How ‘Gen Y’ are Redefining Modern Romance


It’s always nice when someone focuses on the positive side of the equation. In this guest blog, psychotherapist Dr. Deborah Hecker points out how Generation Y smartly takes advantage of time and technology in their search for love.

generation yGen Y are true innovators when it comes to love and dating. They are open-minded, experimental, and technology-savvy, which brings a new Rubik’s cube to the dating world. Baked into their DNA are some unique characteristics that impact courtship and eventually marriage.

1. Gen Y Are Still Finding Themselves in Their 20’s and 30’s

Gen Y, ages 19 – 30, are in a period of self-discovery. Their time is spent experiencing life, learning about oneself, and discovering exactly what it is they love and what they don’t. They are also discovering their dating habits, making mistakes and growing from them. This is the best time for them to develop their “I”, their sense of self, which will maximize their ability to carry on healthy, successful future relationships.

2. Gen Y Are Tech Savvy Communicators

Surrounded by smart phones, laptops, and other gadgets, Gen Y has come of age in the era of technology. The question for most singles is no longer if they’re dating through technology, but how many channels they are using. In lieu of face-to-face arrangements, Gen Y connections might consist of sharing Facebook posts, instant messaging or phone texts. Break-ups occur via text messages, plans are made over a computer screen and phone calls may or may not be returned, leaving many to ponder the future of their relationships.

3. Gen Y Are “Flexible” Daters

Another aspect of growing up in this generation is the ability to “roll with the punches.” Gen Y are known for their flexibility when it comes to what they are willing to try. Curiosity for different sorts of music, movies and restaurants has not yet waned. Patterns and set ways have not yet been defined. While they may have a favorite restaurant or prefer a certain music genre, they are open to experiencing the new dive bar on the corner instead of the fancy five-star restaurant or checking out a live jazz band in place of their favorite solo artist.

More than any generation before them, Gen Y will put the most focus on developing their sense of self and claiming their independence before making a serious commitment. This generation has redefined the boundaries of dating, but even so, seek the same purpose of their courtship: to find ‘the one.’

Do you agree that Gen Y daters are smarter and more flexible? What are the drawbacks to the technology?

Author of the recently released book, “Who Am I Without My Partner? Post-Divorce Healing and Rediscovering Your SELF,” Deborah Hecker, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist with over 35 years of private practice experience. She received her Master’s Degree from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from The Union Institute. In addition, she is certified as a psychoanalyst and has extensive training in the following areas: addiction counseling, grief counseling, collaborative practice and mediation. For more information, please visit

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