Secretive glances exchanged across a room have been replaced by Tinder swipes and Facebook friend adding. Long love letters have become Snapchat messages and Messenger pings. Months of subtle courtship have evolved into Instagram followings and Facebook likes. The dating scene of the Millennial generation has become mediated by social media networks that represent an invisible presence in people’s relationships. And while maintaining long-distance relationships has never been easier, maintaining an intimate, private relationship with a partner has become more difficult. Yet, this doesn’t prevent hopeful Millennials to be and stay in love with love itself.
Add friend – follow
The moment a Millennial spots a person they are attracted to, whether online or in real life, their first instinct is to find them on a social network. While it would take days for our predecessors to get in touch with their potential partners, we can do it by clicking a button. Easy right? No need for building up the courage to approach them and ask them out while hoping you won’t die from embarrassment. No worrying about how you look, what you’re wearing or whether you’ll seem awkward and weird. Well, not quite because all of this awaits Millennials on their first dates. And then, it gets even more weird and awkward because you feel as if you knew each other after days of texting, yet you’re still weird and uncomfortable because you’re not really used to real-life contact.
Like, love, post
Instead of a gentle touch of the arms, you exchange likes and then loves. Instead of talking over the phone, you prefer texting. As your relationship progresses, you decide to go steady by going public, so you update your relationship statuses. Selfies after selfies, posts after posts, tags after tags, you’re in love and you want the world to know it. However, this is the virtual aspect of a Millennial relationship. What about the real, intimate aspect? The emotional connection, the physical intimacy, the expression of love? Well, it’s still there, but shared on social media. To what extent a couple will share their intimate relationship with their virtual friends is a matter of their own attitudes. True love and romance are still the same among the Millennial generation, but the way they establish intimacy, share certain moments and communicate has greatly changed, becoming more and more dependent on the Internet.
Seen – ignore
The reliance on social media when it comes to personal relationships brings a lot of challenges for a couple of Millennials in love. For some, their partner’s activity on a social network is a major source of jealously and insecurity. Since they have an insight into their partners’ likes, followings, events and pictures, this can greatly affect their confidence in themselves and their partners and their mutual trust in each other. While some Millennials won’t attach any significance to this, others will react inappropriately by liking or posting out of spite to make their partner jealous. They may even spy on their partner, follow their activity and even log into their accounts. The moment they see “seen” in their chats, they will go off the rails because they think that their partner is ignoring them. Of course, such conflicts don’t arise in relationships of Millennial couples who don’t rely on social media to tell them what they need to know about their partners.
Unfollow – unfriend
Ending a Millennial relationship in terms of social media means changing their relationship status, possibly removing the photos with their ex-partners and even unfollowing or unfriending. Some even take drastic measures of ending their relationship with a text. Even those who don’t usually rely on social networks that much use them to show their partners that they’ve moved on after their relationships or to remove their ex-partners because it’s easier not to be constantly reminded of them. While it’s easy to delete the existence of a relationship on social media, a true Millennial love still leaves beautiful, but painful memories behind it.
Those who love truly, love deeply, unconditionally and dedicatedly. They don’t need social media to strike up a conversation. They still try to charm their potential soulmates by exploring different first date tips that will help them make a great first impression. Millennials who are lucky enough to find true love don’t let social media dictate the terms of their relationship. They keep their love for themselves because their love is their own. The essence of commitment, passion, love, intimacy and trust is the same as it has been for ages because true love never changes.
Millennials belong to a generation of romantics who continue to believe in true love. Although social media have become an imposing presence in the modern dating scene, it still has no dominance over true love.