Hot trends in dating
Still, daters these days are overwhelmed with choice.
Moira Weigel, author of Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating, warns against romanticizing previous generations’ courtship practices.
“Try being a gay man in the 50s; try being an interracial couple; try being a divorced woman.” That nostalgia is often wrong.“Everyone has always complained about dating,” she adds, nodding to the agony aunt columns (anonymous, advice-seeking Dear Abby letters) of yore that detailed evergreen complaints from women who’d had it up to their spit curls with the cads of the day.
Although technology has exacerbated people’s negative tendencies, dating shorthand, Weigel says, is as old as media.
Over the next couple of weeks, he fired off a few more variations on “u up?
” until I eventually answered, explaining that I was seeing someone but wished him well. His periscope dropped down below the waves, never to resurface again. In 2016, I referred to this episode ghosting, but the internet recently furnished a more precise term: submarining, or the sudden vanishing of a romantic prospect who just as suddenly reappears at some future date, cresting huge and unannounced and without mention of the intervening silence, as if they’d never disappeared at all.
But hey, I'm not mad — better to have something to talk about on a date, even if that something is brain-eating zombies.
“I’m sure that in the past, before dating sites were popular, romantic prospects stood people up, they led them on—like breadcrumbing—and they’d maybe, possibly disappear,” she continues.
Dating has long had a way of bringing out the worst in people.
“We’re all very familiar with the conversation that goes, ‘Oh dating is terrible, it used to be good and now it’s bad,’” Weigel says.
The latter, he said, before sinking back into a silence that lasted four more months.
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.