Six months into their relationship, she discovered that he was seeing half a dozen other women, one of whom he’d been stringing along for two years.
All of them had received the couch-spooning treatment.
It requires physical effort—all that primping, exercising, shopping, and grooming—as well as sizable investments of time, money, and emotion.
In our consumer society, love is perpetually for sale; dating is what it takes to close the deal.
(John, who was white, pursued only Asian women, leaving his girlfriends with the icky sense that they’d been fetishized as well as deceived.) Still, romantic scammers aren’t an invention of modern courtship and its digital devices.
They’re a staple of Jane Austen novels: John Willoughby, who caddishly breaks Marianne’s heart in “Sense and Sensibility”; George Wickham, who reels in both Lizzy and Lydia Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice”; Frank Churchill, in “Emma,” who flirts with Miss Woodhouse while being secretly engaged to her frenemy, Jane Fairfax. As a twenty-first-century guy living in one of the most culturally liberal of American cities, he had options available to him that men in Regency England did not.
I truly believed that one day I was going to meet my Prince Charming and we would live happily ever after.
a young woman in San Francisco, met a man—call him John—on the dating site OKCupid. More notably, he indulged in the kind of profligate displays of affection which signal a definite eagerness to commit.
Her Irish Catholic mother and the self-help industry told her that the goal should be marriage, and soon. He thought that everyone should want to pursue happiness.
Weigel had a revelation: she was always turning to a man to tell her what she was after, and the institution of dating was to blame.
He could have chosen to be a player, sleeping around with abandon, or the kind of cheater who supplements monogamy with a series of flings.
He might have practiced polyamory, consensual open love.
Her second conclusion is that the way we consume love changes to reflect the economy of the times.