"Monogamy used to be one person for life, today monogamy is one person at a time" - Esther Perel, TED2015.
Interestingly, young people today have permissive sexual attitudes, but they are choosing to have sex with fewer partners than previous generations. The surplus of options that online dating has given young people has, by some accounts, resulted in romantic standstills because young people are trying to decide what they really want from love. There are prevailing attitudes of experimentation that delays commitment. Yes, love is complicated, but in the modern age, this complication is heightened because of liberal attitudes (for example, more openness to interracial and interfaith relationships) and digital aids for connection opportunities with unique people.
While there are still countries in the world where women can be killed for cheating, there are increasingly liberal trends going from niche to norm when it comes to love and relationships. Polyamory, for example, is having a serious moment. It's about being open to having loving relationships with different people of different sexes at the same time, and in that way, learning to love yourself, too. On the other hand, Solagamy is one of this generation’s hottest self-esteem trends – it’s about marrying yourself.
Modern porn consumption has changed dramatically too – from the extreme to the grotesque and the absurd, it is changing young people's attitudes around dating, relationships and sexuality – unconsciously reshaping young minds around themes of desire and increasing the likeliness of experimentation. The result is that this generation of youth is having more adventurous sex than previous generations.
From ghosting to sexting, orgies and non-monogamous marriage, there's lots more we could discuss. But, to sum up, what we discovered in our exploration of youth romance and dating: there is a dating backlash driven by youth today, a backlash for a better connection. In a world where screens rule, and thumbs scroll constantly, holding hands is a powerful statement. To find people to hold hands with isn't an easy or uncomplicated feat, but it sure is high on the agenda.