Millennials face challenges in the dating world that other generations knew nothing about -- you are more visible online, and it is therefore a lot easier to find pretty much everything there is to know about you through simple key word searches. Millennials also face the problem of too much choice -- it is harder to form meaningful relationships because it's so easy to get distracted by other people. That said, the options open to millennials are almost endless, in a way that just was not possible from previous generations; with the dawn of the internet has come a whole slew of dating apps and sites, and now more than ever, it is possible to connect with people across cultures and across national boundaries. In short, it is neither harder nor easier for millennials to date, as new opportunities and new challenges pretty much cancel each other out.
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You are about to discover for yourself what the challenges and new opportunities for millennial dating mean for YOU, but before you love us and leave us, why not bookmark this page so that it is easier to navigate back here for reference? If you've done that and you're ready to move on, then READ ON, and see why dating for millennials is so very different than it was for other generations.
It may seem counter intuitive to talk about having too much choice, but it does make sense when you think about it, and it is a real phenomenon. Have you ever been to a grocery store and been met with a dizzying array of choices on the shelves? You went in for chicken stock cubes and find everything from vegetable bouillon to vegan alternatives to chicken stock, never mind all the variations of REAL chicken stock (MSG-free, gluten free, and so on and so forth) -- so many choices, in fact, that you either end up getting the wrong thing, or nothing at all? Either way, you probably spent way too much time looking at all the options, whereas if there had been only one or two products you would have just picked one already and probably been totally happy with your purchase. Well, online dating is like the chicken stock shop fiasco, except bigger, more complicated, and potentially a lot messier and less palatable. That the digital world offers too much choice when it comes to dating should not really be a surprise, but it is definitely a flaw sometimes in a world of greater connectivity to be offered so many potential avenues of romance, when all you probably need is the guy next door.
You may well have noticed when you do a sneaky Google search for a new crush that there are a whole lad of sites that carry info on the person you are looking up. While this can be handy for you, it also means that the same goes for them. Your online presence means that you are eminently searchable, and while you may be fine with this, it means that you have to very carefully curate what you tell the world about yourself. When you think about the challenges that face millennial era dating you need to realize that what you put up on social media platforms, blogs, and other material published online reflects a total version of you that is, in a lot of ways, rather malleable. In other words, you can choose how to present yourself, and this can have a bearing on what sort of people you attract, and what they think of you. The upside is that you have quite a lot of control over these outcomes, and it comes down to how you build your own brand.
Since there is no real impetus to settling down, or even to thrashing out some of the tougher aspects of a relationship, a lot of flings can be very short lived for millennials. As soon as something is uncomfortable, or weird, or even downright gross, the ease with which a relationship can be dropped has increased greatly, and the option to ditch rather than stitch is often taking a lot sooner than it might be by members of previous generations.
The fact that millennials got handed a world deeply wounded by probably the worst -- and quite possibly the first -- truly global economic crash, coupled with increasingly accurate education in terms of social awareness and gender politics, have led to what some sociologists consider a baby crash -- the opposite of the baby boom that occurred after WWII. With less emphasis being placed on making families, millennials are under less pressure to really work at relationships -- for many millennial daters, as soon as the first sign of trouble rears its head the relationship is all over (and often all over Twitter). Perhaps this is the way things should be, but it does not make for lasting (or perhaps at least deeply meaningful) relationships.
It is all too easy to keep tabs on someone you either thinking of dating, currently dating, or just split up with. There are so many apps and websites where all your info is readily available -- even the most internet-shy person has at least one fairly public social media account which it is fairly easy to see what they are up to. But the urge to check up on people in this way should be fought: we need to respect others' privacy, even if the folks at Facebook want so-and-so to share their innermost thoughts and every location, new connection, and event attended. One thing that you really need to be aware of is that stalking on the internet is a crime, and if you suspect that someone has been following you or is even outright contacting you in ways that are inappropriate, they may be liable to prosecution. You need to keep yourself safe online, which is why good internet hygiene is an absolute must for all millennials, and indeed for everyone who uses the internet.
One thing that you must do is to be safe when you are on the internet, and not to give out the sorts of info that could put you in danger, or may put you in a vulnerable position, such as posting your actual address, or your hone number, or details about your family, such as where they live and what you do. Some of this is fairly harmless info to have out there, but if you are in the business of dating people who you meet online then you will need to think carefully about how you curate these bits of information. It is good practice to every now and then go through all your online accounts and do a thorough sweep looking for any details about you that you may want to remove from the public eye. It is also a good idea to look at who follows you on all the social media platforms on which you are active, and to block certain people who look as though they may be no good. Another way to stay safe on the net is to ensure that if you use dating apps that you don't always give your real name. Certain sites that will hook you up with potential sugar daddies for instance may be places where you use a made up name so as to protect your identity.