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But when the moment passes, you move on.’ Douwe, who studied music at the RUG campus in Leeuwarden, reports that most of his peers at the RUG ascribe to the Netflix model of relationships.They’re willing to ‘sign up’ for a partner on a month-to-month basis, but they want the freedom to unsubscribe when circumstances change.I want one, but I have no idea what that even means.’ Ben, an AI student from Ireland, thinks RUG students are just being practical when they hold commitment at arm’s length.‘Those glorified patterns of romance and marriage from the past shouldn’t always be held up to younger people as a standard.’ Students these days want commitment and marriage, he says.He just got out of his first serious relationship, which he says required more maturity than he was capable of.‘I know now I need to be more realistic about what I can offer at this point in my life. I can’t get too connected to anybody.’ He says he can’t go back to superficial relationships now that he’s had the real thing, but he can’t have the real thing either.‘Instead, we pass time with Netflix binges, homework, or superficial relationships.’ It’s living, but not really , she says.

They know that early marriage is a major indicator for divorce, and that divorce can be a real shit-show.

They just don’t want to go about the terrifying business of actually finding that person.’ But often the reason students avoid commitment is more practical than existential: the timing just isn’t right.

At the RUG, students are focused on their own personal, academic, and professional development.

She says social media makes it easy to believe everyone else is ‘more interesting, more attractive, more talented, wealthier.’ The fear then, is that any potential partner will have unlimited access to better ‘products.’ Committing to an honest relationship would mean letting someone discover that you’re not as loveable as your Instagram feed implies. Marta thinks most of her peers would rather maintain the status quo than risk having happiness and losing it.

She says the status quo is lonely, but the trick is not to think about it.

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