On a sunny day, dreary day or any day in the office, there's always time to chat about relationships. It's probably not the most professional thing to chat about, but the department is full of millennials, people ages 20 to 33 and the construct of acceptable corporate behavior is bent constantly.
Among the topics that make way from mouths to minds within ear's reach are the expectations young people have of one another when in romantic relationships. A colleague recently broke up with her beau whom she met via Tinder, the location-based dating and social discovery application that millions of young singles use to initiate communication with mutually interested users. The two agreed to split after a year of romance shadowed with challenges from poor communication to substance abuse. They loved each other; it was apparent. In the anecdotal sense. They had romantic dinners made at home; he bought and delivered to her apartment cases of water too heavy for her to carry up four flights of stairs; she tolerated his adolescent daughter, etc. etc. Despite their strong attraction, things got in the way. Like many relationships, there were things to work through. Compromises to be made.
When she spoke about her relationship in hindsight, she would say, "There were so many signs," "I just wanted to be open minded," "I was so attracted to him." All valid reasons to give someone a chance. But, the particular statement: "he couldn't give me what I wanted," begs the questions, was he suppose to give you anything? What did you have to offer? She believed he could not be the man she wanted him to be. Having expectations, no problem. What is a problem is thinking all men in the millennial generation are hard-wired to be sole providers for their girlfriends or wives. Of course there are cultural customs with these expectations. Many cultures hold a patriarchal ideal of relationships. Men are to provide for their wives and family.
But for our born-and-made-in-the-USA young men, they may not be looking for the girl that has her palm out and upright. Instead, millennial men want to grab that hand and pursue dreams and goals mutually. The young women who expect to be swept off their feet send the message to their suitors that dating them will be costly. Not just monetarily, but emotionally, mentally and even physically. The antiquated notion that men should "take care" of women just doesn't work anymore. In a world where you can meet a companion at the click of the mouse or swipe of the screen, men aren't going to continuously give it all they've got without reciprocation.
The new concept of dating and marriage is one of equals. An equal acceptance of all flaws. The dying ideal of being cared for is one that does not fit millennial women the way it fit women of previous generations. The ability to provide not only for yourself, but for him as well is a sure sign both individuals are ready for a long-term, fulfilling relationship. To millennial women, show him you can hold it down. Show him you're okay with sacrificing, doing things you don't want to do. This means you can put your boots on and strap them up too.