Originally published on FAF Magazine
The generation before us loves to takes jabs at us in their constant state of bitterness and the generation preceding us is too stupid to comment. We are the millennials, the subject of hundreds of op-eds and the target of global disappointment. Part of their resentment stems from pure envy. After all, we’re the me-generation, we love ourselves and spare no time or expense to please ourselves. But the last generation has one thing right about us, we don’t know how to love nor be loved. So much pollution contributes to our inability attain and maintain relationships. If we take a step back and look at the root of the problem, it’s not all that bad and it’s definitely fixable.
As a millennial and a communications major, I think I’ve made the accurate observation and concluded that our generation sucks at talking to people in general. We can’t maintain conversations, let alone spontaneously break into conversations with strangers or even acquaintances. Reason being? Obviously a major component is technology, why speak when you can text, or send a picture with a short caption, seems more intimate right? NO. We’ve become so dependable on mobile forms of communication that we don’t need to communicate in any other way. But technology isn’t the bigger problem shockingly; it’s when we’re face to face.
We as a generation of independent, creative, and successful thinkers don’t know how to communicate what we want in a relationship. Why? We’re afraid, afraid of pushing our boundaries, of invading the other person’s space. So we keep a distance by not communicating to the other what turns us off, what bothers us, and most importantly, when we want more. A relationship requires more than just random hookups, smoke sessions, and hanging out with groups of friends. A relationship entails, commitment, a level of comfort that comes with reassurance of where you stand as a couple. And with everyone these days ‘not to into labels’, we’re left in the middle ground between friends with benefits and booty call.
So you’re in a situationship, or somewhere in the beginning of a potential relationship and you’re taken aback by a snarky comment by the other person. This wasn’t just a playful joke, this was a jab at you, at who you are. The boundaries I spoke about in communication are different than maintaining a level of respect. We tend to blur the lines of personal boundaries when it comes to getting to know someone, which can lead to disrespect.
Scoffing at how you carry yourself, making seemingly harmless jokes, sexist comments, or insulting your opinions on matters of politics, faith, or anything else for that matter is crossing the line into ‘you’re canceled’ zone. You don’t need to fully understand a person to know where input crosses over to just plain rude.
This plays into communication. We can’t communicate what we actually want, so we just sit in the purgatory of uncertainty until actions define further the status of the situation. Millennials have a problem being honest with the person they’re talking to for the most part because they’re not being fully honest with themselves.
When we’re honest with the other person, we avoid disappointment, disrespect, and wasting our time. Tell the other person ‘Hey, this is great, you’re (insert basic adjective) and I’d like to be FWB/friends/fuck buddies’. The sooner you have that conversation of honest intent, the sooner you can get on with your lives. Or if you dig deeper and realize that you genuinely like the person and want more, say it! Our generation is unbelievably fearful of rejection, which we avoid any instance in which we might encounter it. Hence why we opt for the first option, which involves little or no emotion and exclusivity.
Talk face to face, be mindful of person’s unknown boundaries, and for the love of God, be honest. You’re not always going to get the response you’re looking for, especially given that you’re probably going for another dysfunctional millennial. Our generation is the shit, we just need to get the rest of our shit together before we all end up in our 40’s…single six wine+Netflix nights a week, with nothing in our drawers except yoga pants and Flawless t-shirts; I’m talking about you too boys.