Love – what is it? Concepts of love and relationships have changed so much over the years, and while plenty of people still want the same thing that their parents have, many don’t. In fact, plenty of millennials are looking for something very different from they might have grown up with. This isn’t a surefire thing, but statistics have shown that times are definitely changing. So, what do millennials want most in love? Here are what some therapists seem to think.
What do the stats show?
While historically people might have gotten married at a slightly younger age, millennials are more interested in waiting it out to tie the knot. Census data dictates that the average age to get married (the first time around) is 27 for females and 29 for males. That might not seem very old, and realistically it isn’t, but a lot of couples would have had their first kid by that point several decades ago. You also have to take into consideration that the youngest millennials are only in their early twenties at the moment. By the time they reach those ages, the average may well have increased.
Why is there a change?
Several factors come into play here, one of the largest being tied to money and the economy. While people have always complained about a lack of jobs, unemployment is a big issue these days. Forty years ago, there weren’t even five billion people on the planet… Now there’s over 7.5 billion. Finding work is increasingly difficult, and many millennials have student debts hanging over their heads that are much more substantial than they used to be. With so many money worries, getting married and having kids is the last thing on their mind, even if they can afford it.
Moreover, a lot of millennials have gotten pickier about who they decide to marry. This isn’t to say that our parents merely settled when they got married, just that the standards many young people have nowadays is incredibly high. That’s according to therapist Jennifer Behnke, anyway. She states that millennials want someone who’s a financial equal, a good friend and who would be capable as a parent, as well as being good in the bedroom. This is connected to the fact that they’re waiting longer to tie the knot and have kids, because they have more time to “cultivate a sense of happiness and fulfillment with their partner.”
If a partner fails to meet all of a person’s needs in a modern-day relationship, there’s a greater chance that they’ll be given the boot. The prevalence of dating apps has made millennials very aware of how many potential options there are for them out there. A big problem in a relationship doesn’t need to be worked through anymore – they can just find someone else.
Are there other factors in play?
There are other reasons why the concept of love has changed with millennials. The idea of power couples has been incredibly influential in recent years, with many young people looking to find a partner that is equal to them. They want someone that complements them and makes them the envy of others, without either of them being an overachiever. At the same time, they also want to have a life outside of the relationship, so that they feel connected to the outside world.
As we’ve said, every relationship is different, and love is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. There will be many people who enjoy a relationship that was standard of their parent’s time, just as there will be those who have a very modern take on the concept. It’s important to be happy with who you’re with – that’s all that matters.