If we are to believe the clickbait, millennials are a blood-thirsty generation. We’ve apparently killed everything from napkins to traditional office jobs (everything except for the avocado toast industrial complex, that is). But the one thing millennials have apparently slaughtered most thoroughly? Dating.
“Millennials are killing relationships and we should be concerned.” “How Millennials Have Finally Put An End To Traditional Relationships.” “Millennials are killing the dinner date.” You get the idea. There are a million articles with headlines of this variety. But in reality, millennials aren’t killing relationships — we’re changing them. Sure, dating looks different now than it did in the age before Tinder swiping and flirting via Twitter DM. But the signs of a healthy millennial relationship are still the basic signs of any healthy relationship.
It’s still about respect, admiration, communication…and learning when to put down your cell phone. With this in mind, here are a few of the most important ways you can tell that you’re on the right track.
1You and your partner are comfortable in silence.
One of the surest signs that you’re in a healthy place with your S.O.? Comfortable silence. Being able to read a book (or, yes, scroll through Instagram) while your partner plays video games — and not feel pressured to make conversation — is invaluable.
2You don’t stress about your partner’s use of social media.
According to Glamour, “Three things happy couples don’t do: They don’t carry on flirtatious Facebook conversations, they think twice before adding a friend who could cause friction in their relationship (such as an ex), and they don’t ‘like’ photos of attractive strangers or that friend who uses Instagram as her personal bikini portfolio.”
Social media is just a fact of life these days, and odds are, your S.O. will have an ex or two in their Facebook friend list. They may even like their photos from time to time. But the way they interact with people online shouldn’t make you insecure about your relationship. If it does, it could be a sign of a deeper problem.
3You take each other’s careers seriously.
Balancing job ambitions as a young couple can be difficult. Both partners in a relationship should be supportive of each other’s career goals, even if it is occasionally inconvenient. It’s a red flag if your loved one acts like Andy’s boyfriend from The Devil Wears Prada whenever you work late or go on a business trip.
4You know each other’s iPhone passcodes — but don’t feel the need to snoop.
Cell phones and computers create the unique opportunity to find out a ton of information about your partner — their search habits, who they Gchat with all day, whether they still text their clingy ex who can’t seem to get the picture — simply by logging on. If you could access your S.O.’s devices when they’re not around but don’t, it shows that you trust them.
5You respect each other’s family and friends.
That isn’t to say that if your partner doesn’t fit into your existing friend group seamlessly that you need to ditch them — life isn’t an episode of Sex and the City. But they should treat the other people in your life kindly and respect your desire to spend time with your family and friends (sometimes without them tagging along).
6You don’t worry about what they’re up to when you’re not around.
This goes along with the whole “trust” thing we mentioned earlier. If you trust your partner, you probably feel confident that they aren’t attending orgies without your knowledge when you’re out of town, or doing something else considered inappropriate within the confines of your relationship.
7You don’t panic if they take a while to respond to a message.
Okay, if you’re like us, maybe you do panic — but about whether they got into a horrible accident, not about if they are going to ghost you because they finally decided they can’t bear your habit of talking with food in your mouth.
8Even your fights aren’t so bad.
Believe it or not, there is a right way to argue. As relationship expert Dr. Terri Orbuch told Huffington Post, “A good relationship is one where the two of you fight fair. In other words, you don’t curse, scream, talk down to each other or dismiss each other.” We’re a big fan of the “never go to bed angry” (if you can help it) relationship philosophy.
9You respect each other.
Most of the items on this list boil down to one thing — respect. If you and your partner respect one another, your fights will be fair, you won’t worry that they sending sleazy DMs to Instagram models, you will make every decision — from what to eat for dinner to whether or not to relocate — as a team. We know it might be a little sincere for a millennial like you (after all, you killed sincerity, too). But it’s the truth.