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MILLENNIAL DATING MANEUVERS

One can always debate that the Millennial generation is a lazy, entitled and narcissistic one, where their mini-worlds revolve around – well – them. Contrary to the picture that Justin Bieber paints, a majority of them, (including myself) choose to believe that we have the ability to dream big, do big, and bring about positive change. 

As a generation, we aren’t afraid to commit to long-term relationships, and are, in fact, looking for love. We are open to date IRL, want to avoid dating traps and look forward to some Netflix & Chill with bae, on a Sunday. 

So, why can’t we? Why does it seem like we seem to have wavered off-track when it comes to our dating lives? Here’s what I think:

Ghosting has become a way of life. We wouldn’t dare be rude to people in real life but over a text (or an absence of one, in this case) it seems easy to write people off.

“Treat me like an option and I will leave you like a choice. Treat me like a game and I will show you how it’s played.” This heavy line comes laden with truth, people! The paradox of choice can often result in us letting go of real opportunities in search of greener pastures. Most times, the abundance of choice is great for your wardrobe, not when it comes to people.

The ‘no strings attached’ and ‘friends with benefits’ concepts rooted deeply in romcoms and Netflix shows have reshaped the idea of old-school romance. Physical intimacy devoid of emotion. No commitment. No clear intention. Welcome to the dating version of Black Mirror.

As a generation, have we become delusional when it comes to partner preferences? With glossy Instagram accounts and filtered lives, powered by witty bios, it is clear that the perfect partner is a fairytale – it actually doesn’t exist. Logging online, feels like signing up for disappointment in real life.

This one’s my favorite: Me time (self-exploration or sloth life). We guise it as many things – solitude, soul-searching, solo trips, etc. However, we are denying the fact that inherently, most of us are lonely and are too ashamed / in denial, to accept it.

So, after having met and spoken to hundreds of successful millennials on Sirf Coffee, who have their s*** together and are genuinely interested in finding ‘the one’, here’s what I’ve come to learn over the years: No matter what approach you take to finding your partner – digital, offline, or otherwise: we really need to drop the instant in instant gratification.

When it comes to dating, don’t think of it as your next McDonald’s meal.

  1. Online dating is all about efficiency, but quality dating is all about effectiveness.
  2. To build something meaningful, where there is emotional investment, requires real effort, not eggplant-and-peach emojis. It’s about getting out there, meeting people and making things happen. By taking a chance on a real interaction, you could meet your potential partner, share a beautiful experience together, or have the chance for a relationship to blossom into a life-changing decision.
  3. Be it the apps, traditional dot coms, meddling aunties or a self-mitigated process like Sirf Coffee, there are many routes for this generation, that the previous ones didn’t have access to. Different things work for different people. Do what works for you.

One may believe that we’re in the thick of a confused relationship culture that values physical intimacy over love, temporary fulfilment over long-term milestones, and endless swipes over face-to-face conversation. But like many other things, Millennials have the best of both dating worlds: a community of people that still believe in human contact and wider, ‘global’ access, thanks to all that swanky technology. Whatever be your choice: set your intention right, dress up, and go get that coffee with a stranger. 

Make it happen.

Words by Rachna Shah, who is currently on a sabbatical to plan her big fat Marwari wedding.

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