Modern relationships tend to include some “traditional” aspects, while also leaving room for deviations.
Some recent studies have made claims about how millennials have sex and relationships that many contend in reality. New scientific studies have indicated that millennials want more traditional relationships, but some combat this notion. However, other aspects of relationships may still be considered old-fashioned.
Addy Kruse, a junior studying chemistry, said her relationship is a special case because she identifies as asexual and is only “romantically attracted” to people. She doesn’t believe her sexuality affects the relationship in a negative way.
The physical side of the relationship has been a really open conversation between Kruse and her boyfriend, Rhys Ivan.
“It sort of worked out for me because I haven’t had sex before this relationship either,” Ivan, a senior studying music education, said. “There’s a lot of awkwardness that I have about it that I would’ve had to face very early in a relationship.”
Ivan said he and Kruse are both very career-driven and settling down to start a family isn’t something they’re ready to consider.
Other recent studies show that millennials are having less sex, which many people couldn’t believe. Amber Bailey, a senior studying integrated media, said she doesn’t think college kids are having less sex unless it’s a case of not meeting in person until after the start of the relationship.
Kelsey Miller Scott, a 2016 graduate of Ohio University, said she disagrees with the study. “Figuring out who you are sexually is such a big part of who you are,” Scott said.
Scott added that sex may not be as much of a thrill in a relationship because there’s not as much uncertainty about when you’ll have it next.
Kruse said she met her boyfriend Rhys at an a capella gathering. She overheard him talking about needing a partner who would allow him to balance time between a relationship and other responsibilities.
“I need that in my life,” Kruse said she thought at the time. They both place value in their relationship, but have other priorities besides each other.
Ivan said their personalities make Kruse and him a good match, while coincidentally going against traditional gender characteristics.
“We balance each other out really well because I’m impulsive and emotional,” Ivan said. “She’s just organized (and) she brings the stability.”
Scott married her fiancé when she was 23. They had been engaged since she was 19 and he was her first boyfriend. Before this relationship, Scott thought she would wait until her 30s to walk down the aisle.
During college, many students find comfort in having a romantic partner that they can rely on but others would rather embrace their single status.
“I love being my own person and when I was in a relationship I kind of lost that,” Hayley Trachtenberg, a senior studying playwriting, said.
Trachtenberg and her ex-boyfriend dated for six months, but they sped through the standard stages of a new relationship. She moved into his apartment soon after meeting and she met his mom on their first date.
Trachtenberg said she recently got out of a long-term relationship and she’s thankful for the sexual freedom.
“I can kiss whoever I want,” she said. “And I get to have the pleasure of having the thrill of a first date.”
Relationship are diversifying in mainstream culture. Different forms of love and companionship are accepted now. The changes can range from how the courting process works to how many people are a part of the relationship.
Scott said more people are forming intimate bonds outside of committed relationships. Having a sexual partner that you’re dating is less stigmatized.
Within relationships, fewer people are considering it strange to have more than one partner, Trachtenberg said.
Bailey said she was dating one of her best friends. They had known each other for a while before dating, and would hang out in groups playing ultimate frisbee or Super Smash Bros together.
Relationships have changed since people can be connected through many different platforms.
Scott said social media has a role in speeding up the relationship stages and intensifying the connection you make with someone.
“Technology has completely changed relationships,” Trachtenberg said. “When you first talk to someone, it’s texting. If you can have a good meme conversation … that’s how I know we’re going to connect.”