Being in no man’s land seems to be the trend. This isn’t necessarily because of following what everyone’s doing but because of what millennials have become used to. Being with someone on and off but never really being ‘together’.
“Hey. We don’t need tags, right?”
The idea is to enjoy the perks of a relationship, such as companionship and sex, but never fully commit.
You might not even want to be strictly exclusive. But you’re talking and hanging out. You’re not alone. All is well. So why get too invested?
Not getting emotional or involved beyond a point is the growing mutual equation now. More and more people are getting into it, and they like it. The younger you are, the more it rages. It’s not fussy. It’s chill. It’s easy. Hurray! This ‘kind of’ dating thing really works, man!
Or so we believe.
When we do, it’s with good reason though. Being in an official relationship isn’t about making it public on Facebook with a post. It’s about being there for each other through thick and thin. One has to be responsible towards the other at all times. You’re answerable and you know it.
But alas, you’re not thinking about true love. That stuff is good in literature and films. ‘No strings attached’ is a more detached way to date, or whatever it is that we’re doing.
We’re becoming an easily distracted but barely, rarely dedicated generation. One blooper is a ticket out. We’re not tied down, or so to say.
Many factors come into play when you wonder about this mindset shift. With a generation, an entire ideology has changed. If we go back to the time our parents, everything was different. They went for it and did so wholeheartedly, without making it a big deal. They married young and were in it ‘forever’.
These days however, we don’t know a ‘forever’. We’re hardly sure about the ‘now’. Anything could happen tomorrow and we’re okay with that. When we don’t get too attached, parting ways and moving on doesn’t break us. Being casual has its own benefits. We’re able to hold ourselves up after another one bites the dust, till the next romance comes along. No biggie.
When we’re neither here nor there with a somewhat partner, we feel a certain sense of freedom.
We don’t feel tied down or under too much pressure; there’s enough space for one to be comfortable. We’re not claiming any rights over the other. One text later, you’re over at your so-called bae’s, gearing up for a nice night ahead. You go out and meet friends.
You plan the coming week or month together, never the future. You'll tag each other in photos, not in the relationship. Beyond a limit, you draw a line.
Sometimes, you don’t even know why.
And when asked, you'll say, "We're just going with the flow", "Nah, we're not really together", "Yeah, we're kind of seeing each other but not really", "I don't even know what we're doing", etc., etc. Half the people we know are doing this right now.
So, are we friends with benefits or what? Are we just experimenting till we want to stop? Is any level of certainty unwelcome? Maybe we’re going round and round in circles and not really getting anywhere. But that doesn’t seem to be an issue. We’re young and want to have fun.
A proper, hardcore relationship doesn’t have to be a priority. We don’t want any rules.
But then again, we’re faulted in our own ways. We’re taking the reins and steering away from any sort of seriousness.
There are too many doubts and insecurities. We don’t want to trust. We get bored quickly. Then we want someone else. We want to test the waters further. We’re going from one person to the next, and that’s exhausting in its own way.
It’s the new age. Our lives are run by technology. So is our definition of romance. Tinder is on a roll because we’re hooked to it. Swipes lead to chats, chats lead to meetings, most meetings fizzle out, some work for a while. This becomes a habit, making us greedy for more options. In the madhouse of ‘singletons’, we’re spoilt with choice.
There’s always a lover around, but we don’t want to settle just yet.
Even though this patterned behaviour seems convenient, it also comes with occasional pangs of loneliness. You know that no one is really, really around for you. Who’s truly got your back? Who knows what’s genuinely on your mind? Nobody. Because you made sure it was like that.
We’re in this for our own reasons. Some of us are heartbroken and weary of going down the same road again. Some don’t have time, energy or patience to spare for a relationship. Some are confused and need more years to mature. But a lot of us eventually end up being scared. As we get older, we start seeking stability and support while warming up to the idea of being 'settled'. Marriage doesn't seem so scoff-worthy 'unthinkable' anymore. At a certain age, we reconsider.
Isn't this pretty much the way everyone is going from late adolescence to young adulthood? With a few exceptions, of course.
We'll look back and wonder what all these nameless relationships really were. Time pass? Missed opportunities? Pretence? Boredom? Childishness? Maybe even real feelings?
Who knows? Who cares? Love isn’t the same anymore. But who can say if that’s a good or a bad thing?