EntertainmentExploring Gen Z's approach to romance: High expectations, open communication and diverse identities

Exploring Gen Z's approach to romance: High expectations, open communication and diverse identities

What kind of relationships does Gen Z want? Valentine's Day, when fear of commitments strikes.
What kind of relationships does Gen Z want? Valentine's Day, when fear of commitments strikes.
Images source: © Canva

12:22 PM EST, February 13, 2024

The mindset of Gen Z dramatically differs from earlier generations, and this difference extends to various aspects of life, such as work, family, and their approach to romantic relationships. This generation is more open and enthusiastic about exploring their needs and desires, which reflects their diversity, particularly concerning sexual orientation and gender identity.

A study conducted by the non-profit organization, PRRI, reveals that close to a third of adult Gen Z representatives in the USA (28 percent) identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. This is significantly higher than the 16 percent among Millennials and 7 percent among Baby Boomers.

Gen Z, often referred to as Zetkas, is quite a diverse generation. They can desire a long-term relationship built on solid foundations but also enjoy having fun, remaining commitment-free, and experimenting.

Is Generation Z romantic? Communication seems crucial

While Zetas are perceived as the "most liberated" generation, and the age of sexual initiation is decreasing, they are not necessarily more sexually active. However, they are more conscious than older generations. The decreasing number of teenage pregnancies indicates that young people consider the consequences and understand contraception use. Gen Z values agency, as it gives them a sense of control.

"From the beginning, I've considered my romantic relationship rather important. I am not one to enter a relationship if I am uncertain about my feelings. Small, progressive steps have allowed us to build a nurturing environment for love. Though there are larger, more daring steps in the relationship that can be quite stressful, open conversations have always helped me. Communication can bolster self-confidence," reflects Jessica from Nevada.

"We realized the importance of communication in resolving difficulties without excessive anger. It's also essential to understand that differing opinions are normal in various situations. Everyone has their perspective and approach. Once I grasped this, dealing with problems became much easier," shares Modesta from Canada, who has been in a relationship for six years.

What kind of relationships does Generation Z seek?

Generation Z's approach to relationships aligns with their approach to individuality. They generally need personal space and desire relationships that allow them to maintain some independence while being part of a couple. Gen Z does not fear loneliness; they are willing to end even long-term relationships if they do not function well.

What kind of relationships does Gen Z want? Valentine's Day, when the fear of commitment hits.
What kind of relationships does Gen Z want? Valentine's Day, when the fear of commitment hits.© Canva

"I want to focus on myself right now. I haven't found the right person yet, and I am not worried about it. I believe they will come into my life when the time is right. I used to think I was scared of commitment, but I've realized that I fear wasting time with the wrong person. It's difficult to predict how someone will evolve or what life together will be like. My fear roots from the possibility that an apparently perfect relationship could lead to irreconcilable conflicts," divulges Samanta from France, who recently ended a relationship with her first boyfriend.

"I've been in a relationship for almost three years, and it's my first serious and long-term commitment. Prior to this, I used to date casually, and save for one high-school sweetheart, I was never truly involved in anything. It's different now, although I sometimes miss the old days. My girlfriend and I are meticulous about our relationship's growth and are open to new experiences and experiments. Our honesty about our feelings and needs is what makes our relationship successful," shares Viki from Houston.

James also does not fear commitment.

"I have been in a long-term relationship for over nine years. Contrary to what one might expect, there is no wearying from the other person. Each subsequent year presents us with challenges that we overcome together, discovering something new about each other. We do not feel fear, just curiosity about what the future holds, and satisfaction with our accomplishments."

Does Generation Z celebrate Valentine's Day?

Some members of Generation Z admit to boycotting Valentine's Day. Despite spending substantial amounts of money on Valentine's Day, a report by the Romanian service PRO TV states that most young people spend it on themselves.

What kind of relationships does Gen Z want? Valentine's Day, when the fear of commitment strikes.
What kind of relationships does Gen Z want? Valentine's Day, when the fear of commitment strikes.© Canva

However, this does not suggest that Zetkas altogether abstain from celebrating Valentine's Day. Their plans for the day are varied and differ from traditional dates.

"The typical teddy bear and chocolates are being replaced by Generation Z with more meaningful gifts: new experiences, movie nights, or unique couple activities. Moreover, single people often plan activities with friends, exchange small and symbolic gifts, and spend the day surrounded by loved ones," reports PRO TV, emphasizing that authenticity is crucial to Generation Z. Zetkas do not easily succumb to the commercial aspects of Valentine's Day or any other holiday.

Related content