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If you’ve ever been blessed by Cupid’s arrow as known as falling in love, you’ll know how problematic relationships can be.
If you say otherwise, you’re either a liar or in denial. Come on, sometimes I get into arguments with my own self! So I’m not believing any couple who said they’ve never faced any issues in their relationship before.
A tale as old as time, everyone has faced problems when it comes to relationships. You can even ask your parents or you might not even need to, all their problems might be as open as Google during an online quiz.
But of course, each generation will encounter different sets of problems exclusive to their generation. In the 40s-50s, it was “When will my boyfriend come back from war?” and now it’s more “When will my boyfriend answer my text? It’s been 2 minutes.”
So whether we’re living amidst a Warfield or a pandemic (in the case of this article being written during the COVID-19 outbreak), our relationships will always be a case of discontentment to us.
As millennials, it’s pretty interesting to see what problems millennial couples face and without further ado, let’s dive right in!
1. It’s Easier To Cheat
Definitely a problem not exclusive to millennials, the worry or issue of a partner cheating has plagued us for decades (as evident by all the love songs singing of straying lovers spanning from the 1930s to… now).
But with digitalization comes a new form of cheating. Before this, if you wanted to cheat, you’ll have to go out to a bar or a club to meet someone. Or maybe you’ll have an affair with your co-worker or a classmate.
Basically it took more effort to cheat. It didn’t “just happen”, you had to be actively looking to do it.
But with the internet and social media, you don’t even need to leave the house to cheat, you could literally be in the same room as your partner and cheat!
I bet every serial cheater from past decades curses at how easy our generation has it now.
Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble have seriously made it way easier to find someone to sleep with. Who needs to go to clubs and perform the mating dance of “How drunk must I get to dance with this girl for 3 hours straight so she’ll lead me straight to the dancefloor to her bed?” (Which works like, what? 20% of the time?)
I’ve seen a few mutual on those apps that are also in monogamous relationships so yeah… That’s how easy it is.
(If you think monogamy is not for you, why not read our other article on open relationships? You and your partner might just find that you guys are more suited to a relationship that allows the dating of other people! Revolutionary, we know.)
On a less obvious front, even social media apps like Instagram or Twitter can become grounds for cheating. When sending a message to anyone just requires a few taps, it’s pretty obvious why some couples insist on knowing each other’s social media passwords.
But even then there’s always the delete button…
(Also I’m wondering when writing letters became a communication norm, did writing letters to another become an issue too? You wrote a 500 worded letter to him and only 490 words to me. Cheater!)
And this also brings us to our next millennial relationship problem!
2. Sharing Too Much Information On Social Media
Every move we make on our social media is usually scrutinized by our followers and it’s no different with our partners either.
Fights have happened over something as simple as liking another person’s Instagram photo, following other members of the opposite genders or even retweeting an unknown (to the partner) person’s tweet.
Obviously when this happens, the relationship probably has bigger issues to sort out.
Really, liking someone else’s post is cause for getting upset now? Sometimes going through my Liked posts, I don’t even remember seeing some of them.
It really is unproductive jealousy leading to unnecessary suspicions and arguments. Next time if you’re fuming over your partner’s social media activity, take a step back and maybe retrace your own steps.
You’re more likely to find some similarities honestly.
Oversharing on social media can be an issue too. And we’re not just speaking of overly cheesy pictures or long paragraphs about how amazing your partner is although that IS pretty gross.
But oversharing too much information about your partner or your relationship such as a fight that happened between you two can be quite detrimental to the relationship leading to your partner feeling devalued and of course their trust being violated.
You might think “How is it any different from talking it out with family and friends?” but remember your social media encompasses a wide circle of people including strangers this kind of private information shouldn’t be shared with them. Plus your partner gets to see rants of them that will definitely not leave them with a nice feeling.
3. Influence From Family History
Having a pair of parents with many relationship problems can also lead to rather dysfunctional dating life. Hey, it all runs in the family, right?
Of course, we shouldn’t completely put the blame on our parents but with the spiking divorce rates of their generation, marriage or a happy ending seems like an eroded fairy tale myth that only exists for a lucky few.
Yes, marriage isn’t the key to a happy relationship but it certainly helps when you come from a stable background which can be projected into any future relationship you’ll have.
If you grew up watching your parents constantly fight, cheat and hate each other, warped perception of love will soon develop in you. Even as you grow up and start to “know better”, a stable and loving relationship will feel foreign to you as chaos is the only thing you’re familiar with.
So keep that in mind when you’re stuck in a toxic relationship and wonder why you enjoy the push and pull of that more than a stable one that might even seem boring when compared.
4. Too Many Choices
Life’s like a box of chocolates or in this generation’s case, a long buffet table.
Have you ever gone to the grocery shop or a boutique just to leave empty-handed because your mind got too serabut with all the choices thrown at your face?
You just experienced a scientific phenomenon called the paradox of choice: where a choice is better than no choice but having too many choices can also adversely affect the happiness of individuals.
In the book Modern Romance, authors Aziz Ansari and Eric Klineberg state how dating was so much simpler. You’d usually end up marrying the girl/boy next door and be content until the day you die.
However again with the Internet and social media, millennials have a much wider dating pool to choose from and that causes the paradox of choice.
Because you might have already found Prince Charming, but what if Prince More Charming is out there waiting on Tinder or Bumble?
Answer: After skimming through the potential matches on those apps, I’d say probably not.
Also it’s so much easier to dump your current partner when issues emerge than to work on it because hey, you’ll definitely find a new relationship much faster.
And the cycle repeats.
This article is a part of The Cool Bear’s Taboo Series where we dive deep into topics most Malaysians shy away from. If you like reading this, check out our other Taboo articles on the LGBT community in Malaysia and toxic relationships!