approach to marriage and commitment. Financial issues can also loom large when it comes to a relationship. Whether its student debt, rising house prices or building a financially stable career, money can be a massive factor for millennials. When it comes to buying a place, having joint bank accounts, or putting cars in each other’s names, these are huge financial commitments that millennials take time to make.
First Dates and ‘Sex Interviews’
For many of us in Generation X or the Baby Boomer generation, the first date was the first romantic interaction you have with that person, and the beginning of getting to know that person. With millennials, “first official dates’ may come later on after you have been seeing each other for a while. For many, sex is the main part of the getting to know you phase, with 34% of millennials saying that they have had sex with someone before they started dating. The “sex interview” allows people to decide whether this person is someone they want to invest the time, emotion and money involved in dating.
What Can We Learn from Millennials?
It’s easy to be cynical about millennials and their approach to dating and lack of commitment. However, we can learn a lot from people who don’t want to waste time on things that are going nowhere, or committing too quickly without being 100% sure that it’s worth the investment. Millennials value commitment so much that they make sure it’s reserved for the relationships that they really want. That means taking it slow, asking the right questions, learning as much as possible about someone before you jump in too fast. They are forward-thinking and looking for something that will really last. Life is short, so we shouldn’t waste it on anything we’re not sure about.
5 Ways To Take It Slow
Call, don’t text
It’s easy to join in with the digital culture and spend more time texting than speaking on the phone, but speaking on the phone gives you more insight into the person and a chance for a deeper conversation.
Ask the right questions
Just because you are taking it slow it doesn’t mean conversations shouldn’t get deep. If you are going to find out as much as possible about who that person is, you need to ask the right questions. Hypothetical questions like “what would you do if you won the lottery” provide more insight into a person’s values than just asking how their day was. Questions like “what is your definition of success” or “what are you most proud of” also help you get the measure of the person and slowly build emotional intimacy
Try new things together
You’re taking it slow, which means you have plenty of time to enjoy the dating stage. Trying new things is a great way to date and helps you bond as you learn them together. Plus, trying new things is fun!
Share Something You Love With Them
One important way to figure out your compatibility is by sharing the things you love with them. Whether its trying new food or a particular activity, the way that they interact with your world can make a big difference in your compatibility in the future. It also gives them a good chance to get to know the real you.
If you are dating, you may as well focus on having fun together. Creating memories and enjoyable dates can help cement your relationship in the future if you decide to take it further. Either way, you may as well enjoy it!