”Romance—as dictated by dominant ideas and driven by the desires to peddle consumer goods like household appliances on carefully constructed family units—is an impossible-to-redeem mode of understanding love and intimacy and human interaction taught to us by capitalism.”
I would respond to
“We generally want to feel lovable, desirable, worthy, and seen, and we are taught that our ability to be any of these things comes, most importantly, from romantic partners. So why wouldn’t young people, in a period of increasingly relentless demands made by late capitalism, use the resources they have at their disposal to feel these intimacies and desirabilities as frequently as possible?”
with: yes, most of us are taught that, constantly, from all directions. That we are taught, however, is the point: it is a learned behaviour which can be unlearned.
Using the resources given to us by late capitalism to fulfill the needs bought about by late capitalism is all well and good, and I agree that for people to complain that the result is “millennials ruining romance” is ridiculous. But at least for me, the beginning of a constructive solution is to step outside of this system. Start to purposefully unlearn these associations, disassociate self-worth from romantic/sexual relationships, and consciously relate in ways not based on insecurity and love scarcity.