What dating and relationships looks like for Gen Z

Growing up, it’s a common desire to be in a relationship. Most people are familiar with the basics of relationships by the ages of 4 and up. As people get older, they begin to develop a “type” of person they would like to pursue. The development of people may change depending on the generation they were raised in. 

Your type may vary depending on many factors such as socioeconomic status, social norms, personal preferences, and previous experiences. All of these factors differ depending on your lifestyle, with your generation also playing a part. The generation you were born into dictates your morals and values going into relationships.

The newest generation is currently Generation Z. Members of Gen Z consist of people born between 1997 and 2015. This puts the age group for Gen Z’ers in the range of 6-24 years old in 2021. Members of Gen Z are mostly known for being fond of social media and technology. 

Social media is the most popular way of communicating and meeting new people nowaday. Some members of Gen Z believe it is possible to build loyalty and commitment with online interactions alone. This belief makes the dating scene for Gen Z toxic due to the lack of authenticity that can only be discovered in person. 

“The whole ‘talking phase’ is a whole thing that we created to get to know each other but it’s pretty much pressure to either have something in common or not,” shares Sophomore Isabel Ramirez. “You could go days, weeks, months, or more talking to someone and you could know a lot about them but then one day they could say they don’t want a relationship and then you turn right back into strangers.” 

According to reports by Vice, 89% of Gen Z members say social media and dating apps make it easier and more tempting to cheat. Unending choice has made loyalty more difficult to maintain, unlike the Millennials who focused more on actions and outdoor activities. 

While the value Gen Z places on relationships may not be a big shift from past generations, the way they approach them is. Gen Z is significantly more likely than Millennials to say that people are meant to fall in love many times in their lives and less likely to believe that a single partner can fulfill all of one’s needs.

The most important relationship they have is with themselves. Gen Z lives in a world of infinite possibilities of self-definition and expression in a world that has never been messier, which may cause toxicity. 

Toxicity in Gen Z is very common, some people desire it to ‘make their relationship fun.’ However, it can end relationships faster than it may take to develop. Communication and trust would have to be prevalent in your relationship, in order for it to be maintained.

Gaslighting is a toxic activity that many people don’t know about, but it can truly emotionally damage a person. Ramirez shares, “Gaslighting is like telling someone that they are wrong without reasoning. The definition is to manipulate someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. This is not a health trait in a relationship but it continues to happen sometimes.” 

Although Generation Z may have difficulties with staying committed, when they love they love hard. While the rules have changed, love and commitment are here to stay. Self-control and engagement are the keys to a successful relationship without cheating. 

Relationships are more vital than ever and this new generation is open to all types of relationships that play a meaningful role in their lives. Remember, toxic isn’t always the best.