Are Black millennials clueless or uninterested in meaningful relationships? In a world where “shooting your shot” equates to sliding in DM’s and hooking-up there is a generation that is utterly clueless in the art of intimacy and the cultivating of a solid foundation when it comes to love. Social media and sexting leave nothing to the imagination, after all, it’s all about the test-drive. A warped, limited view of marriage, a misunderstanding of feminism, and blurred gender roles are all contributing factors to the deterioration of Black love.
Friends With Benefits Are The New Norm
Too often exclusivity or traditional dating is viewed as boring, too formal, and the end of youth. Most men say they want to be more established in a career before even thinking of being serious when it comes relationships. Women may also express a desire for self-sufficiency and need to secure finances and a future for themselves. While achieving one’s goals is vital to a purpose and a passion for life, there is something to be said about forging a partnership with someone who supports your vision. And yet so many millennials accept the ambiguity that comes with “friends with benefits” that they should never accept from genuine friendships.
Feminism has undoubtedly created a wedge between Black men and women. There is a misconception that Black feminism emasculates Black men. Femininity even borders on misogyny, leaving women who have little to no clue of how to communicate appropriately with men. It’s a topic for another time. Both sexes express open distrust for one another. How did we get this idea that we are an island and need no one? Or are these lies we tell ourselves out of fear or past disappointment? People comment #relationshipgoals all day on Instagram and Twitter, but truth be told, to achieve relationship goals there is a level of investment, a laying aside of ego and courage needed to have everlasting love.
The art of communication is lost. For most, the dating world is based on superficial attraction. The world is smaller than ever, and with access to millions of beautiful people all over the globe, Black millennials basis their relationship goals on wants instead of needs.
Everyone can’t have the model or the athlete. Looks and wealth can only take us so far in life. Threesomes and situation-ships are sensationalized with little regard for the damage caused by hookup culture. For those couples that manage to make it to exclusivity, breakups occur too frequently. Reality TV reinforces conflicting values and causes today’s generation to think they have the opposite gender figured out. Viewers and followers are enticed by what they see. Social media often makes people believe they know people based on a post – which is often a highlight in the real of life. It is not the whole picture of someone’s actual motivations or level of integrity. A higher importance has been placed on materialism and eye candy, rather than soul food. It seems courtship is the farthest idea from much of society’s mind.
Can Millennials Find Real Love?
With all that said what is the solution? Surely there is nothing wrong with dating casually and evolving to exclusivity. The only way to know one’s preferences in a future partner or spouse is through trial and error. More importantly than what we seek from others, is an awareness of what we expect from ourselves. What is missing from our moral character: patience, standards, boundaries?
Are we shaped by dysfunctions witnessed during formative years? Courtship should be a fun, exciting adventure that allows for growth and for love to develop. Factoring in high incarceration rates of Black men, interracial and online dating, the prospect for Black love is further compromised. Do Black millennials want to find authentic love more than they are afraid of it? Time will tell.
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