On Valentine's Day, What Millennials Really Think About Dating and Marriage

Today is Valentine’s Day, yet many millennials may not be celebrating it in the ways you might imagine — filled with flowers, chocolates, fancy dinners, or candle lit romantic massages for two.

At least that's according to a number of new reports suggesting that social media and technology have change the ways our generation gets involved. There are several stories going around now about how our generation values dating, relationships, and marriage.

Some suggest that unlike our parents, millennials are reluctant to jump into relationships, and we believe dating can start from one-night stands. So the story goes, we are the first generation to come of age with social media, instant Intern and phone connection, and relaxed pressures to marry early. As such, we tend to "check out" our potential partners online before committing to dating, by using social media to do a little online "research" (aka "Facebook stalking"). We also supposedly invented the terms "hooking up" and "friends with benefits." And, we're far more likely than in the past to find ourselves in long-distance relationships with friends we've met online or people we've met on vacation.

When it comes to marriage, the stereotype is that we are reluctant to marry because we are more relaxed about sex, dating, and living together." According to Pamela Stock, a professor of sociology and director of the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan, "Millennials believe in marriage and lifelong commitment but are also more relaxed about sex, dating, and living together" than their Generation X and boomer parents."

Just 20 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 are married, compared with nearly 60 percent in 1960, according to the Pew Research Center. When our parents were the same age, it was more than 40 percent.

According to this report, our generation is ambivalent about marriage because we've seen our parents contribute to the highest divorce rate in history. We are waiting longer before marriage because we want to make sure we get it right. And, we have struggled through a bleak job markets with big college debt, so we are cautious.

Debunk the stereotypes: What is your attitude toward dating, sex, and marriage? Do we have too casual of a view of intimacy? Do you think our generation is marrying later out of choice or out of necessity?

Photo Credit: epSos.de

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