Navigating Our Relationships


Our generation is always pegged as a hook up culture. An unsurprising label for an age group that is the first to be openly unapologetic about the people and endeavours that we pursue behind closed bedroom doors. It’s the reflection of kids who grew up in an era where everything we typed or posted on the internet was public property. So, naturally, millennials are not good at keeping secrets about anything, including sex and love. Our parents and grandparents recognize this as the universal moral compass drifting carelessly. They view us as a group running rampant with a wild sex drive.

What we see as being open, shifting sex away from being a taboo scarlet letter, our elders see as recklessness. But after being culturally shaped to shrug off social norms that sought the evil in “friends with benefits” or pre-marital sex, it has handicapped us in a certain aspect. Because, now as a whole, our age group is not good at navigating the thin line between dating and sex.

On the same token as society constructing us to not be sheltered from sex, society has also guided us into falsely trusting that toxic relationships will work out. I think we’ve been built by social media, the internet, Hollywood, and television, to believe that unstable relationships are normal. Fictional TV couples support the idea of the lesser half messing up and forgiving them when they run back in the pouring rain with an apology.

Celebrity couples cause us to romanticize the idea of an endless cycle of the on and off again. Then there’s the modern day fairytale of a boy and girl trying to remain strictly platonic despite the sex they have together– girl falls in love with boy, boy decides to change for the better and settle down. That’s about as realistic as a girl losing a glass slipper trying to catch her pumpkin Uber.

We have such a skewed view of romance thanks to Chuck and Blair and Liam and Miley. After binge watching these shows we fall under the monkey see, monkey do trap. I know a handful of girls, including myself, that hold out for someone who forgets to call us, acts like they don’t see us at the bar, doesn’t care about us, and thinks that waiting around for unreciprocated love is normal.

Our generation has a sense of entitlement in almost every other aspect of what we want, but when it comes to dating we short ourselves. It seems we’ve suddenly become wired with always chasing the one that got away. We idolize on and off relationships. We’re invested in Selena and Justin’s constant yo-yoing. The toxic relationship that’s glorified thanks to Hollywood solidify the idea that, even if we hurt each other, it’ll all work out in the end.

But there is nothing sturdy in that. There is nothing solid, tangible, real, and most importantly, worth waiting on for in that. Most of the time in the real world people have a shelf life with an expiration date a little sooner than you sometimes like. Sometimes, despite how much you like someone, it’s not mutual and it’s not a love story tied up with a bow.

We make it harder for ourselves by either returning to that one that won’t go away or we break our own hearts waiting for the one who got away to come back. Sometimes the guy wrong for you is just that– wrong for you. No romantic plot twist, no sudden character development, no scene where he decides that the sex you’ve been casually having means anything deeper.

It’s exhausting running back and forth anywhere. That especially applies to making laps back to the same significant other who it never works out with. So, save your breath and stop wishing for a guy like Chuck Bass, who would sell you out for a hotel anyway.