When I listen to my grandfather tell me the story of how he met and fell in love with my grandmother, it doesn't seem real. It doesn't seem real that he met my grandmother before she turned 20 and knew instantly that she was the one. It doesn't seem real because love like that doesn't exist anymore, at least not for me.
My grandfather had to get approval from my grandmother's parents before they dated. That doesn't happen anymore. Even in our parents generation, boys would call the girls house and ask politely to speak with her on the phone. I've never received a call from a boy to my home. Of course time and technology changes, but that doesn't mean romantic gestures should too.
One weekend, while I was visiting Boston, I was sitting in a coffee shop doing homework. When I got up to leave, the man who made my coffee chased me out the door and insisted I call him. That's right, I said call. Not text. I was speechless because a gesture so bold such as that has never happened to me before. I didn't realize my generation knew how to communicate romantically without a phone to hide behind. As exciting as this experience was, I am afraid it may never happen because of the way my generation treats love and romance.
Relationships for people my age start with a text and end with a text. Before you make the leap of faith to hang out with someone in person, you text for a few days and make sure the initial interaction won't be awkward. If you're lucky, maybe you'll hang out. Sometimes a conversation with a guy may never go beyond texting. I could know a guy without actually hearing what his voice sounds like because he'll end things with me via text before we even begin. Relationships are virtual. Driving to one's house and going on a dinner date seems extinct. What I am used to is having a guy text me, and snap chat me and then ask me if I want to "netflix and chill".
In our generation, love isn't what people want. People want careers, the quick thrills of excitement, they want success and they want one-night stands. Love is much too complicated. We millennials are simply too busy to fall in love. Our career must come first and we find romantic excitement in matching with people on Tinder.
But why can't we find a balance? I mean, what's the point of doing anything in life if you have no one to share it with. Who wants to come home from a long day of work and not have anyone to relax with? It's not like you can log onto Tinder and talk about what went wrong in your day to the first person you match with. What we need to understand is that taking the time to meet people will help us grow. We'll be happier. Meeting people and experimenting with our feelings shouldn't be looked at as a chore or this time-consuming task. Getting to know people should be exciting and when you find the right person, finding the time should be easy.
I don't just think we are too busy for love, I think our generation is afraid. We are afraid of what happens when something gets complicated. We are afraid of getting hurt. We are afraid of wasting our time. We are afraid of what sacrifices we might have to make. We are afraid of talking face-to-face and not hiding behind our phones. We are afraid of instant responses. We are afraid of the unknown.
But why? If something gets complicated, work it out. If you get hurt, at least you are feeling some kind of emotion rather than nothing at all. If you're afraid of wasting your time, don't be. Every relationship is a learning experience. We fear the unknown, but isn't the unknown the most exciting part?
What I am more afraid of is not falling in love. I am so afraid that in ten years I'll come home after a long day of work, lay on my couch and scroll through match.com. I am so afraid that I won't ever know what it's like to have butterflies every time you see that one special person. I'm so afraid that no one will buy me roses for no reason at all. I am so afraid that I too, will become too busy to love.