As the “millennial” generation (is it just me, or is that starting to sound like an insult?) we receive many the accusation: we spend too much time on our phones, we’re selfish, lazy, entitled. The list goes on, but I’m too lazy and entitled to write further.
As demeaning as these adjectives might be, are they untrue? Aren’t we granted information at our fingertips? Don’t we expect everything to happen in an instant? And don’t we spend an unprecedented amount of time on our phones? Rather than fight this, why not embrace that which has been given to us, labels be damned? Specifically: when it comes to the pursuit of love and relationships.
Back in 2010, a freshman in university, I found myself uncharacteristically stuck in my dorm room with nothing to do. Naturally, I ended up on Facebook, lurking people I did know, people I sort of knew, and people I certainly did not. (Everybody does it, don’t pretend you haven’t.) Amongst the latter I found my future boyfriend. Because I have no shame and no self control, I added and sequentially messaged him.
We didn’t even live in the same country, he residing in Australia and I in Canada. That should have been a deal breaker but was not. Our constant messaging lead to video-Skyping and we soon became technologically inseparable. It was like a romantic comedy if romantic comedies could take place on an iPhone. After a year, I made the inevitable decision to fly to Australia. From there, we did the long distance thing for two years and finally, I moved here.
I’m only one of many such stories. Our generation is not limited to one proximity “soulmate.” We don’t need to settle for the “high school sweet heart”. Our potential for finding love internationally is unlimited.
Yet in anecdotal contrast, my grandparents met in the most organic way possible: at a party.
My grandmother made an impromptu, fateful detour to a celebration. My grandfather, spotting her, approached the car to introduce himself, not realising he had placed an open beer bottle upside-down in his pocket, soaking his pants. My grandmother, immediately smitten, failed to notice, recalling wistfully now only that he had “the nicest smile.”
At the time, my grandfather was engaged to be married to another woman in just two weeks time. After this brief encounter, he approached his father, who was shaving in the bathroom.
“Dad, I’m calling off the wedding.”
His father promptly cut himself shaving in response, and my grandparents were married soon thereafter. They remain so today.
This is the stuff that makes up epic romances, but really, how is it any different from the situation I was in? Both relationships started with an instant connection and a realisation that this is the person you want to be with, despite any obstacles. Just because we as “millennials” have access to people we can’t first meet without a screen between us, doesn’t mean it isn’t equally a valid means of finding love.
Unless, of course, you use the phrase “sliding into those DM’s” or start off with unsolicited nudes. In that case, you are the part of our generation that cannot be saved.