*Note: this is a response to Anthony D’Ambrosio’s opinion column on Asbury Park Press.
Anthony says marriages just don’t work.
He says our generation isn’t equipped for it as much as the previous ones.
I have to disagree. Sure, plenty of studies show that millennials are waiting to get married much later in life, but there is definitely nothing wrong with that.
Sure, maybe the reason is that we can’t afford it–which Anthony does a great job at pointing out–but this also gives us more time to make better choices and mature.
We’re done with the days where children are having children.
People are waiting for marriage and to buy houses, but not because marriage doesn’t work for us.
Anthony says there are five reasons why marriage doesn’t work in our generation:
- Sex becomes almost non-existent
- Finances cripple us
- We’re more connected than ever before, but also completely disconnected
- Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved
- Social media has caused us to throw out our privacy and because of it “nothing is sacred anymore”
Let me just start with no.1 of the list. Sex is non-existent? Huh? What? On what planet?
If anything, I think our generation is having more sex because for one, we’re still young. There is more sex education than ever and there is a wider spread use of contraceptives.
Anthony, you might have a disconnected sex life, but do you think it is perhaps because women just don’t want to sleep with the men that don’t show signs they’ll stick around? Maybe your general attitude that our generation doesn’t believe in love is being reflected in your encounters.
And if you by chance are right about “sex being non-existent,” maybe it is just because these people are pickier about who they choose to sleep with and are still looking for that perfect person to share this experience with.
Who cares who people are sleeping with anyway? What people choose to do in their relationships is between the man and woman (or man and man, woman and woman or whoever).
Finances cripple us. I agree and I’ve already stated that I do agree. However, the economy has been worse. What about couples that made it through the Great Depression? What about the couples who made it through the market crash of 2008?
If you have the mindset that your relationship will make it “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer and in sickness and in health” then you are already equipped to handle the rough patches that come from being in a relationship.
Three. We’re more connected, but completely disconnected.
Not to say I’m going to marry this guy, but I met my recent boyfriend online and I think these arguments can be made for any relationship.
Social media and texting doesn’t hurt our relationship at all. It makes it better.
At the same time, I think you have to have both: effort to see each other in person and communication when you’re apart. Technology is there as a tool for assisting a relationship–not building and maintaining one.
As long as both persons put value on seeing one another face-to-face, then I believe there is nothing wrong with using technology, too.
Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to love.
I can’t disagree with this one. While love is a fundamental connection that many of us seek, the desire for attention can cloud our judgment–and social media is the very drug to satisfy those cravings.
Anthony states, “You can’t love someone when you’re preoccupied with worrying about what others think of you.”
I’ll give you that one, Anthony, because I completely agree that this is something everyone in our generation needs to work on. It has to do with balancing our values.
Do you value Facebook likes more than finding love? That’s for you to decide.
Last but not least, number four and five go hand in hand. Is social media the culprit for failed relationships?
This is a question that cannot be tackled by society, but rather by the individual.
It all goes back to what you ultimately value and want to achieve in your life. Once you know what your values are, you will find that right person to balance you out.
At the same time, just because you want to be in a relationship, it doesn’t mean you should force one.
So what can we do?
Maybe Anthony is right: maybe our society is changing and maybe as a whole, we no longer value marriage, but I don’t necessarily think we have a “problem.”
Ultimately, a relationship is an individual’s decision anyway. If you just focus on happiness, the pieces will always fall into place.