Do you remember looking through your parents’ old photos: teased hair, mesh tights, and dads wearing eyeliner in the 1980s? While you were poking fun at their ridiculous relationship antics and freaky fashions, you may never have expected that one day you’d have a myriad of even stranger things to explain to your little ones! That’s right, even crazier than that 80s perms and 90s tie-dye.
It seems millennials will have plenty to explain about today’s dating DOs and DON’Ts by the time they have little ones of their own. For better or worse, from the time you were 15 to the time you turn 25, the dating world has exploded with hilariously bad and shockingly innovative ideas.
Here are just some of the love and relationship oddities you’ll be explaining to your little ones!
#1 The evolution of date night. While many millennial couples now view date night as take-out sushi and Netflix binging, date night used to be called Blockbuster and pizza night. That’s right, your movie magic wasn’t just automatically zapped onto your television screen at your command. You actually had to go to a specific building and hope the movie you wanted hadn’t already been rented out. Oh, and that pizza you crave so badly? You had to order that baby via telephone, not your internet browser. [Read: How to successfully “netflix and chill” the right way]
#2 Getting pretty for your date. When it comes to dressing up for your man, millennials sure do have some odd ideas of what’s back in style. Little did you know that those 70s/80s high-waisted jeans that you laughed at your parents for wearing would come back in style, and into your closet. What’s more, millennials seem to have an odd obsession with hair dye and strange colors.
Example A: Dying your hair grey. That’s right, kids, dying your hair the same color as grandma’s *if not a tinge purple* turned into the fashionable thing to do.
Example B: Growing out and dying your armpit hair. Feminist took a whacky turn in mommy’s day, where fighting for women’s rights turned into not shaving your armpit hairs, and then dying them an outrageous color. Like blue…or maybe even gray to match your new, trendy hair!
Example C: Velour track suits. Admit it, in the early 2000s, you likely owned a matching pink velour sweatsuit…and you thought you looked bomb in it. These are the sad fashion truths about the 2000s onward.
Relationships and sex
If fashion and dates weren’t the worst of it, then you can bet relationships and sex will be one of the biggest puzzles of all! Millennials notoriously took back the dating world with their online dating, ghosting, dating apps, non-committal relationships, adversity to children and marriage, and casual sex! Here are all of the shameful things you’ll one day have to explain to your little one. Say it with me now: “Do as I say, not as I do!” [Read: The millenials’ guide to surviving the hookup culture]
#3 Pre-dating. Millennials seem to have such issues with labels and relationships that they’ve even created a new type of dating. What was once known as “getting to know each other” is now known as “pre-dating!” This happens when you’ve been successfully talking and connecting with someone online via a dating app or website, but you’re just not comfortable saying you’ve been dating.
#4 Ghosting. Okay, so back in the day when mommy was done with her boyfriend, instead of telling him the relationship was over, she just never spoke to him again. Easy peasy, right?! She also avoided his calls, and tried as hard as she could to vanish off of all social media platforms so that he could never contact her again. [Read: What is ghosting and how does it affect you?]
That’s right! The act of ghosting simply involves disappearing without a trace from someone you were dating, or in a relationship with. This act is so common now, it’s kind of sad. Social media and online dating has taken the humanity right out of dating someone. Instead of offering them a mature word on why the relationship isn’t working, they simply write their partner off, figuratively yelling, “NEXT!”
#5 Being “catfished” and online dating. While your children may not be shocked about the existence of online dating and the perils that go along with it *read: perverts and weirdos* they may be curious to know how the heck “catfishing” became a thing.
Long before MTV branded Catfishing as a TV show, this act used to be called “stealing people’s pictures and being a total douchebag”—I embellished there, a bit. But I digress. Back in the day, people used to steal more attractive people’s photos and pretend to be them, often creating not only an alter ego, but also a host of intertwined fake Facebook accounts to make them seem more believable. Then they’d hook you into an online relationship, and may or may not have stolen your heart and your money in the process! [Read: Catfishing is real! 13 ways to catch them instantly]
#6 Nigerian love scams. When it comes to finding love, some people will believe anything! While it’s true that it’s often retirees who fall for Nigerian love scams, this trend only started exploding in popularity during the internet age.
Using an online dating website, such as OKCupid, these scammers hook singles who are looking for love. Once the victim has given the scammer their heart, the scammer comes up with some story about how they’re overseas and have lost their Visa. Of course, they only need xx amount of money to get back to the victim’s country. Then they can *finally* be together.
Except it’s all bogus! These sad scammers are basically a walking, talking version of those pathetic e-mails that used to end up in your junk folder. You know, the traditional, “I’m prince so-and-so. I need to send my fortune out to someone in America, but I need them to send me a $5000 first to unlock the fee. Then I’ll split the money with you for helping me!”
#7 Swiping for tinder. You had to know this one was coming. Okay, junior, so Tinder was this app that was strictly around for hooking up…until it wasn’t anymore. Then it became a dating app, where you created a blurb about yourself along with a picture, and were matched up with other locals in your area. These matches would pop up on your phone, and if you were into them, you’d swipe right, and if not, you’d swipe left. Then, if they liked you too, they’d swipe right and you’d be introduced to one another to chat via cell phone.
Kind of like a kindergarten note: “Do you like me?  YES  NO—Check a box and pass this back”…but for adults!
[Read: Why social media is killing your relationship slowly]
Alright, so we’ve all done some crazy things in the name of millennial love. The upside? You have at least 18 years to start concocting your excuse for your young gray hair and your mobile dating!
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Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that peo...
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