• Millennials Want to Be Good Parents But Marriage?

    Two relationship experts say despite technology, the fundamentals of love remain the same, but we have entered the "slow love" era.
    by Rachel Perez .
  • Millennials Want to Be Good Parents But Marriage?
    IMAGE veloxity.us
  • Technology is supposed to have given us the gift of convenience and connectivity. Calls, texts, instant messaging -- all these help us keep in touch with our loved ones. But maybe it is also changing the dynamics of finding our partners in life and maintaining relationships.

    Anthropologist Helen Fisher explains in her TEDTalk  that while technology has a big impact in our relationships, the core idea with how we find our partner in life stays relatively the same. Human relationships are influenced by three major systems in the brain -- by sex drive, feelings of intense romantic love, and feelings of deep cosmic attachment to a long-term partner. "They lie in the most primitive parts of the brain, linked with energy, focus, craving, motivation, wanting, and drive," she said, adding that the drive refers to the ultimate goal of finding a partner in life. It’s not going to change if you swipe left or right on Tinder," Fisher quips.

    Technology is also not changing who one chooses to spend the rest of his or her life with. Fisher, who is also the chief scientific advisor to online dating site Match.com, says a person still either gets attracted to a person similar to his or her personality or one who is the complete opposite. In the same manner, what people look for in a person to love is still basic. “Over 97 percent of people want somebody that respects them, somebody they can trust and confide in, somebody who makes them laugh, somebody who makes enough time for them and somebody who they find physically attractive. That never changes,” she says.

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    What changed is how we view marriage. It's a new era of relationships called "slow love." Men and women are not in a hurry to settle down even if they're already living in with their partners for a long time, not primarily because of their fear of commitment, but because "they're terrified of the social, legal, emotional, economic consequences of divorce [separation]," Fisher said.

    People now are cautious -- they want to know everything they can about their partner before getting married and living with them is the best way to do that. "What we're seeing is a real expansion of the pre-commitment stage before you tie the knot. Where marriage used to be the beginning of a relationship, now it's the finale," she added.

    It is, however, changing the way we court or flirt with our significant other. There's email, text messaging, emojis, sexting, and even just hitting the like button on a post or photo. Plus, the context of why we choose a partner to love has also been changing, according to couples therapist and relationship expert Esther Perel. For thousands of years, society has dictated roles for men and women in the family and in the workforce that you should marry and  "want somebody with whom they have companionship, economic support, children," she adds. That’s now shifting because women are getting back into the workforce and therefore are getting on equal footing with men when it comes to putting food on the table – and guess what, it was like that in the ancient years before families settled in one place where the men work and the women stay home.

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    For example, "millennials actually want to be very good parents, whereas the generation above them wants to have a very fine marriage but is not as focused on being a good parent,” Fisher says. That way of thinking probably has something to do with the fact that with the help of technology, women can be parents without having to be married. The greatest change in modern romance and family life is not technology. It's not even slow love. It's actually women’s changing roles to meet the families’ needs and how society adapts to that. 

    Watch Helen Fisher's TedTalk in its entirety here

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