There’s a lot of talk about the habits of millennials that assumes everyone in that group is similar. Keep in mind that a millennial is anyone born between the years 1981 and 1996. That means that in the year 2019, a millennial is somewhere between the ages of 23 and 38. That’s a substantial age gap. Do you know many people who just barely graduated college who have much in common with those pushing 40? Probably not. That being said, it’s common for people to date within their generation—so to speak. Baby boomers marry baby boomers, generation x’s marry gen x’s. You get the idea. But the two ends of the millennial generation are so vastly different—it’s a very unique generation like that—that there are some major discrepancies between the two that probably make dating within the group hard. I’ve seen it happen.
The older end still wants to marry
Those in their late thirties, today, still want to get married. Older male millennials especially tend to still believe in marriage. They will admit they are looking for a wife and wouldn’t mind having kids one day. Their peers still have traditional weddings where the bride wears white and the whole thing.
The younger end is doing away with marriage
Younger millennials are giving up on the idea entirely. Talk to a young twenty-something today and they’ll air gag at the mention of marriage. They’ll give you some pile of words about “antiquated traditions” and “systems of the patriarchy meant to hold women down.”
The older end still withholds personal information
Most individuals I know in their late thirties still hold personal information close. They won’t tell you about things like infidelity within their family or their childhood trauma unless you spend a lot of time together. They keep such private information for only their inner circle.
The younger end is openly in therapy
Younger millennials have become very comfortable being open about their deepest, darkest secrets—perhaps too comfortable. When I’m around young twenty-something’s, I feel like things get dark and uncomfortable quickly. They’ll just lob out statements about being having a dad who cheated or being hospitalized for depression. They’ll say these things in a very casual, even humorous tone while taking a bite of tater tots and swiftly changing the subject.
The older end still holds onto gender roles
Most individuals I know in their late thirties still believe in gender roles to some degree. Women of this age will still mention something if their date doesn’t offer to pay or walk them to their car. Men of this age still feel that they should do things like pay for dinner and walk a woman to her car. I know I personally still need men to fulfill some gender stereotypes, and I’m pushing the older end of the millennial spectrum.
The younger end disdains gender norms
Millennials in their younger thirties hate gender norms with their entire beings. The women (meh, girls really) will give a feminist rant to a man who presumes he should open a door or pay for a dinner bill. The men (again, they’re boys, really) have rules about only doing coffee for the first three dates and never shelling out money for dinner until much, much later.
The older end believes in 401Ks
My partner and his friends—all of them in their late thirties—see the value in a stable job. They still congratulate each other on getting jobs with benefits and 401Ks. They talk about providing for their families and things like that.
The younger end wants to “find their path”
The younger generation disdains the 9 to 5 life. They wrongfully bash the 9 to 5 corporate life, believing it’s the death of the soul. They’re all driving Uber while pursuing a passion project with no plan for retirement, and many without health insurance.
The older end respects their parents
Respecting one’s elders is still a thing older millennials do. No means no to them. They don’t fight with their parents much—their parents’ word is law. And they certainly don’t write blogs detailing all of their parents’ wrongdoings.
The younger end never hears “No”
The younger end, unfortunately, probably didn’t hear “No” enough. They feel free to publicize all of their parents’ mistakes in any form—a song, a blog, a Tweet—and even seem to enjoy picking fights with their parents. They want to prove baby boomers wrong about everything. And that includes their parents.
The older end wants some relationship direction
Older millennials still want some traditional trajectory to a relationship, like becoming monogamous a few months in, moving in a year or two in, and marrying a couple of years after that. They have a rough plan in their minds for their romantic endeavors.
The younger end hates labels
Young millennials are flightier. They hate labels. They’ll wind up in a casual thing that never gets serious for years. They’ll do a lot of on/again, off/again things. Romantically, they’re vagabonds.
The older end still reads
The older end still does this crazy thing: they read! Books, magazines, newspapers. They can focus on one piece of literature that doesn’t contain GIFs or memes.
The younger end lives on social media
Younger millennials do all of their reading online. They do all of their information downloading on the Internet. News, to them, comes in the form of a video shared on Instagram.
The ability to connect is vastly different
Overall, the older and younger ends of the millennial generation have vastly different attention spans and goals. The older end is more private, but also seeking meaningful connection. The younger end will spout their deepest, darkest secrets all over the Internet to strangers, but never make things official with a boyfriend or girlfriend of three years. The ideas of intimacy are so tainted there.