The pursuit of romance in a loveless generation

Sex and love is at an all-time low in the hook-up-centered millennial generation

Millennials have been accused of killing a variety of industries lately. Diamonds, Applebee’s, department stores, bars of soap, these are a few of the corporations suffering as millennials take the stage in the economy.  

However, a major industry diminishing because of millennials doesn’t necessarily have a price to it — sex and love.  

Despite having the distinct reputation of being a hook-up culture, it might come as a surprise how few millennials take advantage of apps offered to them. 

Nevertheless, college students are instead occupying their time by chasing after their long-term career goals and ambitions. 

Living in a generation surrounded by seductive selfies and human contact being one swipe away, social media often takes the reverse affect one might assume. 

“Social media is an oxymoron in sense” said Michele Smith, a credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor and program administrator. “It connects us, but we lose that sense of intimacy.” 

In the past, one would look forward to a romantic letter in the mail once a week from loved ones, but now people are connected 24/7, which is a great convenience, to get news across and connect people on a global scale.  

However, this has made people increasingly lazy in the pursuit of love


ASU business entrepreneurship freshman Isaiah Flannagan had an opposing view about social media.  

“It’s really good for (hook-ups), you go through a of different faces and meet a lot of different people,” Flannagan said.

Still, even for Flannagan, meeting people through face-to-face connections in class prevails against social media interactions. 

Intimacy disorders are the norm for roughly 17 percent of adults in western cultures. This is a fear of closeness in relationships that many relate onto a fear of commitment making them avoidant of relationships. 

Sex and love addiction is a relatively new intimacy disorder gaining more research daily. It focuses on the romanticizing of partner without ever actually getting to know them bordering on obsession or entering in a sexual relationship with multiple different partners while staying detached from them emotionally

Millennials are also plagued with the challenges of dealing with multitudinous careers advancing and opening every day allowing them to receive more opportunities than ever before.  

Smith said students are more focused on pursuing higher education than previous generations.

“They’re more career oriented than previous generations. Especially females, particularly where they were once not encouraged to do so,” Smith said. 

This generation of young adults and college students is so career-driven that romantic relationships must be placed on the back-burner in order for them to successfully thrive in their career industry.  

There is nothing problematic about being goal-oriented and wanting to be successful in your field. This is a concept previous generations have struggled with where marriage and the development of a family was the ultimate outcome due to lack of opportunities.  

There are a variety of possibilities as to why there has been a decrease in romantic relationships and sexual endeavors, but one undeniable truth is that this generation is pushing the limits to expand opportunities for themselves in every sense and no one will get in their way.

Ultimately, sacrifices must be made in order to make it to the top in today's competitive society. 

Millennials know how to prioritize, and education and lifetime careers are definitely not taking second place.


Reach the columnist at hncumber@asu.edu or follow @hncumby on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.Want to join the conversation? 

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