Millennials Want Emotional Connections, Not Hookups, Report Finds, But Many Don't Really Know How
If you ask older generations what they think Millennials want in terms of thei love lives, chances are many of them would say young adults today care more about hooking up than finding love or connection. Thanks to the popularity of the "hookup culture" narrative, it's not really hard to see why. But the truth is, recent studies have found that Millennials aren't having as much sex as everyone likes to think they are. And an even bigger truth is that more Millennials want lasting romantic relationships, a recent Harvard study found. However, many don't really know how to go about it.
"First off, there are many exceptions of Millennials who are amazing, thoughtful, kind, hardworking and emotionally intelligent," Toni Bergquist, founder and CEO of The Agency, an exclusive matchmaking service in Southern California tells Bustle. "But Many millennials want it all now. They’re used to the grass is always greener mentality. They want the perfect guy or girl but aren’t willing to change. They don’t want to put the work in to create emotional intimacy because that requires being authentic and most people are too afraid to dig that deep. Instead, they run away and the cycle continues. But emotional connections are needed to find love."
75% of 18- to 25-year-olds say they wish they got more info from their parents or schools on how to form lasting relationship.
In a new report published by Making Caring Common, a project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, researchers conducted surveys of over 3,000 young adults and high school students across the country to get their thoughts on a range of topics on sex and relationships. Like previous studies before it, both teens and adults greatly overestimate the "size of the hookup culture." In other words, everyone thinks young people are only casually dating and hooking up when in reality, they really aren't.
But what's more interesting is, a large number of teens and young adults are more interesting in "caring, lasting romantic relationships." However, many of them are anxious about it. In fact, 75 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds say they wish they got more info from their parents or schools on how to form lasting relationships and 65 percent say they want more guidance on the emotional aspects of it.
According to experts, here's what millennials need to do in order to form the emotional connections they need to find love:
1. Be Honest, Emotionally Intelligent, And Don't Be Scared To Take Chances
"Being honest along with learning emotional intelligence would be the best advice I would give," Bergquist says. "I would suggest that they look at what they want in 10 years and to learn about love, real love, and how to be the best partner they can be. To be true to themselves and not worry about what others are doing or thinking. When they are out and about smile at him/her if you think someone’s cute. Take chances, if you’re with someone think about your partner, do things for them, small thoughtful things like bringing flowers, little things. Do energy healing to open your heart to love, any healing. Also,do not put your issues on one another!"
2. Find Someone Who's Not Only Compatible, But Your Equal
"The key to deep, emotional relationships is compatibility and equalism in one's relationship," Amanda Bradford, Founder and CEO of The League tells Bustle. "What I want is to help move society towards redefining what dating is, and letting go of outdated (and incorrect) 'dating rules'. To me, equalism is encouraging our users to seek partners who see them as equals, and to give them a platform that facilitates connecting based on a shared value for ambition, more than just looks and attraction."
3. Travel And Go See The World
"Going on a group trip is a great way to meet people because the shared experiences had when traveling help to create deep, lasting bonds," Tara Cappel, founder of curated Millennial travel company, For the Love of Travel (FTLO Travel) tells Bustle. "Since trips are multiple days, it gives everyone a chance to really get to know one another and connect. Because it is in a group setting and we run trips in such a laid back way, there is no awkward pressure about getting to know someone, it just happens naturally throughout the trip. Also, in general, the people who come on our trips are all ambitious Millennial professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are interested in travel, which means you already know you’ll have something in common with everyone you meet."
4. Know What You Want
"As a Millennial myself, my biggest advice is know what you want," Kitty Stryker, relationship expert tells Bustle. "I literally made a spreadsheet of the things I wanted in a partner, and my dealbreakers, making a promise to myself that if the dealbreakers outweighed my wants, then that person was not for me. Because it's a relationship between the two columns, it doesn't require that someone meet all my wants, or never do or be any of my dealbreakers, which allows for flexibility. Ever since I created that spreadsheet, it's helped me find people that really resonate with me, whether that's on Tinder or at a social gathering."
5. Be Patient
"It takes time to get to know another person," speaker and counselor Davida Rappaport tells Bustle. "Be willing to put the time in and wait for things to evolve naturally. Avoid forcing things. If something comes on fast, it often burns out. Think about how long it takes you to learn a new skill. It won’t take you that long, but you get the general idea. Pace yourself."
Finding love is tough at any age. I have family in their fifties who are still single and looking. But if you know what you want, you're true to yourself, and have a little (or a lot) of patience, finding love can happen for you.