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Single Millennials - Modern Dating Rules

How Millennial Men and Women are Different When it Comes to Dating by Kayla McCullough

If you didn’t know by now, times have most definitely changed in the dating world. If you are a member of the millennial age group and just so happen to be single, welcome to the tennis match that is about to be your dating life. For lack of better words, dating in this age can be described as a game – one that you probably didn’t even know you were playing, and unlike any sport that has a predetermined set of rules, this one is left to the imagination.

Unlike older generations—such as Baby Boomer and Generation X—single millennial(s) men and women are frequently believed to be today’s “hippies”. With free-wheeling and easy sex because of dating apps, many have zero interest in the "real" world because they are addicted to social media. The truth is you can’t believe these myths, but you can most definitely believe that between men and women, the millennial generation has a certain playing field when it comes to relationships.

Since young people aren't as traditional in their views on what a relationship is, what they look for in a partner is so much different as well. According to Lana from, men and women approach dating in opposite ways. Millennial women want to see if a man is serious before she can relax and have fun, where-as men want to see if a woman is fun before he wants to get serious.

This predicament leads to gaps between the genders and is where communication becomes essential. “Women are faced with a lot of messages in their online dating inboxes. The attention is overwhelming, so they get into the mindset of ‘I don’t want to waste time with men who are not serious.’ Millennial men on the other hand, are much more focused on ‘seeing how things go.’ They have often established themselves in their career and are in no rush to settle down. They are totally fine with having fun first and getting serious later.”

Although this may seem like the two are heading in opposite directions, this polarity is what builds chemistry. Lana states, “Men are constantly wondering if this woman is chill and fun enough to hang out with and possibly have sex with, and women are wondering if this man is interested in making things long-term. This ‘mystery’ that each partner is trying to uncover is what leads to chemistry and lust.

The very thing that fuels passion in the beginning stages of a relationship.” With this in mind, it’s no wonder why millennials hate labels. Lust is often the very thing that older generations lose early into their marriage. And even though this generation is one that knows how to keep a spark alive, it is also the generation of distance. Rather than define, they will dance around the idea of making anything official. If you try to label the relationship, chances are the guy will head for the hills because relationships with definitions hold people accountable.

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When you are held accountable, suddenly any of your values and beliefs become the other person’s. And even though both genders have different expectations when it comes to relationships, they normally all agree that the definition of “status” has a very different meaning than what the older generations know.

To millennials a relationship status is understanding and embracing what makes them unique. It's being authentic to who they are and following their hopes and dreams. Status is less about climbing the corporate ladder and marriage, and more about carving their path, which ultimately feels good to them and their values. For the average millennial, the state is their distinct individualism. So, it’s no wonder that millennials are less about finding someone for the material things and more about finding someone who makes them feel good about themselves.

Dating can be a tough game that can burn out even the best of us, but this just goes to show that millennials are here with a checklist for everything and high expectations to mirror it. If you are one that is having difficulties navigating the new and improved dating world, Lana’s advice for both parties would be to relax and communicate. “The advice I would give to both sides is that men should act like gentlemen if they want a woman to spend time with them. This means planning dates, following up afterward, etc. Women should relax and go on a few fun dates before bringing up more serious topics.”

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