Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Generation Y-Psychology, Love, Attachment behavior, Qualitative research, Millennials, Millennial generation, Romantic love, Attachment theory


This qualitative study explores how the Millennial Generation understands how they learned to love, how they define and experience romantic love in the present, and what their hopes and fears are for romantic love in the future. The investigation is based on the perspectives of 25 participants from the Millennial Generation who answered 11 interview questions, in addition to completing the Experiences in Close Relationships – Revised Questionnaire (ECRR). Findings from my study suggests that the Millennial generation is forging a distinctively different pathway from older generations in areas related to social media, marriage and commitment, children, religious fidelity, social attitudes towards race, gender, and sexual orientation, and expressions of love and courtship. Findings from this study also address Millennials as the "Me Generation" and as resistance to giving up one's freedom and independence to dedicate their lives to a romantic partner. Furthermore, participants in my study also defined major social and cultural influences on their romantic relationships, including how they both learned to love and how they define romantic love, specifically with regard to the impact that social media has had on Millennials and the way that it has shaped their understanding and experience of romantic love.




iii, 81 pages : color illustrations. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 72--73)