February 23, 2020

You Can't Hurry Love

“Is the secret to lasting love to take it slow? As in really, really slow?

The millennial generation is putting that theory to the test, opting for what the biological anthropologist Helen Fisher calls “slow love.” Studies show that millennials are dating less, having less sex and marrying much later than any generation before them, and a younger generation appears to be following in their footsteps.

These changes have prompted hand-wringing among some experts who speculate that hookup culture, anxiety, screen time, social media and helicopter parents have left us with a generation incapable of intimacy and commitment. (The Atlantic recently declared we are in the midst of a “sex recession.”)

But Dr. Fisher takes a more generous view, and suggests that we could all learn a thing or two from millennials about the benefits of slow love. It’s not that millennials are wrecking marriage, she says. It may be that they value it more.

“It seems everyone is swept up in a very myopic understanding of sex, love and romance,” said Dr. Fisher, a senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute. “I would like people to understand that while millennials are not marrying yet, and they are not having as much sex as my generation, the reasons for this are good.””

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