The love conundrum: Gen Z’s retreat from romance

Generation Z break up
Courtesy: Marianne Iyala, Business Insider

In an era characterized by swiping left and right, fleeting connections, and virtual relationships, it is no wonder that Generation Z (Gen Z) is reluctant to embrace traditional notions of love. Defined as those born roughly between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z navigates a landscape vastly different from its predecessors. The concept of love is starting to drain itself from the values of many members of this generation.

To start, societal shifts have reshaped the way Gen Z perceives relationships. Growing up in the midst of economic instability, political unrest, and environmental crises, many Gen Zers have adopted a realistic approach to life. 

Jordan Bennett, a mechanical engineering scholar at FSU, said that love does not fall within romance anymore. Bennett also said that love can exist between whomever someone declares a connection with.

“Love is a strong connection between two beings. It does not have to be romantic, or sexual, it can sibling love or friendship love,” Bennett told the Famuan. “Its Someone you declare that you want to experience life with.”

 Aside from the new idea of non-romantic love, the ubiquity of technology has revolutionized the dating landscape. With the rise of dating apps and social media platforms, finding a potential partner has always been challenging. However, the paradox of choice often leaves individuals overwhelmed and disillusioned.

The endless scrolling and superficial interactions foster a culture of disposability, where people are treated as commodities rather than individuals worthy of genuine connection. This leads to what Gen Zers refer to as “hookup culture.”

Brennen Cannon, a second-year health science scholar, expressed his beliefs about the lack of interest in love within Gen Z. Cannon also said that the majority of people are more interested in hookups than deep connections.

“I do believe that Gen Z is giving up on love, or at least a portion of them,” Cannon said. “Most people I try to talk to do not even want relationships. They just want a link or friends with benefits.”

Overall, cultural attitudes towards marriage and commitment have majorly influenced Gen Z’s views on love. With divorce rates on the rise and traditional family structures evolving, many young people are questioning the relevance of monogamy and lifelong partnerships. 

Nakari McIntyre, a second-year pre-physical therapy major, said that negative stereotypes about relationships have impacted the perception Gen Z has and that divorced marriages contribute to it as well. He also said that promoting romance should reignite that lost spark of love. 

“Gen Z lacks interest because of the negative stereotypes,also the number of people who have not seen a committed relationship such as divorced parents,” McIntyre said. “To reignite that spark, we must continue to push the narrative of romance and hope people give it a try.”