Moira Weigel, author of Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating, warns against romanticizing previous generations’ courtship practices.
Dating has long had a way of bringing out the worst in people.
“Anything worthwhile takes time: if you’re going to go to get your Ph. “It takes time to get to know people.” Thanks to social media, it’s never been easier to peer into a person’s personal life and jump to conclusions about who they are, moving more quickly onto the next.
There is an upside in having latitude to make quick, decisive calls as red flags arise, though.
D., invariably engaged to a rotating carousel of tycoon heirs; the “belle,” perpetually encircled by eager suitors; the “flirt”; the “baby vamp.” All of these entrenched themselves in popular culture, media coining terms the public then mimicked.
Social media takes it one step further, Weigel explains, algorithmically herding us into groups of people with whom we have interests in common: You and your friends probably inhabit the same online spaces, which means the internet probably pushes you toward the same types of guys.
A pool of your thought peers probably includes people who have encountered the same “particular kinds of creatures” in the wild, and so you develop a common language to describe them.
The legitimate desire for human connection, she says, hasn’t changed, but dating apps make it harder to shake the feeling that the perfect person may be just another swipe away—and potentially harder to focus on whoever’s in front of you. If you’re going to train for a marathon, that takes time,” Grace says.The unifying themes, as I see them, include disregard for the feelings of others and a certain dismissiveness.Neither are new in the dating game—they’re not so much “trends” as perennially shitty dating practices.It’s a lot more uncomfortable that way.” Technology, however, affords impunity.Most people prefer not to break bad news in person—according to a 2013 Pew Research Center report, even before Tinder became ubiquitous, one in six Americans had dumped a partner over text, email, or online message—and if you asked any octogenarian about their dating days, many would be able to dredge up some stories about heartbreak and romantic fuckery.The lighthearted designations may help them seem less egregious, but pet names just normalize the behavior so it becomes easier to indulge, more socially acceptable.If everyone ghosts each other all the time, then we don't have to hold ourselves too accountable to other people’s feelings. “Personally I feel like we’ve lost something, in terms of our manners, in terms of taking more time and effort to get to know a person, and I think part of that is because of the overload of the dating sites,” she says.One random spring morning, I awoke to a late-night invitation to join him and a friend at a bar down the street from my apartment.Over the next couple of weeks, he fired off a few more variations on “u up?So when the subtle shifts in conversational dynamics occurred—increasingly extended pauses between texts, outlines of weekend plans left to languish as Friday loomed—I (correctly) assumed imminent ghosting.And while I found that style of exit both rude and frustrating, when things did fizzle for good, it seemed like the right and natural end. Roughly two months after my final unanswered text, I opened my phone to a series of dispatches from my ghost, making small talk about Netflix as if it had been a week since we’d spoken.