Finding love and maintaining relationships have always been difficult, but Millennials find these things even more complicated especially since they have to deal with a fast-paced lifestyle matched with technological advancements.
Tara Griffith, a therapist and founder of Wellspace SF, told the Huffington Post that Millennials have grown up in a world full of dating apps. They have been conditioned to "have it all," so "the sheer amount of choice present" is enough to overwhelm anyone.
When therapists discuss love and dating with patients in their 20s and 30s, they have found some common problems. The first is the question about the importance of marriage.
"During their 20s, many millennials are choosing to prioritize other facets of life such as education, career, travel or life experiences before they settle down with a partner," said Griffith. "Some find a partner later in life, when they've already created independent identities, careers, and sources of income. It's also much more acceptable to have children without being married. Some Millennials don't see much benefit from obtaining a marriage certificate and potentially complicating things."
The next problem is the decision paralysis. With so many partners to choose from, Millennials often second guess if their partners are truly "the one." Liz Higgins, a couples therapist in Dallas, said that she helps her patients by telling them to improve on themselves instead of trying to look for Mr. Right or Mrs. Right.
"This can often lead to the choice paradox and feeling extreme anxiety and fear of missing out by choosing the wrong person," she explained. "Instead of feeding into the anxiety around searching for the right partner, I help clients refocus on being the right partner."
Lastly, life coach Jess Hopkins from Los Angeles, California revealed that cell phones and other gadgets make it difficult for Millennials to communicate their feelings. "Text is the primary mode of communication for millennials but so much gets lost in translation," she said. "Interpreting tone or intention based on nothing more than a word or a piece of punctuation is frustrating at best and disastrous at worst."
Many patients even drive themselves crazy trying to come up with the perfect text response, which does not even compare to face-to-face conversations which effectively convey tone, facial expressions, and body language.
Meanwhile, Dr. Zack Carter wrote for Psychology Today that sending text messages, especially to the opposite sex, can lead to infidelity. He said that text messaging might seem like a harmless activity since everybody does it nowadays, but there is a false sense of security that can lead people in committed relationships to "venture into dangerous open waters."
"The reality is a text message is open water. There is no shallow end to stand on or wall to grab onto," he warned. "What is sent and received in a text-based world can easily trigger our deepest, darkest feelings and desires, surfacing them in a conversation that began harmlessly."