One of the things I will whole-heartedly admit Gen Y has radically fucked up is romance. We all want love, but somewhere along the way marketing fed us the idea that it “wasn’t cool” to settle down. Be a rebel, ride the breeze, run away from everything!
Don’t get me wrong: it’s pretty awesome that we actually have the opportunities we do. If we DO want to live a life of random hookups, open relationships, no relationships, or polyamorous relationships, we have the choice in a way not many generations did before us. Sure, there were summers of free love and sexual revolutions past, but the stigma of non-tradition in romance is starting to fade.
That being said, for those of us who do still decide to search for love, who do want to settle down against our animal nature, who maybe still naively believe in some kind of soulmate or fate or destiny, we are doing it all wrong.
We are having these weird relationships that aren’t relationships: “Oh, her? She’s not my girlfriend. Yes, I took her to meet my parents, and we only sleep with each other, but we are NOT. DATING.”
We are all about some friends-with-benefits: “He’s nice to me, we have everything in common, and we have great sex, but I could NEVER date him!”
We have no qualms with the on-again, off-again idea. We run when we’re scared instead of sticking around. We play strange games with each other, but last time I checked, this was a planet and not a massive chess board.
We truly make everything more complicated than it should be. If you’re one of the Gen Y’ers who wants to engage in monogamous romance, stop what you’re doing and listen to me: Just. Be. Happy.
It’s really that simple. Stop letting the hangups in an age of worry keep you from something good, something real, something that might be… dare I say it? TRUE LOVE!
Oh, and because I know I myself have the attention span of a fruit fly thanks to years of information overload, here’s a handy list for navigating the murky romance waters:
How to Know You’re In Love, or “Quit Bullshitting Around & Just Be Happy, Moron”
- If you were on a crashing plane and had time for one phone call, and your significant other/ex/f-w-b/on&off again/etc. is the last person you’d want to speak to, YOU ARE IN LOVE.
- If you have had a shitty day and your person does special things to make it better, like buys you a DVD of “The Avengers” or yells at someone for you, and that action makes you feel all tingly inside, YOU ARE IN LOVE. (You are also lucky.)
- If you look like you just stepped out of a jungle or a Quentin Tarantino film, but your person still thinks you’re smokin’ hot, YOU ARE IN LOVE.
- If you can survive a road trip of 5+ hours alone together and still like each other, YOU ARE IN LOVE.
- If you can genuinely enjoy watching the same TV shows together, YOU ARE MOST DEFINITELY IN LOVE.
I’m sure there are some more romantic, less neurotic ways of knowing you’re in love, but take that plane crash scenario for example. If you give it the thought it deserves, it has some serious weight to it. I can tell you who my person would be right now without reservation. (I’m lucky he has the bravery to put up with my “if I were dying in a plane” anecdotes without jumping out of the nearest exit.)
If you can tell me your person, too, go Lloyd Dobler them while you still can. It’s never to late to be crazy in love, Gen Y. (And not in a Christian Grey/Anastasia Steele kinda way.)