Not sure if other mid-20 year olds are experiencing something similar to me or perhaps my mom is simply desperate for grandchildren. However, it is quite interesting seeing the generational gap between my parents and me (Baby-Boomers and Millennials). Certainly, there are a lot of differences, but there is one that is so significant and obvious that I thought it would be interesting to write about. I wonder if Baby Boomers and Millennials from other countries can relate, specifically from Poland.
Courtship: Then and Now- Something my mom always gives me grief about is whenever I start dating someone she believes that after two dates that that person and I are “boyfriend & girlfriend.” This is so far fetched nowadays that she simply does not understand. She often tells me that whenever my father and her started dating they considered themselves a couple after only a few dates. They dated for a year, they got engaged and later married. All this happened in a time period of about two years. Nowadays, you date for 2-3 years, get engaged, are engaged for 1-2 years, and then you get married. The difference is quite significant, isn’t?!
Meeting - Thanks to dating apps and websites finding possible “matches” has increased dramatically. Imagine, during our parents’ times they were able to meet someone only through their group of family and/or friends, at school, or in some event(like a party or bar), that is all. Today, we can simply download an app and you’re able to find people 50 or 100 kilometers away. Or if you pay for the app, you can select the location where you’d like to meet someone. Of course, this can only work if people download such apps, which they do! For the past 5 years, dating websites and apps have moved from something taboo to something common. The stigma that was attached to meeting a complete stranger has evaporated and has become “normal.” This turn of events is great and I am happy about it, however does it make things more complicated?
Pros: What I mean is: our potential partners have increased which means we have more options, and that is fantastic. This has opened doors that our parents’ generations never experienced. Now, you can meet someone that you would have never meet in your circle of friends/family. Your options increase from say 5 potential partners to 15 potential partners or even more if you’re a woman. You can even meet someone while you’re on vacation or vice versa. I mean, the options are limitless! Not only that, but you can be as fastidious as you’d like - you can suddenly pick the perfect man or woman. He/she may be a fan of a soccer team you don’t like, so you can swipe left, because you know there are other options out there that are equally or even more attractive and are fans of your favorite soccer team too.
Cons: Yes, we have tons of options, but that makes things a bit more challenging, right? Think about it, imagine going to a grocery store because you need to buy cereal, you get to the cereal aisle and it takes you 15 minutes to decide which cereal you want to purchase. There are just too many options. But if you were to go to a small shop, you’d be able to make that decision in a matter of 3 minutes. Is this what’s happening with my generation? It appears so. We tend to meet quite interesting people, but we are extremely picky and have unrealistic expectations. We want to find someone that fulfills those expectations plus more. We can’t realize that whatever we might have found could, with a little more patience and tolerance, be our perfect life partner. I mean, when do we stop searching for that perfect partner? When does our date actually become our partner?
Love - Let’s be realistic, eventually you will find a partner and then what? We have to ask ourselves in all seriousness, “Is this the person I want to spend the rest of my life with?” I am now talking about people in my generation (millennials) that are not married. Finding that worthy partner was, is and always will be difficult. However, my generation, that is unmarried, seems to be exceptionally careful about who they want to spend their lives with. The reason behind this might be because we saw our parents and/or our friends’ parents get a divorce. I have met people that have dated their boyfriend/girlfriend for 10 years and finally make that leap from boyfriend/girlfriend to fiancé/fiancee. Is this too extreme? Are we simply afraid of commitment? Or perhaps is something natural, we live longer so we can afford to take our time picking a partner and/or having babies. Whatever the reason or excuse, this is how it is now. Even if it takes us 10 years to decide. Better late than never, right?!
I would love to know how it is in other parts of the world. Is this happening also in Poland? Do you see the same trend? Or are Americans just becoming stranger?