By Amanda Sparks*
Passionate, open-minded, and digitized – the hallmarks of Generation Z. Of course, the research is still new and incomplete. But they are bubbling toward adulthood now, and we are beginning to take note of their “voices,” behaviors, and, yes, demands. They are definitely not shy about making connections. And this is refreshing.
In fact, we have learned that Gen Z’ers will connect will their peers all over the planet, share their passions and goals, support one another, and motivate each other. Further, they see no lines of demarcation based on race, ethnicity, or gender identity. In their eyes, justice and equality are common rights for all. They openly discuss these topics and take public stances on them, especially on social media. And, as we have recently seen, they will gather and loudly voice their demands until they get action.
For Gen Z (also called Pivotals), nothing is taboo, and openness and transparency are most important.
Another common characteristic of this generation is that they have all lived in what is called the post-digital age. They have never known a world without smartphones, without social media, and without asking Siri for any information they want. Their devices are even more important and are used for even more than the previous millennials use them, including hooking up with their peers anywhere in the world.
How all of these characteristics translate to dating and relationships means that there is a unique approach by these kids.
Implications for Dating and Relationships
Dating has evolved through the generations. Boomers grew up with the belief that the male was to take the initiative: he called; he funded dates, etc. These mores began to break down when these kids went to college, and the hippie, free love culture took hold. In the end, though, most boomers settled down into marriages and families relative early. The divorce rate, however, grew.
Gen X was more liberated, and females felt much freer to initiate hookups and dates. Sex was freer too. Relationships did not need to end in marriage, and living together became far more acceptable, as couples chose to forego early marriages.
Sylvia Giltner, HR manager and career advisor for Resumes Centre shares:
Gen Z has adopted most of the mores of the millennials, but have pushed even further into alternative dating and relationship arrangements.
This is a generation that uses social media to “hook up” and establish relationships, even long-distance ones. In fact, an “online” couple may indeed never meet and may carry on several other “relationships” at the same time. The great positive about this is that they can safely expose themselves to a wide diversity of peers and gain a lot of valuable communication and relationship experience.
When these young people meet physically, at school or other places, they do not focus on formal dating. Just spending informal time together is considered a “date.” And sex is a natural part of relationships.
Dating and relationships are fluid and reflect the great diversity of society – a diversity that this generation embraces fully – racial and ethnic lines are blurred; gender identities are blurred. And in many ways, this a positive change from previous generations. The openness and transparency of gen Z’ers mean that they do not have to “hide” who or what they are and what they want and need. This leads to better overall mental health too.
Short-term relationships are common because it is easy to just move on to a new one quickly, lining someone up on social media. As Jessica Fender, social media manager for OnlineWritersRating adds: “This demographic has no problem using a dating app and carrying on both local and distance relationships.”
Another characteristic of this generation that leads to short-term relationships relates to the strong convictions that these young people have. They are far less willing to compromise in their relationships. When expectations are not met, they move on. And with all of the options they have to “hook up,” they can replace a lover quickly.
Gen Z’ers appear to place less importance on marriage, even less than their millennial elders. One-third state that marriage as an institution is obsolete and unnecessary. Still, the majority still say that finding someone they really love is important.
We still do not know all that we can about Generation Z, as the research is still unfolding. We can say this, however: It is a generation that has staunch priorities. One of these priorities is to be open and transparent about their needs, wants, and demands in relationships. Another important priority is a rejection of any discrimination against any societal group, no matter their race, ethnic/cultural beliefs, of sexual identity. They will be honest in their relationships and will not settle for less than they want. Ultimately, this bodes well for society. If and when a Gen Z’er finds a life mate, it could be very likely that the relationship will last.
About the author: Amanda Sparks is a professional marketer and blogger for Essaysupply.com. She is passionate about developing innovative and customer-friendly solutions for brands. You can follow Amanda on Twitter. If you are interested in submitting to ATOB, email us at AsToldOverBrunch@gmail.com.