Millennials vs. Boomers: Love

What MnMo readers think about the changes in dating and saying “I do”

battle of the ages, millennials, baby boomers
How Millennials and Boomers approach love and dating

Photo by Kevin White

“I feel that Boomers were more strict about dating and marriage versus Millennials. During the Boomer age, it was frowned upon for divorce or dating around in general. If a boomer wasn’t happy with their relationship or spouse, they were seen as ‘not trying hard enough’ or ‘rebellious.’ But for Millennials, we choose not to settle in relationships. If we feel the relationship isn’t working, we end it. It isn’t scandalous nowadays to break up with someone. We don’t have the fear of judgment from our peers holding us back from wanting happiness in our lives.”

“Because many of us Millennials have seen our parents, or other people’s parents go through divorce, instead of rushing into marriages (some still do of course), it seems people seem to wait to get married. Others rush relationships and expect divorce due to the Boomers examples. Millennials date around, while Boomers were more exclusive. I mean: Tinder…”

“Boomers tend to believe that marriage is forever and if they were unhappy or unsatisfied in their relationship, they put aside their own happiness for the ‘value’ of marriage. Millenials also value relationships and marriage; however, have no problem divorcing their spouse in order to maintain their own happiness.”

“Millennials have a more freeform approach to dating, and women have less of a need to marry—we’re often more successful than our male counterparts anyhow.”

“Most Boomers and Millennials want the same thing: To find a happy and lasting relationship. New technology, such as online dating, has expanded how those relationships occur. People are meeting in new ways and have more options available. Some of this is positive and some of this is negative. I could talk about this issue forever, but instead I’ll just recommend you read the book Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari.”

“I think that lots of Millennials, like their parents, do want to settle down and get married—it’s just going to be later. And with so much online dating and so many dating apps, the ways that people meet each other and interact are so different between the generations. You can’t meet someone at the video store and get asked out, because no one goes to video stores any more.”

“Millennials came of age in an era when more diverse views of relationships, family structures were the norm. There’s no longer the assumption that one has to be married to have children; that women (or men, for that matter) ‘should’ be in a relationship to be fulfilled; that women need to be in a marriage to have economic autonomy. Boomers also lived through historic divorce rate highs in the U.S.”

“It’s easier than ever to meet single people our age online, there are too many options which makes you wonder what else is out there, and if you are selecting the right person. I personally want to get married, but I don’t feel like I need to be married, especially now (I’m 30). I have my own career goals and independence.”

“We all want somebody to love, but I think many Millennials are willing to delay a relationship until they find someone ‘perfect.'”

“Hard to meet someone if your eyes are glued to your phone. Boomers had to meet socially, physically. As for marriage, everyone in my family has stayed married—no divorces. If there are more divorces today, guess it is easier to throw away than work it out. Millennials have grown up in a throw away, dispensable society. New iPhone upgrade? Get rid of the old and get the newest.”

“Millennials have a much more disposable outlook in relationships. If they don’t like how a person does something etc., they don’t want to learn why. They feel they can move on, and they also do so much via text and social media that people even will marry via text. Boomers still will get divorced but the average person will try and try again. They know a relationship is a two person thing it’s not just one person doing everything.”

“Back in the day there were fewer divorces because you fix what is broken, not throw it away. Millennials are more open to different ways of dating such as online dating and speed dating.”

“Boomers completely destroyed our concept of marriage and family. They’ve done nothing but show us as a whole that vows are only important if you want to keep them, and that our personal fulfillment comes from feeling happy in a relationship, and not from toughing it out when things get hard. If Millennials shy away from commitment, look no further than the Boomers that raised them. The serial polygamy of Boomers is directly reflected in our ‘hook-up’ culture. I don’t know why anyone is surprised by this.”

“Different = There’s less pressure to get married if you have a baby (and more tax breaks). You met people at parties, work, or through friends and not online (since that didn’t exist). Similar = We all want to find someone to grow old with.”

“Millennials ‘hang out’ and don’t go on as many official one-on-one dates that take planning. Dating seems far more relaxed, and a group experience, than a lot of pressure on finding serious connections that will lead to marriage. There’s a sense that that will come eventually.”

“Compared to Boomers, Millennials do not believe in defined rolls, titles, and classifications. Boomers grew up in the ‘Nuclear Family’ period while Millennials are more likely to ignore race, gender, sexual orientation; view negatively ‘promiscuous’ behavior; and more sexual liberal and open.”

“I probably know the right people of all ages, because I see lots of strong relationships of all ages. Divorce is not an indication of valuing marriage less—it may actually be valuing it MORE. I see people of all ages work to make it work.”

“I think Boomers put more emphasis on marriage, where Millennials don’t care as much about the label. I think it is still common for both generations to want to spend their life with someone.”

“Boomers were following tradition and took the automatic next steps in relationships where Millennials don’t want to feel boxed in or told what order they need to follow in life/relationships.”

“You can’t stereotype this. Times change and, in general, society is looser with its attitudes toward morals, but you start from how you were raised.  There will always be those who are more conservative and those who are more progressive. I don’t think we are that different.”

“Many Boomers married out of high school because it was what many of their parents had done. The major attitude was you needed to marry by the time you graduated college or you wouldn’t find anyone.”

“The sexual revolution of the ’60s allowed some Boomers to be more free about their attitudes towards marriage, but many married to have sex and start a family, which many probably felt was the path to a responsible life. Many Millennials started having sex in high school, don’t see it as intrinsically linked to children, and likely don’t see a huge advantage to the responsibilities of children. I’d say they aren’t opposed to marriage, but don’t see it as absolutely necessary either.”

“Millennials definitely have more “digital options” for dating these days, which definitely makes it more easier to find people, but the standards are much higher. Boomers had more of that face-to-face dating interaction than Millennials ever will.”