In the era of Netflix and chill, untitled situationships and pickup lines that ask if you’re “DTF,” it’s hard dating as a Millennial.
If you’re anything like us, you want to be with someone of substance — someone who is striving towards their goals and wants to climb to the top with you. We both desire to be married one day, so long gone are the days where we dated someone just to have a texting buddy. Nah, sis! Ain’t nobody got time for that!
As we enter the fall (a.k.a cuffing season), we wanted to share some insights from 13 Millennial Men of various relationship statuses that we interviewed to get a better understanding of a male’s perspective about this thing called love.
This is the first installment of our four-part series where we’ll dive deeper into their responses, but here are 5 key takeaways we learned from these Millennial Men…
1. It’s not just enough to be beautiful
Unsurprisingly, physical beauty / attractiveness reigned as one of the most important traits that guys look for, but most of our Millennial Men also listed ambition as a must-have characteristic. Other top traits include intellect, supportiveness, kindness, sense of humor and spirituality.
“I know there are a lot of levels and beliefs when it comes to God, but our beliefs must complement each other,” says Aaron Perkins, 25. When he first started dating his current girlfriend, being motherly was another trait that he looked for. “If you’re going to replace my mom, the first love of my life and take care of our kids, you gotta have some motherly instincts.”
2. Yes you can meet someone anywhere – but look for guys at places that you’re interested in
You could meet bae at church or at the club, at the grocery store checkout line or at a kickback. While you may not have control on where you’ll meet him, a few of the Millennial Men agreed that you should seek guys in places that you enjoy.
“I use dating apps because the anxiety of talking to strangers is real. They suck, though. I’d say you should meet people doing activities you like,” says Rene Polanco, 25. “That way, you don’t have that dating app question of, “Are they just here for sex?” Plus, you’d know for sure that you have at least one thing in common.”
Isaiah Hill, 21, agrees: “I’ve met women through going to events that have something to do with what I love the most… Music. I suggest going somewhere where the two interests are shared so conversation is organic.”
Although Donovan Lyons, 26, is married, he says, “You can find your true love anywhere, but I prefer women go to social and business networking events, art museums or bookstores. I also recommend trying something that is new to you and you could possibly find the love of your life, such as white water rafting or music festivals.”
3. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
We received mixed responses on if a woman should wait until she is found or actively pursue finding a man. But most agreed that a woman should tell a guy how she feels! We learned from our Millennial Men that guys aren’t mind-readers and sometimes women have to be more direct. Another option is to subtly show interest and put themselves in the position to be found if that’s what they’d prefer.
“I think a woman should wait and be pursued, but she also has to be sure that she’s making herself approachable or available if she’s actually interested in having someone pursue her,” says Jalen Anderson, 25.
“So many people miss out on their blessing by not “shooting their shot”. I believe anyone should pursue someone they are interested in and if there is a mutual interest, then maybe a relationship can grow from that,” says Tunde Oshikoya, 25.
He continues, “There are certain things that we pride ourselves on such as being a provider for our significant other so I will admit there are times a man would rather lead in the actual relationship itself, but in the beginning stages of getting to know someone, either person should never hesitate to lead. Leading shows interest and effort.”
Quite a few of the guys encouraged women to be blunt and say how she feels, but if that’s not your style, Deonte Bridges, 25, gave us a few pointers to do it more discreetly: “She can let him know she’s interested by doing subtle things, like maybe texting him first sometimes or inquiring about things he’s interested in.”
4. …. But don’t be thirsty
Let’s clear this up – showing interest is NOT thirsty.
But continuing to chase a man who has made it clear that he’s not interested is.
Kevin Crayton, 28 defines it as “Somebody who wants to sleep with just anybody it doesn’tmatter who it is.”
“It’s being too aggressive or wanting all of your attention,” says Cedric Brown, 26.
Byron Khalil, 25, breaks it down further: “So, “thirsty” to me is when a person is doing way too much to get the attention of another. The person receiving the attention has to make it clear though that the attention is unwanted. Once they’ve made it clear and the person is still trying to woo them, that’s when I would call them “thirsty.” Now, I think this term can be confused when someone is trying to “talk” to somebody, that’s different. If a person is trying to “talk” to someone they’re not being thirsty, it becomes thirsty when the other person has made it clear that there’s no chance.”
Don’t be desperate, sis. If he doesn’t show that he’s interested despite your advances then it’s time to move on.
5. Guys are simple – we just make them complicated
We admit that as women, we can be a bit complex. Many of us overthink things and play situations in our heads. But most guys are straight to the point and will go after who they want.
“Know that with men it’s never that deep,” says Aaron. “A lot of times women will put all these reasons together as to why we did something but it’s literally whatever it looks like on the surface.”
“I wish women knew that everything a man does is by choice and he’s going to take the lead in all things important to him,” says Kerry Abner, 31.
After interviewing these gentleman, we learned that there is no blueprint to finding love! While some of them had similar responses, there were various viewpoints on all of the topics.
Stay tuned for the next three Millennial Men posts where we dive into their responses in more detail.
Thank you fellas for sharing! We learned a lot and couldn’t have done this without you!
Ladies — we want to hear your thoughts on our Millennial Men feature! Share in the comments below.