Perhaps what we least appreciate is that dating has always been hard work, akin to "an unpaid internship for love," writes Weigel.When we date, we toil as actors in a drama written by society and the lovers who came before us, she observes.You note that we’ve become more "educated consumers" in terms of how taste informs whom we choose to date and what kind of sex we seek. But of course it’s so much more emotionally complex than that. For two, if you’re playing [author] Neil Strauss’s version of , which is mostly about fulfilling the male fantasy of easily getting women into bed, you’re encouraged to "think of tonight as a video game." But with that, there’s a loss of connection with your own emotions, which is sad.
Companies like IAC — which owns Match, OKCupid, and Tinder, along with 42 other "dating products" — have perfected the art of profiting off our hunger for love, sex, and companionship.
But dating has always been a lucrative market for the cosmetics, fashion, and entertainment industries, among others.
The 1920s flapper and shopgirl era was a lot of fun.
On a very personal note, my grandfather was really sick and in hospice while I was finishing the book.
You write that dating protocols change so quickly, and thus inspire a lot of anxiety and bewilderment.
I think that’s a lot of people’s experience of the new digital dating culture, and we could really use a social and historical guide to help us understand where we are. I think there’s still a huge gap for comprehensive, deep thinking about these subjects.
And you describe all these other generations of daters that follow them: the college men and coeds (an early generation of lustful frat boys and sorority girls in the 1920s and 1930s), the Steadies (1950s daters who started "going steady" and invented the breakup), the Yuppies (1980s daters who helped create dating niches).
Which of these generations was the most fun for you to research?
Seems like we may be ready for some deep reflection on dating culture.
Why do you think it is resonating so much right now?
Suddenly men and women have this opportunity to meet and mingle unsupervised by their families.