Relationships are never easy, not for any of the generations. In the good old days, if you liked someone, you tell them, actually show your feelings, and then a relationship begins.
However, with the emergence of recurrent divorces, postponed marriages, frequent hookups, and social media (alongside the rampant, unsolicited opinions that come with it), relationships have gotten more complicated and host countless issues among people—many of which are millennials.
I’m a millennial myself, and I can tell you first-hand that I have found commitment in relationships to be quite the complex topic of the century. I have also realized it is not just me, but a lot of my friends and colleagues. So the question now is why? What are the relationship problems millennials face, and how can they be resolved?
According to Dr. Laura Deitsch, a licensed clinical professional counselor, a significant issue that fuels this generation’s relationship problems are the almost constant anxiety about their future.
Here are eleven relationship problems millennials encounter more than any other age group.
- 1 11 Reasons Why Millennials Struggle With Relationships
- 2 FAQs
- 3 Conclusion
11 Reasons Why Millennials Struggle With Relationships
A typical relationship problem millennials often encounter is communication. They tend to rely solely on text messaging and social media subliminal as a medium of expressing their feelings and desires. They communicate information to each other via social media, and the most critical things get lost in translation.
Issues such as choices of emoticons or even the use of certain punctuation marks can rile you up. The significance of face-to-face interaction seems to have been dissolved in the acid that is the internet. I cannot overemphasize the need for effective interaction as a tool for resolving relationship problems amongst millennials.
There is a need to handle serious conversations in person instead of relying on text messages. That way, your body language, tone, and facial expressions come into play for better understanding.
2. Too many choices
To love and date in the 21st Century means to do so in a digital age where you can meet anyone by just sitting in your bedroom. With the vast number of platforms such as dating apps and mobile societies, millennials have become subject to decision paralysis in searching for their soulmate.
This, in turn, leads to the paradox of choice and the intense fear and worry of not choosing ‘the one for you.’ You start to worry that the man you’re dating might be the wrong choice and occasionally feel the need to explore other options.
Liz Higgins, a couples therapist that works mainly with millennials, suggests that instead of allowing yourself to feed into the anxiety of searching for the right partner, one should focus on being the right partner. By doing so, you are more in control of the kind of partner you attract, which helps relieve the anxiety around dating.
Contemporary life is hectic, and with the distractions that it brings, many women feel secondary to their partner’s social media, work, hobbies, and social life. Love and relationships require quality time and interactions to grow. As a couple, you need to have specific conversations to learn more about yourselves to understand each other more.
A great way to solve this relationship problem is to allocate agreed days of the week and specific times of the day for just yourselves; remind yourself about what you want so you remain focused, and buy your partner a gift to let him know he’s on your mind.
Distractions are inevitable, and you can handle them without allowing them to become significant issues in your relationship. You just have to be intentional about it.
Insecurity is the tendency to lack confidence or certainty in one’s self. Some people believe that insecurity in a relationship is an excellent way to keep a partner on their feet and not get too comfortable. But it becomes a problem when it gets too much. Insecurity amongst millennials is quite common due to the level of competition in society which places a lot of pressure on them.
Many of them tend to feel insecure about their present life and future. Hence they do not feel good enough for anyone in a relationship and doubt their ability to measure their partners’ expectations and reality. Self-worth affects your relationship because if you cannot value yourself, you cannot value your partner.
Cheating is the most rampant relationship problem. The tale is as old as time itself, but modern-day technology makes it more accessible. With dating apps and mobile societies, temptations and distractions are everywhere.
Besides social media, the possibility of having flirtatious relations outside your relationship at your job, church, or social gatherings is very high. The onus is on you and your partner to maintain discipline in your relationship and conclude how to handle such temptations in ways that will not affect you and your partner.
Some millennials, due to social media influence, may decide to explore a three-way sexual relationship. In situations like this, it is crucial to ensure rules to abide by so that neither of you crosses significant lines.
6. Inability to handle conflict
Relationships encounter issues at different stages. Another relationship problem that millennials often have is handling conflict. How either of you approaches these problems determines the relationship and can make it or break it. The internet has influenced the polarizing of ideas more than ever before. People blow issues out of proportion without adequate interactions.
Negative ways of handling conflict have surfaced, and any form of middle ground looks pretty faint. Therapy aids couples with the best ways to handle disputes. Walking away is not always the best option.
7. A shift in family ideologies
The idea of marriage has changed drastically in the past decades. Millennials do not share the same sentiments as the generations before them where this concept is concerned.
Those in their 20s have decided to prioritize education, work, life experiences, travel, and even children before marrying a man. Once they are satisfied with these and a separate and secure income source, they can now find a partner who will bring the same to the table.
Lifetime commitment is a significant source of the relationship problems Millenials face. Such an idea leaves you wondering where your relationship stands and if the both of you share a common goal and interests.
8. Financial control
Money and properties can sometimes denote authority or a power imbalance, which could cause severe conflicts in relationships. Your partner doesn’t want to feel like anybody else other than him is in control of his finances; he doesn’t want to feel judged or dependent when it comes to money either.
Many young millennial couples indicate finances as an aspect to explore. It is best to explore expectations financially, play out scenarios and see what could work best for both of you. And, of course, discuss boundaries.
While some couples prefer to merge both their bank accounts to have a joint account, others do not see the necessity. Not having this discussion before committing to a relationship is a relationship problem that millennials often encounter, which could be avoided.
9. Insufficient funds
Similar to the challenge in financial control, another common problem millennials face in relationships is financial stability. You see, a significant number of them struggle here because they do not have enough money to ‘sustain’ each other’s needs. The economy has taken a turn, and things that are not deemed ‘necessary’ are now more challenging to afford.
When a relationship becomes serious, you start to think of living together. Rent or even buying a house becomes an issue, especially if you are both in your parents’ homes. These are issues that the past generations did not have to deal with, and they put a lot of pressure on a relationship that could eventually lead to its wreckage.
10. Commitment issues
It’s a prevalent thing for women to experience. Many millennial men aren’t ready for marriage until their early or mid-thirties, while societal constraints require women to settle down before thirty because ‘time is not on your side.’
In these circumstances, you find women constantly complaining about their partner’s complacency and lack of motivation to take the relationship to the next level. This results in arguments and conflicts and probably, the eventual end of the relationship because you both have different needs at that particular point in your lives.
11. Parental effect
Divorce-affected children often have seeds of doubt planted in their minds towards the idea of marriage. Millennials do not blame the generations before them for everything terrible that happens to them. Still, the lack of attention to how divorce can affect children can affect their relationships and lowers confidence in love.
Therefore, it is not uncommon to find people in this age group who come from broken homes demonstrate negative attitudes towards marriage. Consequently, they struggle to sustain relationships and lack the desire to commit wholly.
While relationship problems millennials face are not unique to them, this age group experiences them differently. For instance, issues with communication and the inability to commit can all be attributed to social media. It takes a millennial who is mindful of their relationship goals to navigate through these challenges successfully.
This generation’s take on relationships is an equal and fair concept. Here, both parties bring equal shares to the table without sacrificing too much at any of their detriments. Although there are still relationships that believe in gender roles, it is more of a choice than an expectation.
Millennials believe in love, and they are pretty optimistic about finding love too. Without mincing words, love seems to be the prominent reason why they get into relationships, as all other causes can now be negotiated. For instance, unlike women of the past who chose to marry for money and security, millennial women work for their money and do not necessarily need a man to feel secure.
Millennials face many issues, ranging from lack of funds to insecurity. However, the central point of all these is commitment. With social media and its availability of many prospects, they feel constrained having to commit. They will prefer to hold onto their freedom for as long as possible.
Did you enjoy this list of problems that millennials struggle with within relationships? I surely hope it helped you to understand why your relationship might be shaky right now. Don’t forget to leave a comment on what you thought about the article and share if you liked it.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.