The Discussion: Dating Ideals & Delayed Adulthoods

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Words// Jaz Bowens, HYPEFRESH® Contributor

Readers, you may want to share your thoughts after this one.

It’s been said, studied, and researched time and time again; millennials are delaying adulthood or opting out of it longer than previous generations. In an article by W. Keith Campbell of The New York Times titled, “Opting Out of Adulthood Is Becoming More Common” he is able to sum up why many think that has happened in only two sentences. “Marriage, children, a paying job and a home are the traditional markers of adulthood. Take an economic collapse that has targeted young people, combine it with a growing culture of individualism and narcissism, and the result is that these markers are fading away.”

Yes, what was traditionally bench markers of adulthood has been less obtainable and sustainable today. People are becoming higher educated, long term careers are becoming sparse, and for some the idea of owing a house doesn’t intrigue them or it’s simply out of reach at his time in their life. We have become more individualist but that doesn’t mean millennials do not want to come together to date and form relationships as they meander through the new economic and social structure of 2015 and beyond. What stands in some people’s way is their dating ideals mixed with the reality of delayed adulthood.

After a short conversation with a friend (27) I came to a conclusion that our reality may not match our ideals. She has a college degree with a good job, no kids, her own car and apartment, and would like for her potential partner to at least have the same. Unfortunately she lives in a small town where many of the single men had children young, do not have the need for a college degree or moved away after obtaining it, and the rest are either too young or too old. That’s not mentioning the men she isn’t attracted to. Basically she feels that her dating prospects are bleak. As she mentioned her dating woes I honestly didn’t have much advice to give her.

 The Date.

The Date.

There are many men and woman who feel the same way and have their own list of things they are looking for. My friend has gotten advice along the lines of, material things don’t matter, you need to lower your standards, and there is more to life than making money. I don’t agree. At 27 (closer to 30 than 20), I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a man (or woman) to have those things she mentioned, plus if she lowers her very basic standards and is still unhappy she’ll began to resent the man, and those things she mentioned are not much to ask for.

What I think that she and other in her predicament should give a second thought about is that times have changed and maybe she should be a little bit more understanding of people’s situation. He may not have a car because he is saving for one and doesn’t want to completely finance one, he may still live with his parents because he wants to lessen his student loans before he moves out, and he might also have a career that didn’t require him to go to college. All things need to be considered. Who knows, she might be able to progress with someone who doesn’t have all that she requires as a pre-requisite but they’ll be able to move towards that together. No one is saying to completely abandon what one wants in a partner but it’s important for both men and woman to look at the whole picture.

Readers, what do you think? Are there somethings you look for in a partner that are non-negotiable? Do you have experiences that have put you out of some people’s dating market? Hypefresh would love to hear your comments.