How to Date Today: A Guide for Every Generation

My mother is a baby boomer.  She’s from a different generation of ideas about love and dating- she was a virgin when she married my Dad, and in dating, she expects to be courted, with flowers and formal plans. Recently, she had a long-term boyfriend that my sisters and I talked her out of marrying, because although she didn’t really want to, that’s what she thought she was supposed to do.   

Mom: “But I’ve been seeing him for months, and everyone in town can see when his truck is parked outside my house!”

Sisters: “WHO CARES?  You don’t have to get married unless you really want to!”

Mom: “But I go to church!”

My middle sister and I are Gen-X.  We can remember dating in personal ads, when you would try to find someone with the same taste in movies and food and never see their face until the first date.  My sister was in an eight year relationship where she wore nothing but flannels and ironic baby tees.  We don’t have my mother’s reservations about living in sin- our generation has been known to live together for several presidential terms before considering marriage.

My baby sister is a Millennial.  Her generation has never dated without the internet.    All of their jobs involve social networking.  They do not seem to know how to have a relationship, even if they want one.  They only know how to hook up.  They don’t plan ahead for dates, when they have a free hour they see who’s around.  They say that they’ll fall in love with the perfect person, but they’re not sure who that is.  They are not allowed to have body hair.  And their dating style is ruining it for the rest of us. 

The single serving date phenomenon has become a big part of the dating experience, at least in big cities.  Once you’ve had one date, that person is suddenly in competition with everyone else in a twenty mile radius.  As it turns out, even LA is not as big as people think it is- every rock show I attend is full of one-date men I have to avoid eye contact with.   People are simply not being born or imported fast enough to be rejected by us!  The most popular breakup method is the “fade-away”, where after two or ten dates you slow, then eliminate contact.  It’s not just people in their twenties and thirties- I went on a couple dates with a fifty year old man whose longest relationship was shorter than his Audi lease, and he felt that this was extremely normal.

Young Couple Kissing In Restaurant

So far, I have had 50 first dates on OK Cupid and have had three relationships.  Some people were looking for relationships and some were not, and those aren’t terrible numbers, but now that my Mom is in the game, she calls me to crow about her account. 

“I have three dates this week, and your sisters don’t have any!”  I told her I was very proud that she was the hot piece of action in our family.

How Millennials View Sex

Willing to reject labels altogether?

We live in a new era and new ways of discovering ourselves and our world around sex.
Do you feel comfortable with this or do you feel like a fish learning how to swim in new waters.

Here is a perspective of how millennials view sex.

Bisexual, pansexual, demiromantic, aromantic — the sexual identities with which people label themselves continue to become more diverse and more mainstream. But think back to the days long, long ago, when conversations about sexuality were typically limited to gay or straight and maybe, once in a while, bisexual. (Yawn, am I right?)

So what is it about millennials, who are both open to sexual fluidity and willing to reject labels altogether?

Curated by Timothy
Original Article

The Married Millennial – Are We Too Young?

A mistake is only a failure if you don’t learn from it. Marriage and divorce shouldn’t be any different.

I got married at 21. By today’s standards, that makes me a unicorn.

When I show up with a new tattoo, nobody bats an eye. But the second I say I’m married? I might as well have joined a cult.

“How old are you, again?” my yoga teacher asked.

I answered honestly. “I’m 21.”

Her face must have gone through fifty shades of pity. “Are you sure?”

In our early twenties, we are expected to make adult decisions. Finishing college, choosing our careers, voting in elections – these are not tasks for children. As an adult, I’m allowed to make choices for myself. I’m allowed to make mistakes.

If we can smoke cigarettes in our twenties (risking cancer), own a credit card (and a lifetime of student loan debt), or joining the military (at 18, mind you) – why is marriage such a scary concept to us?

Traditional marriage goes against what many of us have come to know.

How long have you been together? Because when I was in my twenties…”

This is a trick question. It doesn’t matter how long we have been together – her mind is made up that I am too young. Her conclusion is probably drawn from her own experiences at 21 – and that’s not a bad thing.

A year before, I would have agreed with her. I’ve had every reason to not believe in marriage. My experiences with long-term relationships began much younger than most, and nearly all of them ended in heartbreak. I know what it’s like to think you’ll spend forever with someone, only to leave – or be left. My own parents divorced. My friends’ parents divorced. I’ve been to more divorce dinners than actual weddings…and that’s because I don’t like weddings.

Before my husband came along, I swore off the possibility of long-term relationships completely. Monogamy was a lie. Marriage was an outdated system. Why would a strong, career-minded feminist like myself willingly give herself legally to another person?

I argued this point whenever marriage was mentioned. I questioning my friends’ life choices and cut my own relationships short when things got too serious. I was content to spend the rest of my life as a happily single woman. Now, here I am, with a ring on my finger.

Is it scary? Yes. Do I question my decision? No.

A mistake is only a failure if you don’t learn from it. Marriage and divorce shouldn’t be any different. I can’t predict the next ten, twenty, thirty years. But no matter how my life turns out, I will be grateful for having shared it with him.

Nobody can predict the future, and that’s what makes marriage so huge.

I know a couple that dated for ten years before getting married. They divorced after one year. I also know a couple that got married six months after they met. They’ve been married for thirty years, and counting.

There is no guarantee that any relationship will survive. Our generation has been raised to value reward over risk. We want results, now. To many of us, marriage just sounds like a really expensive mistake. It’s easier to live together and have children together, without the hassle of expensive paperwork.

“Why invest in a marriage when you can have all the perks without it?” asked basically everyone.

As soon as our engagement announcement went live on social media, my inbox overflowed with congratulations…and concern.

“Have you been with him long enough to be sure?”

“Does this mean you giving up your career?”

“Are you pregnant?”

“I know it’s not my business, but…”

Sixty years ago, getting married in your twenties was totally normal. But then again, more of us had stable jobs in those days. People weren’t as afraid of the future then as we are now.

Nobody knows where – or who – we’ll be in five, ten, or twenty years. For many, this is why being “tied down” to any one person is terrifying. But for some, this is all the more reason to commit to something – or someone.

We’ve now been married for one year. So far, so good. We know that marriage is hard work. And it’s more than likely that we won’t be the same people in ten years. That’s not a bad thing. It means we’re growing – and hopefully, we’ll grow together.

Maybe you are also in your twenties, and you were hoping this article might help you decide whether to get married or not. My question for you, is – why?

Do your life choices reflect what you want, or what other people want? This applies to everything, not just marriage. Self-sabotage occurs by comparing ourselves to others and waiting for outer validation.

When my lover got down on one knee, he didn’t say, “Hey, friends and family, should she marry me?”

And I didn’t say, “Hold on a second,” and then get out my phone to Google national divorce statistics.

He simply asked, “Will you marry me?”

And I said, “Yes.”

Marriage is a choice between two people, to be made every day for the rest of life. I feel ready, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Love is all that matters. Embrace the way it lives for you.

Are we TOO young?

Why Millennial Sex Drive Could Be Shrinking

Why more millennials are avoiding sex.

I spent most of yesterday morning mulling over Tara Bahrampour’s article in the Washington Post headlined “‘There isn’t really anything magical about it’: Why more millennials are avoiding sex.” The crux of her argument relates to a new study in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior that finds younger millennials (i.e. those born in the 1990s) more than twice as likely to be sexually inactive in their early 20s as Gen Xers were. Compared with baby boomers, millennials’ low sex drive makes them look like nuns and priests.

The proffered reasons for millennial abstinence? A culture of overwork and an obsession with career status, a fear of becoming emotionally involved and losing control, an online-dating milieu that privileges physical appearance above all, anxieties surrounding consent, and an uptick in the use of libido-busting antidepressants.

I generally jump to the defense of millennials, not just because I am one, but because I even know some. It too often feels as though we’re reported on as an alien species: “I saw this strange person at the supermarket buying organic milk. He was ungrateful, stupid and has never worked a day in his life, if my personal inference from watching him hold the carton may be used as a categorical analysis of an entire generation, as it will be throughout this piece, and then again in the comments section.”

But if (and this is a big “if”) this is indeed how many millennials think about sex, relationships and other people — as productivity inhibitors — we’re screwed, in all ways but the fun one.

“Research-based trend pieces are useful in the same way polemics are useful — to the extent they provoke further discussion.”

OK, a couple of disclaimers before you pillory the argument: I’m not a “younger millennial.” If millennials are defined as those who are 19 to 35 years old in 2016, then at 29 I clock in on the “What are the young people up to these days?” end of the millennial spectrum. So, younger young people, weigh in in the comments please and tell me what I’m missing; I’m all ears.

Second disclaimer: I believe that everyone should have exactly as much sex as they do or don’t want to have, with whomever they do or don’t want to have it, in whatever fashion they do or don’t want to have it. So long as consent is present in any resultant exchange, one need not justify their choices. Some are not physically able to have sexual relationships, some have religious or cultural reservations about premarital sex, others do not desire sex; none are less human, none are more correct. I also don’t suggest that my choices are particularly enlightened; indeed, several sources familiar with the matter can confirm they’ve often not been. My interest in this rise in abstention has to do with motivation and meaning rather than the (lack of) action itself.

Final disclaimer: Many trend pieces are hot garbage. See: the New York Times article on“the explosion” of women who dye their armpit hair. The trend piece is a form that’s plagued by the “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail” problem. If you begin with any premise and set out to prove it, you can generally find a handful of folks in this world of 7.4 billion to confirm your suspicion.

That said, research-based trend pieces are useful in the same way polemics are useful — to the extent they provoke further discussion. And this research is based on a nationally representative sample of more than 25,000 American adults. So here are my thoughts in brief on points made in the Washington Post article (edited here for clarity). You’ll have others.

“It’s a highly motivated, ambitious generation,” says Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University and chief scientific adviser to the dating site “A lot of them are afraid that they’ll get into something they can’t get out of and they won’t be able to get back to their desk and keep studying.”

As Michael Cunningham wrote, “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.” Sure, any attempt to have a life outside of work will keep you away from your desk. And it’s true that we live in fraught times, with massive student loan debt and decreased job security. But overwork, with all else perceived as a distraction, is no tool to cultivate joy.

The sense of caution sometimes manifests itself as a heightened awareness of emotional pitfalls. For example, many young people speak disparagingly of the messy emotional state love and lust can engender, referring to it as “catching feelings.”

Humans have feelings. Fairly unavoidable. See: brain chemistry.

Noah Patterson, 18, has never had sex. “I’d rather be watching YouTube videos and making money.” Sex, he said, is “not going to be something people ask you for on your résumé.

Lots of miserable people with cool resumes out there.

Online life “ends up putting a lot of importance on physical appearance, and that, I think, is leaving out a large section of the population,” said Twenge, who teaches psychology at San Diego State University. Unlike in face-to-face meetings where “you can seduce someone with your charm,” she said, dating apps are “leaving some people with fewer choices and they might be more reluctant to search for partners at all.”

What’s even sexier than an avatar? A flesh-and-blood human with flaws and personality.

That is Patterson’s takeaway. “Third-wave feminists seem to be crazy, saying that all men are participating in this rape culture.” He opts for porn instead. “It’s quicker. It’s more accessible. What you see is what you get.”

Flesh-and-blood humans carry traumas born of their experiences on a complicated and oft-cruel planet. Some of these traumas are sexual. Rather than pathologizing humans who’ve survived sexual trauma, perhaps you could recognize that they did not create the environment that harmed them, and work to be a source of understanding and support.

Abstinence may not be such a considered choice for everyone, though; there can also be environmental factors. For example, the use of antidepressants, which doubled between 1999 and 2012, can reduce sex drive.

This is real. Those who take antidepressants: Good on you for getting the help you need. Those who don’t: Find a way to understand and support flesh-and-blood humans dealing with depression.

“The decision to indefinitely avoid sexual relationships from a place of fear is deeply understandable.”

Why is sex a necessary or good thing, given all these concerns?

It isn’t an absolute good. It’s only good if it’s a thing you want to do, if it’s an act that brings you fun or connection or pleasure. The problem isn’t that millennials are having less sex, but that many of their reasons reveal warped values and a fear-based approach to existence. Here’s a generation swearing off a life-affirming and life-creating act in record numbers, simply because they don’t know what to do with it.

Most people are rational actors, in so far as their fears are connected to their experiences. There are many anecdotal and quantitative indications that sex among millennials is a real landmine for hurt and misunderstanding. In some ways, this hurt is heightened by the advent of distancing technologies like Tinder and texting. But the challenge of navigating closeness with and care for others has always been a central human story.

Rather than forgoing sex, we can be strive to be more creative and generous in our interpersonal relationships, whether they be sexual or otherwise. That starts by thinking deeply about what we want so that we can articulate it to another person. It continues by finding a receptive and respectful person or people to have sex with. It continues by being a receptive and respectful person. It ends never.

The emotional work that sex asks us to do is the same emotional work a life of growth requires. The decision to indefinitely avoid sexual relationships from a place of fear is deeply understandable. But it is also a decision to constrict the edges of one’s experience; it is a decision to disengage from that which induces greater vulnerability, and greater tenderness.

Curated by Timothy
Original Article

What is Mine is Yours. Right?

Before the first date, with nearly half (48 percent) of millennials surveyed who have used an online dating service discussing their finances before meeting.

TD Bank’s survey shows Millennials talk early and often about money and are happier in their relationships

Couples who talk about money at least once a week say they are happier (78 percent), than those who discuss money less than every few months (50 percent), according to the second annual TD Bank Love & Money Survey.

Money is a hot relationship topic for millennials with 74 percent discussing it weekly (and an additional 19 percent discussing it at least once a month). In fact, these discussions begin even before the first date, with nearly half (48 percent) of millennials surveyed who have used an online dating service discussing their finances before meeting, compared with 36 percent across all generations.

Talking about money can be uncomfortable,” says Ryan Bailey, Head of Consumer Deposits, Payments and Personal Lending at TD Bank. “Establishing a healthy dialogue about finances can help couples get on the same page from the start and result in happier relationships in the long run.”

What’s Mine is Yours? Not So Fast, Say Millennials

  • While more than two-thirds (68 percent) of millennials have at least one shared bank account, they are somewhat averse to sharing credit card accounts, with 60 percent stating they keep some separate or don’t share any at all (compared with 55 percent of Gen Xers and 48 percent of boomers).
  • Across all generations, 76 percent of couples share at least one bank account, including 79 percent of those who said they are happy in their relationships. Moreover, 63 percent of all couples shared at least one credit card, including 68 percent of those who are happy.
  • Credit card debt is a significant factor when it comes to relationships and 44 percent say they are less likely to date someone with credit card debt.

How Millennials Rank in Marriage Statistics

There’s no shortage of theories as to how and why today’s young people differ from their parents.

As marketing consultants never cease to point out, baby boomers and millennials appear to have starkly different attitudes about pretty much everything, from money and sports to breakfast and lunch.

New research tries to ground those observations in solid data. The National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University set out to compare 25- to 34-year-olds in 1980—baby boomers—with the same age group today. Researcher Lydia Anderson compared U.S. Census data from 1980 with the most recent American Community Survey 1  data in 2015.

The results reveal some stark differences in how young Americans are living today, compared with three or four decades ago.

In 1980, two-thirds of 25- to 34-year-olds were already married. One in eight had already been married and divorced. In 2015, just two in five millennials were married, and only 7 percent had been divorced.

Baby boomers’ eagerness to get married meant they were far more likely than today’s young people to live on their own. Anderson looked at the share of each generation living independently, either as heads of their own household or in married couples.

Millennials: What Do ‘Grown-Up Relationships’ Look Like?

Have you seen these headlines?

‘Millennial Commitment-Phobia Threatens the Future of Love.’

‘Are Dating Apps the End of Romance?’ 

‘Love is Dead, and Millennials Killed It.’

Thanks for the laughs, Google. I wholeheartedly disagree.

While everyone is different, I believe that most Millennials do believe in love and commitment in some form or another. The fact that we’re free to feel otherwise and/or change our minds can actually strengthen our ultimate resolve to have these needs met. Millennials want joy and fulfillment in our relationships, in whatever way we feel is best for us.

Maybe that’s the key difference that’s scaring everyone. We don’t choose partners based on “whatever society says is best,” or even “what our parents think we should do.” We love in whatever way we feel is best for us.

The ways in which today’s singles ‘hunt and gather’ in relationships looks drastically different than previous generations, but that’s not necessarily new. Our parents’ love lives were different from their parents, just as their parents’ were different from their grandparents. As technology and culture jump forward, so do the ways in which we live our lives. Call it evolution, development, advancement, whatever – change can be uncomfortable for some, but it’s important.

In the 60s, ‘free love’ was said to be the end of relationships. Was it?

When women began prioritizing their education and careers, they were said to be ‘destroying traditional family values.’ Did they?

When divorce was legalized, it was an outrage. “Commitment is dead!” they said.

Fast forward to 2017: same kids, new toys. Millennials are not the first generation to shake things up, and it’s okay. Commitment phobia, ‘ghosting’ and one-night stands are not new concepts. We just have flashy new apps, websites and catchphrases for them now.

Instead of going out for milk and never coming home (as great-grandpa did back in the day), we can just press ‘block,’ ‘delete’ and then go on with our lives. It’s cheaper and safer than the old-fashioned alternatives, especially if marriage hasn’t entered the picture. Millennials aren’t forced to enter legal contracts before they’re ready (risking long-term unhappiness, family dysfunction, infidelity and more). We are free to pick and choose the kinds of relationships we actually want.

So why isn’t everyone celebrating?

As great as evolution is, these advances do make things a little more complicated.

In Scientific American, Helen Fisher (a relationship expert at Rutgers University and chief scientific advisor at has said that she does not subscribe to the idea of a ‘relationship apocalypse.’ Instead, she describes modern dating trends as “slow love,” meaning that Millennials are taking more time to experiment and find out what they don’t want before they settle down with what they do want. 

Thanks to dating apps, we have infinitely more choices when it comes to selecting a partner. This makes love more complicated than it was for our grandparents, dating only within their own towns and cities.

If I’m offered three types of breakfast cereal to choose from, it might take five minutes to pick. But what about three hundred choices? I might be in the breakfast aisle forever.

I’m not fickle or indecisive for using multiple dating apps. Like any sensible human, I want to consider all the options before making a decision. It isn’t impulsiveness or fear that leads Millennials to jump around; it’s actually a sense of responsibility.

The behaviors we engage in are not new; our openness about them is. LGBTQ+ Americans have always been around, whether we were socially accepted or not. The gender spectrum hasn’t changed, our language for it has. Single parenthood, premarital sex, polyamory, fetishes, and infidelity are not new ideas. Neither is blaming ‘those damn kids’ for things that make us uncomfortable.

Being open about our needs has a number of positive benefits: safer sex, improved psychological health, better relationships, increased acceptance of ourselves and others, and fewer wasted years trying to hide and fit into lives that aren’t genuine. With that said…I get it. Dating is fine and dandy, but what about commitment?

In a generation that notoriously struggles to ‘adult,’ what do Grown-Up Relationships look like?

I remember sitting in the schoolyard at five years old, trying to picture myself at twenty. I imagined I’d be married, have a house, two kids and a dog. Now that twenty has come and gone, I can’t help but giggle at this outlandish fantasy. The vast majority of today’s twenty year-olds can’t afford their own rent, let alone support a family.

To understand why we most likely aren’t married (yet or ever), let’s consider some of the factors surrounding our life decisions. According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are more educated but significantly less affluent than previous generations. Adults in their 20s and early 30s are more likely to still live with their parents; this comes not out of desire or laziness, but of need. Most of us can’t afford to throw a wedding in our twenties, let alone buy a house and start a family. While the bar for success has risen with our education, the odds for a stable career are lower than ever. Is it any wonder then, that most of us won’t marry young?

If by ‘grown up’ you mean financially stable, most of us aren’t there yet. But if maturity is a measure of emotional independence, personal commitment to improvement and working hard to attain stability – then yes, we’re all adults, here.

Millennial relationships are Grown-Up Relationships. And modern grown-ups don’t need to get married. We need love and support – and that doesn’t necessarily mean following blueprints set by our parents. Most of my Millennials friends don’t consider marriage a bad thing, but they also aren’t ready (or willing) any time soon.

I married my partner, but I am definitely not a “grown-up” with a house and two kids the way my five-year-old self had anticipated. Our world is not that of our grandparents, so today’s typical marriage looks a little different. I wouldn’t expect anyone else to make the same choices as me, or vice versa. My grown-up relationship is not your grown-up relationship, just as my  day-job is not your day-job. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t let outdated standards determine your modern needs.

Perhaps instead of worrying that our love lives aren’t ‘mature’ by ancient standards, we can look at the big picture and accept that we are exactly where we’re supposed to be for this time in history. If you’re one of 1.8 billion Millennials navigating love in an unprecedented world, I applaud you. You’re not alone, you’re not the first, and you’re certainly not the last.

Welcome to Millennial Love. What does it mean to you?

Marriage 101: Expectations Vs. Reality

 Once upon a time, two newlywed lovers rode off into the sunset.

just marriedIt was a perfect end to a perfect day: The Bride (wearing an off-beat vintage dress that totally said “I’m not like other brides”) took a celebratory swig from a flask in the passenger seat. Her Groom squinted like a sultry James Dean, driving toward the horizon with wind in his hair. The sexy beats of Arctic Monkeys accompanied them as they drove; they thought of the red-hot road trips they took when they had first been dating. This new beginning was just a continuation of a love that was already good.

The couple held hands and agreed: this was perfect, they were perfect, and the future was going to be perfect.

Being married wouldn’t change a thing, they swore. This was the happy ending they’d always wanted. Two lifetimes of buildup and anticipation, all those years of searching…everything led up to this moment.

Soooo…what now? Neither one knew for sure.

The Bride kept drinking her whiskey and the Groom kept playing the same songs on repeat and they tried to do the same things they did before the ceremony, before the proposal, before moving in.

It worked, for a while. But the sunset had to end sometime. What would they do in the morning?

Clouds moved in to cover the stars. The Bride and Groom were now Wife and Husband, and they tried their best not to mess things up.

“What do married people do?” they asked themselves. Both came up with their own answer, based on what they’d seen their parents, friends and TV couples do.

Wife made a nice dinner and set the table for Husband, because she heard she should prioritize quality time. Meanwhile, Husband picked up an extra evening shift at his job, because he heard he should save to buy nice things for Wife.

All it took was a phone call to disappoint them both. Gone were the days of long drives and free flying and throwing bouquets out the window. Now, he was a husband who worked long hours and she was a wife who ate pot roast alone.

“Why does he make me so sad?” She sighed. “This doesn’t seem like us.”

“Why does she make me so angry?” He groaned. “I thought that we would be different.”

She expected a date night; he chose a night with the boys. He expected they’d spend their day off at the beach; she preferred couples’ counseling. On and on and on it went.

One year later, this perfect pairing was dissatisfied in every way. Why?

Things weren’t really that bad, were they? He didn’t cheat, she didn’t lie, and neither one spent all their money. Plus, they were trying so hard! It didn’t make sense that they’d be so unhappy. Was marriage itself to blame?

True story: When my husband and I were married, we were convinced we’d never be like “other” couples. We felt like two single people who just happened to be getting married. “Nothing would change!” we vowed.

In five years, we imagined that of course we’d have romantic evenings of punk records and bourbon on the rocks. And in ten years, naturally we’d have the same careers and wear the same styles of clothing. And in twenty years, obviously we’d be the coolest parents/best friends/partners on Earth. Everyone would envy how non-traditional and happy and open we were. “Traditional” marriage was for the birds, we said!

These weren’t bad intentions at all. But eventually, our unconscious expectations of what should be threatened our conscious dreams of what could be. It took a great deal of listening on both sides to dissect the reasons why we expected the things that we did. And it was hard to admit that people weren’t lying when they warned us that marriage would change things.

Here’s where we went wrong: My expectations and his expectations did not match our collaborative goals. And the higher our expectations, the greater our potential for disappointment.

As much as we denied it, that piece of paper became more than ‘just a piece of paper’ the second we went beyond “I do” and claimed our “supposed tos” and “should.” And it’s okay. I believe that most couples go through this, at some point.

The first few years of committed cohabitation are specifically primed for chaos. The people you both were when you met will have changed by the time you walk down the aisle. And it’s often not until the glow wears off that you notice that anything’s changed. When that happens, it’s not necessarily bad. Just hang on. It takes love, patience and a sense of adventure to navigate what happens next.

I’d thought marriage would be just like dating, just with both of our names on a contract. I imagined we’d be the same people, forever. But that’s like saying “if I win millions in the lottery, I’ll still act like I do making $20,000 a year!” How silly.

When an event or person changes your life, your identity must be affected somehow. If this didn’t happen, no one would grow or evolve. We’d all still be raging toddlers, learning nothing and accomplishing nothing. But while change is a good thing, it’s stressful.

Sometimes opportunity feels like a crisis. Even something as wonderful as finding your soul mate can spark a personal breakdown. But the difference between a breakdown and breakthrough is the way you go about handling it. Change works in your favor, if you let it.

Expansion requires letting go of old limits, and this includes unrealistic expectations. And it’s not as scary as you might think. You can lower your expectations without compromising your standards. 

It’s common for couples to articulate the same vision for their marriage, but display conflicting expectations through their actions down the road.

Nobody’s immune to unrealistic expectations, even the most non-traditional of couples. Overcoming this pattern is a challenge that can only make you better, together.

I’m grateful for all of it, now. Good and bad. We’ve been through a lot, and we’re stronger for it. We’re clear on what our relationship is and have chosen to accept and love it for what it is now, not what it “could” or “should” be down the road. At first, I thought letting go would mean accepting failure. But the results proved me wrong in the best way.

Now that we’ve stopped judging ourselves by old rules that don’t work, we’re free to meet the ideals we’d envisioned at the start! Our worst fears were never realized, once we learned to let go of them.

just marriedLove is not a perpetual ride into the sunset. Sometimes it’s two flat tires in a blizzard. And that’s fine! At least it’s not boring.

When that sunset ride ends and you run out of gas, get out of the car and push. Hold on to each other through the next morning, the next sunset, the next disaster and dream come true. Have faith in your future beginnings, because there will always be more.


P.S…Laugh, if you can. It helps.

10 Reasons Why Dating Is So Complicated Now

When we were younger, romantic relationships seemed so much simpler. If we liked someone, we told them — and if they felt the same, we got together. These days, things are endlessly more complicated and frustrating, and dating as a millennial is seriously f*cked up.

1. We ghost as a way to end things.

If we’re no longer interested in someone, we don’t need to tell them — we simply stop responding. If someone did this to us in real life, it would be completely psychotic, but because it’s over text or an instant message, we’ve somehow resigned ourselves to thinking it’s OK. Newsflash: it’s totally not. Even in the golden ages, the “Dear John” letter was left on the table in the foyer, but now, we’re lucky if you even get a typed string of characters saying “I’m sorry, it’s not working.”

2. We’re hyper-focused on sex.

Sex is scarily available — we can have it simply with the swipe of a finger. There’s zero effort made into getting to know someone for who they truly are unless we’re willing to undress and show the most sacred parts of ourselves first. And most of the time, sex doesn’t lead to a relationship — it leads to heartache, confusion and another one-night stand with the next person.

3. We’re in a competition of who can care the least.

Showing actual emotions is heavily frowned upon. If we show our cards and act like we’re interested, it leaves the person we’re affectionate about turned off and running in the opposite direction instead of being flattered that we actually give a sh*t about them. There’s little gratitude for honest and happy emotions.

4. We’re too strategic about our responses.

Responding right away comes across as desperate and too available. It’s amazing how millennials view the luxury of having instant access to communication as something we need to treat as if we’re still using carrier pigeons. Instant messaging is just that — it’s f*cking instant — but we still withhold our response times to try and show just how busy, important, and unattached we are. What backward and bullsh*t logic.

5. We expect a perfection that doesn’t exist.

Social media and thousands of dating profiles shoved in our faces lead us to believe we’re entitled a fairy tale life that doesn’t truly exist. We write people off for a minor detail and quickly look for the next best thing that we’ll somehow also find flaws in. Nothing is ever good enough for millennials. We fail to realize that relationships are a balanced bond and that with the amazing things come imperfections as well.

6. We’re overloaded with options.

We don’t believe we need to settle on anything because there’s always someone better looking with a better family life, better hobbies or someone with a better bank account. We move from person to person and even if we land on someone that makes us feel great and we could totally devote ourselves to in a relationship, we’re never quite willing to give up the search. The never-ending journey becomes more exhilarating than the actual prize itself.

7. We’ve become content with being alone.

While we’ve been navigating the journey to find love, we’ve consequently committed our lives to ourselves and made them into something that’s happy and rewarding without someone to love, which means it’s that much harder to invite a relationship into our lives. We’re fine on our own, so we won’t leave our comfort zones for anyone. Sometimes we even find minor and trivial reasons not to because we’re secretly happy with things just the way they are.

8. We’re always stuck in a grey area.

Almost relationships and no strings attached sex are the millennial versions of commitment. We’re left constantly wondering where relationships are headed, if anywhere, and plague ourselves with wondering if we’re wasting our time. No one is clear about their intentions, some lie about their intentions entirely just to have their ego’s stroked for a while, and basically no one has any clue what the f*ck is going on.

9. We don’t feel accountable for the pain we inflict on to others.

When we’ve hurt someone’s feelings, we don’t feel even the slightest bit inclined to apologize or to make good on our wrongs. It’s not our problem — it’s theirs. A person’s emotions, even if caused by something we did or said, is up to them to resolve. We feel entitled to walk around acting like complete d*cks with the expectation that the way it’s received is a reflection of the person we dump our sh*t on and nothing to do with the fact that we were the cruel ones.

10. We’re all jaded as f*ck.

Trust is severely lacking in our dating culture. We’re in the thick of a hookup culture that values sex more than love, temporary fulfillment instead of life-long commitment and lazy ass communication that often gets lost in translation. We’re all so confused by our own pasts, and with heaps of more sh*t constantly being added to the pile, we’re all becoming more and more jaded than ever before. We don’t even trust that love exists anymore because all we’re constantly met with disappointment. Dating as a millennial is like being in an apocalypse of love — and it’s pretty f*cked up.

Curated by Peggy
Original Article

Did Millennials Kill The Sexual Revolution?

Millennials aren’t as sexually active as we’re led to believe. Why is that — and what does it mean?

So, everyone knows that millennials are the most sexually active generation, right?

They’re all about hooking up and moving on, without thoughts of relationships or emotional attachment. They’re just out all day on their hoverboards, snapchatting, eating black ice cream, and designing apps for people who want their dogs to meet.

We’ve seen it on Girls and Broad City, we’ve read articles about it, some of us have even written about it. This generation just can’t get enough of strings-free hookups!

Actually, no.

According to a recent study, millennials are having LESS sex than the rest of us.


According to a report published by the Archives of Sexual Behavior, 15 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds have not had sex since turning 18, up from 6 percent in the early 1990s.

It goes on to say that younger millennials (those born in the early 1990s) are 41 percent more likely to be sexually inactive than their peers born in the 1980s and more than twice as likely to be sexually inactive in their early 20s than Generation X.

So, despite what you’ve heard, millennials are losing their virginity later, leaving sex as a lower priority, marrying later, and in general, are having less sex than any other group in the last 60 years.

How did we get it so wrong? In a word, media.

The percentage of millennials that is pursuing lots of casual sex is more visible and sexier to gossip about. And moreover, many chaste young adults may portray more of a sexy dating life online as part of their “brand” than what they’re pursuing privately.

Is this a blip on the radar, or does this reflect a change of attitude about sex?

The American sex life used to begin at marriage, or right before, which meant that in 1950, most people got married by 22. It was not socially acceptable to have children outside of wedlock, and so sex was considered dangerous and a potentially life-changing activity.

In 1960, the birth control pill became available in the United States. As the danger of accidental pregnancy dropped dramatically, people began questioning whether they needed to get married at all. By 1975, 35 percent of people thought of marriage as an “outdated concept,” and we rejected a lot of ideas about the dangers of premarital sex as old-fashioned. American society has become more secular and our morals have changed to reflect a more humanist society. Since we no longer need to get married to have sex or children, average marriage age has increased to an “elderly” 28 in 2010 and keeps going up.

But what if the sexual revolution of the ‘60s was the abnormality, and this generation is normalizing the behavior humans had for hundreds of years, limiting their number of partners and having sex later?

What’s causing this sexual abstinence in young people? Let’s explore what might be getting in the way.

Awkward couple lying in bed looking away

  1. They’re broke.

With tuitions going up, rents in cities rising, and job requirements also increasing, money’s tight.  For the first time in more than 130 years, adults aged 18 to 34 are more likely to live with their folks than with a partner, which puts a damper on sexual activity — a factor also cooling off ardor in Tokyo. The last generation that had this level of sexual inactivity in their youth was during the Great Depression, which was another era where young people had less free time and disposable income.

  1. They’re overworked.

For kids who do get their first jobs in high-pressure environments, they may be expected to be hyper-vigilant and perpetually available to their higher-ups via their phones, put in long hours and struggle for success. This doesn’t leave them with a lot of energy or time for meeting other people or pursuing them seriously.

  1. They’re scared of intimacy.

relationship problems

A recurring theme in music and films is the danger of “catching feelings”, or, worse, of not catching them and of disappointing another person romantically. They speak of love like a disease that can happen if you’re not careful, and many would rather set that aside for now.

  1. They feel unattractive.

The very apps we credit with every kid we know hooking up might only serve the 20 percent best looking of the population. The biggest visible effect of picture-based swiping apps is the death of the “mixed-attractiveness” couple, where one person is less attractive but may be smart, charming, or fun to be with — but only in person, not online. In their increasingly demanding world of snapchat and Instagram, average-looking kids may not even bother with dating apps.

  1. Their meds don’t help.

As you might guess, this broke, stressed, and overworked generation struggles with anxiety and depression — and taking medication for it. Many are probably experiencing side effects that limit their interest in sexual activity.

  1. Porn is everywhere.

Like the sexless generation in Japan, young American men are meeting many of their sexual urges with pornography, which is 100 percent dedicated to being exactly what you want it to be, without the entanglements or dangers of intimacy with other people. They are also the first generation that had pornography available to them as soon as they thought they might want to see some, with the availability of the internet on every computer, tablet, or phone they’ve ever had.

So it might not be about a change in attitude, but just some really specific circumstances that are keeping millennials from having sex.

I would guess that this group’s sexual disinterest is only temporary, and in general in keeping with their interest in delaying adulthood. As this generation finds its way in our great big beautiful world, they’re going to want to have sex with it. The revolution need not be Tinder-ized.

Things Millenials Must Consider Before Marriage (Past Generations Didn’t Have to Deal With)

Times have changed, but so has the new millennial marriage.

I’m planning a wedding, and boy, is it tough. I’ve been asking my mom and other relatives for advice on wedding planning, but I’ve found that weddings from my parents’ generation (and my grandparents’ generation) are so different from modern weddings. It’s difficult to even compare them.

When my parents got married they didn’t have a videographer or even a photographer, which would be almost unheard of now. When my grandparents got married, they didn’t even have a reception.

But it makes sense that weddings were different back then because marriage has changed a lot too. There are so many things that have evolved over the years to make modern millennial marriage what it is, but this often means new adjustments in relationships.

My fiancé  and I have to think about things that past generations didn’t have to worry about, but we also have the benefit of options that our parents and grandparents didn’t have.

Here are the top five things that millenials have to consider before getting married that past generations didn’t think about.

1. Marriage, money, and how they relate.

millennial working too hard

Money is a big deal for a lot of people. As a couple, you might fight about spending too much or earning too little. Put simply: money habits can cause trouble in a relationship.

To add to the stress, money in marriage has gotten a little more complex in the last generation. While married couples were once expected to combine bank accounts and share everything, that’s not the norm anymore.

More and more couples have made the choice to keep their finances separate, or to at least keep a percentage of their income in a private account. There are many reasons to do this.

Some couples are afraid that being able to see every credit card transaction on each others’ accounts could cause arguments. (Maybe he doesn’t need to know exactly how much you spent at happy hour last week and perhaps you don’t have to see how much he spends on those fancy shirts.)

Some couples want to set money boundaries because they’ve experienced relationship troubles in the past, or have seen friends go through nasty divorces, and want a sense of security in case the millennial marriage has trouble down the road. And of course, many people just want their financial independence.

Whatever the reason, you and your partner might decide that the traditional money management just isn’t for you. And while it’s great to have the options, ironing out the details can get tricky.

Before you think about getting married, talk about your finances and figure out what makes sence. Make sure you’re on the same page because you don’t want any surprises when it comes to money.

2. Having kids

terrified of having kids

It used to be that pretty much everyone had kids. Couples needed children to work on the farm or in the family business, and before birth control, pregnancy was pretty inevitable anyway.

But times are changing.

One huge difference in child rearing from past generations is that kids have gotten more expensive. Families in the past had kids so that they could support themselves, but now, having children is a major financial blow.

Back in the day, people dressed their babies in homemade clothes and hoped that they lived long enough to work. Today, we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on diapers, doctor’s visits, cute outfits, toys, and, of course, college.

But besides the cost, some millennials may decide to not have kids because, well, they simply don’t want children. Couples don’t need to reproduce to have a fulfilling millennial marriage and living without kids has gotten to be a more and more popular lifestyle. Many couples choose to focus on their careers (and each other) rather than have children.

So, don’t listen to that old “sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g” nursery rhyme: getting married does not mean a baby will follow soon after. Decide on what you want your family to look like and find a partner who has similar goals.

3. Priorities and partners’ roles

hidden figures math genius Katherine G Johnson

When it comes to women’s roles in the home and at work, priorities have changed a lot since our grandparents’ times, thank goodness for that! With it, the way millennials have relationships has also changed.

Back in the day, both of my grandmothers had jobs and even went to school beyond high school, but that wasn’t necessarily the norm. Most women were expected to stay home and take care of the house (and the kids). Even women who were educated and had careers (like both of my grannys) quit working when their kids were young so they could take care of the house.

Now, we thankfully don’t live in a world that (for the most part) dictates what we’ll do by our gender. Men and women can be anything they want, which is why couples need to make sure that their priorities are compatible.

Before you commit to each other forever, talk about your long term goals and what your priorities are going to be down the road. Don’t expect that your partner is going to quit their job, or drop out of school, or move across the country because you want them to. Your partner might have other plans.

4. Sex and living together

millennial couple moving in together

Around the middle of the 20th century, there was a big shift in having sex and living together before millennial marriage. In fact, Census Data from 2012 showed that two thirds of couples in 2012 lived together for at least two years before getting married.

What used to be scandalous is now totally expected.

While it’s great that people now have more socially acceptable options, this might be something you’ll have to figure out together as a couple. Do you have a problem with living together before a millennial marriage? Some people do. Maybe it’s religious reasons or maybe you want to be financially committed before you start paying for a place together.

Then again, getting to live together without the pressure of getting married right away could benefit your relationship in the long run. Every couple is different and it’s important to find the arrangement that works best for you.

5. Open and plural millennial marriages

millennials in open marriage

Maybe the recent popularity of shows like Sisters Wives, Seeking Sister Wife, or Three Wives One Husband will make plural marriages seem a little trendy. But the truth is that many people enjoy a plural or open marriage, and find that a non-traditional marriage works best for them.

Also, check out LOVE TV’s A Beginner’s Guide To Ethical Non Monogamous Relationships. 

Maybe this sounds really exciting, or maybe you’re sure that this isn’t the right lifestyle for you. Either way, make sure that you and your partner are on the same page. While older generations might be shocked at the idea of a relationship beyond two people, remember that same-sex or interracial marriages were once shocking to some people too. Keep an open mind and talk about what your needs are. Talk about how you see the future of your relationship and your family.

Just because your parents and grandparents did marriage one way doesn’t mean you have to follow in their footsteps. As times change, relationships evolve, and knowing which points to talk about can help your marriage last for many years to come.

If you’re interested in ways that millennials are changing what so-called “grown-up relationships” look like. You can also check out these 10 ways millennials do relationship but don’t date.

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