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“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.“But I think that was harder to do when they’d met at a place they’re going to see each other again, either in a small town, at church, in college, a fix-up.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.

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.

“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.

I once passed the better part of a summer waiting for a spark to ignite with a guy whose feelings for me were mostly inscrutable, while mine never warmed above tepid.

We got along well enough, were amply able to sustain a conversation, but ultimately, both of us understood that we were taxiing down an endless runway without any possibility of takeoff.Confused and genuinely curious, I inquired after his endgame: Was he angling for me to come over, or was he just making conversation?The latter, he said, before sinking back into a silence that lasted four more months.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.Moira Weigel, author of Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating, warns against romanticizing previous generations’ courtship practices.


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