In the “The Perfect Match,” a young, successful career-driven bachelor goes against his beliefs and enters into a traditional relationship to explore the elusive “happily ever after.” That’s marriage and settling down with a big ol’ family. Soon, Charlie (Terrance J) wonders if what his friends worked so hard to achieve is the key to a happy and fulfilled life. And Millennials are questioning the same. In fact, many young women are trading a fairytale ending and the search for the “perfect match” to seek a better understanding of self.
Amber, 27, from Staten Island feels that her happily ever after may not come in a traditional package. Although a lot of her friends are either married, have children or both, her mentality is “if it happens for me it happens for me.” “In the meantime,” she adds, “I am going to enjoy the relationship I am in and take it for what it’s worth instead of busting my ass to try and settle for something that may not be in the cards for me.”
One of the main reasons why so many millennials are holding off on marriage and children is because many have raised their standards. They don’t want to settle for just any guy. Plus, Millennials feel like what it’s like to live “happily ever after” is not only outdated, but also very limiting.
“I just think this idea of labeling someone’s life as being complete by being married and having children is such bullshit,” Daria, 31, from Manhattan protests. “It not only sets an unhealthy example for young women and men, it puts too much pressure on couples to achieve this outdated standard that was glorified by cartoons and Disney princesses.”
In the end, Daria and her fellow Millennial women don’t want to feel like failures if they are single and without children. Instead, they choose to focus on themselves and are doing much more soul searching and self-reflection. They also look at each relationship as a lesson and an experience to learn and grow.
It’s less about a title or a label and more about focusing on having a real relationship, flawed and all.
“Whenever I go into any relationship I never focus on the outcome,”says Mitchell, 32, of the Bronx. “Meaning, I don’t look at labels or structure. Instead, what I am looking for is more or less about how I can connect with this person. How me and this other person can come together, as a whole, with our differences and just enjoy one another.” But that doesn’t mean it’s just about hooking up. “It’s taking two people with separate lives [and] making it one, without one person having to sacrifice who they are.”
And, if it doesn’t work out, Millennial women are taking the time to reflect on why that relationship failed. “I like the idea that with each ending I learn a bit more about who I am,” Sammie, 24, of Brooklyn, shares.
“I look for the lesson, and if there isn’t one I look for the silver lining and try and use that failed relationship to focus more on how to make my soul happy.”
The truth is there is no fairytale ending, but there is personal fulfillment and growth. All Millennial women can do is find ways to be happy – with or without a man – and be their best selves. As the old song goes, ‘Que sera,sera’.