Theirs is the “last generation,” Witt writes, “that lived some part of life without the Internet, who were trying to adjust our reality to our technology.”Weigel, a Ph. candidate in comparative literature at Yale, embarked on her charmingly digressive, nonacademic history of American dating after being strung along by a caddish boyfriend torn between her and an ex-girlfriend. “It did not change gender roles and romantic relationships as dramatically as they would need to be changed in order to make everyone as free as the idealists promised,” she writes.
His confidence that he was entitled to what he desired (even if what he desired was to be indecisive), compared with her inability to assert her own needs, dismayed her. To understand how she, and women like her, came to feel so dispossessed, she decided to investigate the heritage encoded in the rituals of dating.
Yet the round-robin of sex and intermittent attachment doesn’t look like much fun.
If you’re one of the many who have used an online dating service (among those “single and looking,” more than a third have), you know how quickly dating devolves into work.
prime candidates for dating from age 14 or younger to close to 30 or older.
That’s about 15 years, or roughly a fifth of their lives.
Adopting the role of participant-observer, she moves through an assortment of sexual subcultures.