May 26, 2017

Dating apps "tempt you to keep swiping, and as you whiz through tens, hundreds or even thousands of profiles... there’s got to be someone better than the person I’m seeing right now."

"Which means that monogamy requires more sacrifice than ever. If offered free travel, why would anyone settle for one place when it’s possible to tour the entire world?"

Well, I, for one, would not settle for someone who's that bad with analogies.

You can travel the world and still have a home town, and the town lets you live there, no matter how often you go elsewhere and how long you stay away, and the town doesn't get jealous and betray you when you're gone. You can have a home town — even 2 or 3 home towns — and come back to them whenever you want homey comforts and familiarity.

But you can't have a husband or wife unless you get married. If you want a good analogy, you'd have have to think about whether you'd want to live on the road forever if the alternative were to have one home and never travel. Make sure to think about what it will be like if you get sick or when you get old, if you're fortunate enough to grow old in this world that might get ugly as you're out there traveling through its entirety.

66 comments:

tcrosse said...

Seinfeld said that a man with a remote wants to see what else is on TV.

Ann Althouse said...

She also skewed the analogy by making the endless travel free.

eric said...

Sounds like they want you to have less choice.

Arranged marriages perhaps?

Meade said...

I once had a dating app
Or should I say
It once had me?

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Meade. I was contemplating quoting this:

The sweet pretty things are in bed now of course
The city fathers they’re trying to endorse
The reincarnation of Paul Revere’s horse
But the town has no need to be nervous

On the subject of a town having feelings.

Ann Althouse said...

It didn't quite fit, but I liked "But the town has no need to be nervous."

Kevin said...

She told me she swiped
In the morning and started to laugh
I told her I didn't
And crawled off to sleep in the bath

Meade said...

Free love often carries a heavy price.

Chris N said...

Rasta Dale read a Newsweek article Starchild had at the Commune.

Too many cereal choices and people get overwhelmed.

So he bans magazines and all sexual relationships but his own.

F**k you Newsweek!

h said...

I'm reading this as I watch a movie (The Romantic Englishwoman), and I hear a line, "People make too much of sex. It shouldn't be something you leave home for."

MikeR said...

Jack Reacher. It's a choice, but not one that most of us want.

Chris N said...

Rasta Dale started out with a lot of Dylan quotes, but new membership was still dropping.

Beatles stuff mixed with cartoons kept the kids (his kids) busy along with the punishing Earth Corps Work Patrol schedules.

The trick was getting younger, fertile couples to stop in for a visit.

Chris N said...

That was before the dust up with the EPA...then those filmmakers got airlifted out and that was the beginning of the end, really.

Virtually Unknown said...

I am happy to be an old fashioned guy. The older you get, the clearer and deeper the benefits.

Henry said...

"Which means that monogamy requires more sacrifice than ever. If offered free travel, why would anyone settle for one place when it’s possible to tour the entire world?"

Because you can't escape yourself.

"Which means that monogamy requires more sacrifice than ever. If offered free tattoos, why would anyone settle for one tattoo when it’s possible to tattoo your entire body?"

YoungHegelian said...

Forgive me for going all misogynistic here, but why did I know, even without seeing the author's name, that this article was written by a woman?

I read recently about another one of those endless, no doubt non-reproducible, psychology experiments where the men ranked the attractiveness of a series of photos of women & produced a standard distribution curve. The women did the same thing & placed 85% of the men as below average.

In the mating game, one "settles" because of the Golden Rule -- do unto other, yadda, yadda, yadda. The person you are "settling" for is no doubt "settling" for you, too. Because as much as it may pain you to admit it, you do not shit chocolate mousse.

And let's not get into what little can really be told about someone from a damn on-line profile.

MadisonMan said...

I've a kid on tinder -- I'm told.

It's a way to meet people, apparently.

I doubt you can sweep through 1000s of people unless you're home all alone for a long long time.

Paco Wové said...

"You can travel the world and still have a home town, and the town lets you live there, ... and the town doesn't get jealous and betray you"

But what if you went back to Ohio, and your city was gone?

Virgil Hilts said...

There are some math models that suggest serial dating beyond a point decreases your chances of sending up with someone that will be a good match.
One formulation suggests that you:
Step 1: Estimate how many people you could date in your life, n.
Step 2: Calculate the square root of that number, √n.
Step 3: Date and reject the first √n people; the best of them will set your benchmark.
Step 4: Continue dating people and settle down with the first person to exceed the benchmark set by the initial √n dates.

Henry said...

If offered free travel, why would anyone settle for one place when it’s possible to tour the entire world?

Call me Ishmael.

Virgil Hilts said...

I think I have seen a similar test formulated that just says once you have dated at least 4 people if you find someone better than 3 of the first 4 marry that person (if you can).

Henry said...

In The Navy

Unknown said...

I remember listening to a talk once. The gentleman was talking about dating (this was a male audience) . Said he, " you all want the sweet, kind, intelligent, spiritual, of course very pretty girl. The one who can cook and clean; who plays the piano or violin. Yes, fellas, those girls are out there. But what makes you think this fantastic girl would be at all interested in you?" He then went on to speak about self improvement and so forth.

--Vance

Virgil Hilts said...

Here is a good recent article about marriage and the "optimal stopping" calculation
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/16/when-to-stop-dating-and-settle-down-according-to-math/?utm_term=.00544432a4d2

n.n said...

Relationships are like a box of chocolates, you consume one and then another, and dispose of the wrappers.

Yancey Ward said...

Yeah, another one in a long line of complaints about "too many choices".

rehajm said...

The women did the same thing & placed 85% of the men as below average.

Women have a very large no-go zone

Snark said...

"Because as much as it may pain you to admit it, you do not shit chocolate mousse."

I snorted.

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, of course the corollary to the "there's got to be someone better than what I'm seeing right now" is that everyone else can see the same about oneself. One has to have a pretty big ego not to grasp that!

If anything, it might make someone more grateful to have a steady partner and not have to try to stand out against a cast of thousands every week. Talk about a meat market.

It cuts both ways. It ALWAYS cuts both ways. More to the point of the post, building a life with someone is very different than finding someone to have sex with. For one thing, looks mean less and compatibility and steady virtues mean a lot more. Maybe for one night, sleeping with someone with no sense of humor but great looks is an attractive deal. But over the long term, someone who can laugh and cope when the hot water dies on Monday morning is an infinitely better deal in every way than a person who looks as if she/he should be featured as a magazine model.

Bay Area Guy said...

The Left is obsessed with Sex. It's kinda pitiful, actually. They never seem satisfied.

Yes, Hello, Sex is an important part of life. Duh.

Getting married, and having a committed relationship, guess what?, gets you a lot of sex!

The Left wants more. They want more options, more choices, more and different opportunities, more swiping, blah, blah, blah. The problem is that sex is not a fungible service. People have feelings. If you cheat on your wife, well, hey, she might cheat on you. Or in a no-fault divorce state, leave your ass and take half.

The Don Draper scenario in Madmen doesn't really work anymore. If it does, it's only for very rich powerful men, who can do what they want to women who tolerate it, because the wealth outweighs the hurt feelings.

If you're bored with the 1000th act of sex, 20 years into marriage, well, maybe so is your partner.

The challenge is finding a partner whom you LOVE. In addition to the sex, you need someone who makes you laugh, makes you feel good, supports you, shares your dreams, and it has to be reciprocal and mutual.

The Left is clueless on the concept on building a long-lasting satisfying relationship where sex is an important part, among 10 other important parts. But that's why they are Leftists.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

This breaks my heart. This poor girl. That poor boy. All of these kids, with zero clue about what quality love, sex and companionship are like. Treating each other like consumer goods. Don't any of them have anyone older and wiser in their lives to learn from? Don't they know that it's going to hollow out their souls to manage sex and intimacy - this great and incredible and powerful gift - the same way they'd manage a recurring mani/pedi appointment? This is awful, just awful.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Which means that monogamy requires more sacrifice than ever.

I've been married 25 years. It has never been a sacrifice to not fuck people other than my wife.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Virgil Hilts said...

One formulation suggests that you:...

That was my strategy. ( n==4. I married #3 )

320Busdriver said...

I have to agree with IHMMP...this girl could very well be one of the hundreds of millenial flight attendants I work with daily. Most are from CA too, and indeed lots of them enjoy? the nexus of unlimited travel along with the unlimited availability of hookups via their cellphone apps. in whatever city we happen to be in. Sometimes they speak openly about their escapades and it amazes me. Then I remember how lucky I am to have been married for nearly 30 years.

Angel-Dyne said...

Part of the pleasure of traveling is the coming home part. One can be a nomad, with no roots - though the real nomads and gypsies are deeply rooted. They take their home, their community, with them. Also, through history nomadic groups have been parasitical upon civilized people. They raid and pinch the nice stuff but they don't contribute to making things nice.

There's an analogy in there somewhere.

I guess there will always be people who don't seem to be aware that wiser people than they have been thinking about this happiness/sacrifice thing for a long, long time. Lots of people have had the opportunity to "swipe", long before apps existed, and they wrote about how it all worked out. You can even read what they wrote on your smartphone. There's an app for it.

Bruce Gee said...

What ever happened to: ‘I get my appetite elsewhere, but I come home for dinner”?

madAsHell said...

I often wonder about porn stars. Having all the sex they want, but always wanting what they don't have.

Angel-Dyne said...

YoungHeglian: I read recently about another one of those endless, no doubt non-reproducible, psychology experiments where the men ranked the attractiveness of a series of photos of women & produced a standard distribution curve. The women did the same thing & placed 85% of the men as below average.

It doesn't surprise me that you'd get a marked sex difference distribution in the rating of attractiveness via photos. I could look at a photo and think "handsome" or "ugly" or "neutral", but damned if I could tell you whether a man was sexually attractive just from a still photo. A movie, TV show, video (with sound), I could manage. Whereas a man could probably look at a photo and give a yes/no to "Would you hit that?"

Also, if on a dating site, to what degree does "makes the top 50% cut" translate into "man would actively seek to date"?

Anyhoo, I'm sure Bruce Hayden will be along any minute now to explain why these results are natural and not the result of entitled modern women thinking they shit chocolate mousse. (Lol, haven't heard that one.)

Freeman Hunt said...

"... there’s got to be someone better than the person I’m seeing right now."

What?! Dating never made me think that I was at all likely to find someone I liked. Finding my husband seemed like a literal miracle.

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, sorting by photos seems worthless. Photos lie. You can't even see how people move or talk, so you really have no idea who you really will or will not find attractive in person.

readering said...

Fear of getting old alone. Does that account for some of increase in lesbian unions?

Unknown said...

I remember one of my job interviews. Hot young blond interviewing me. She seemed flirtatious, I thought "Man, maybe this job won't be so bad."

I got the job. She.... well, let's just say that all the stereotypes of the bitchy female boss were based on her. Never have I met someone whose attractiveness plummeted so quickly as her. Everyone ran and hid from her as much as possible.

Great lesson on beauty being skin deep... because that lady was ugly, through and through.

--Vance

Bob Loblaw said...

What?! Dating never made me think that I was at all likely to find someone I liked.

Really? You didn't think if you just kept at it long enough eventually you'd find someone? If not, why did you bother?

Ann Althouse said...

"What?! Dating never made me think that I was at all likely to find someone I liked. Finding my husband seemed like a literal miracle."

Exactly.

It's even worse to look at mere possibilities. If you're just looking at a photo and description, they all seem so needy or embarrassing or annoying.

Achilles said...

YoungHegelian said...
"Forgive me for going all misogynistic here, but why did I know, even without seeing the author's name, that this article was written by a woman?"

Foe me it was the "give me stuff" approach to a relationship. My guess is she's is fairly young and watched too many princess cartoons.

Sebastian said...

The main personal benefit of marriage is that you can stop "swiping."

Unknown said...

The article is correct that being able to swipe makes monogamy harder. Seeing hundreds of pictures of women or men who you can imagine might want you can make you dissatisfied with the partner you have. The key is that those photos are an illusion as is constant dating.

Bay Area Guy said...

Ok, I got married just before the DotCom explosion 20 years ago, so no Iphones or even internet dating. So, I guess I'm a dinosaur

Back then, if you resorted to the personal ads in newspapers, you were a loser. After college, we met girls at bars and at work, friends of sisters, friends of girlfriends who were dating your friends.

Here's a suggested game plan for the stupid millenials.

Age 13: first kiss (go for the opposite sex, too).

Age 17 (senior year of high school -- have sex 1 or 2 times to avoid the stigma of virginity. Suggest opposite sex. Causes less problems.

Ages 18 - 22: College years. Lotta girls. Don't have a serious girlfriend/boyfriend. Just drink beer and have fun.

Ages 22- 25: Tough post-college years. Focus on getting a job. If no job, then don't worry about girls. If good job, then, yes, girls will migrate towards you.

Ages 25-29: If job secure, lotta girls. They like guys with good jobs and $$, and not living in parents' basement. But, sift through girls to find marriable girl, who will be a good mother.

Age 29: get engaged.

Age 30: get married. Work to stay married, so you don't have to swipe anyone. To do this, be kind and selfless. Since you got married somewhat later, and sowed any wild oats, you won't stray.

This can't be that complicated, right?

Char Char Binks said...

"women... placed 85% of the men as below average."

It's a seller's market, but the product also has a sell-by date.

Meade said...

"This can't be that complicated, right?"

Well the more of those wild oat seeds of yours that find purchase, the more complicated it might be.

James K said...

It's a seller's market, but the product also has a sell-by date.

Yes, but since the sellers know this, the better quality ones usually do sell considerably before that sell-by date, which puts the pressure onto the buyers. Of course the buyers can look to the younger entrants, but at some point the age gap gets too wide, and the aging buyer is competing against younger more attractive buyers.

DanTheMan said...

>> "You all want the sweet, kind, intelligent, spiritual, of course very pretty girl. The one who can cook and clean; who plays the piano or violin. Yes, fellas, those girls are out there.

Yes, I know. I married her. Yes, she can play both the violin and piano. And speak French, and is a lawyer, and is the smartest person I know. She's also gorgeous.

>But what makes you think this fantastic girl would be at all interested in you?"

I have *no* idea, but she was interested. And still is.
Like a lottery winner, I don't ask "Why me?". I just take my winnings and run!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We have a friend couple who met on Match.com She was twice widowed. He was also a widower. She from our little town which hasn't much population. He from a rural part of Virginia. The pickin's were slim in both areas for people of their (ahem) ages at the time...about 60. They did internet visiting for a while and both finally got the courage to meet in person. Because both of their families were afraid that the other person would turn out to be a serial killer or something, they met in an airport restaurant with families in cell phone range to be able to swoop to the rescue.

Fortunately, neither of them are psychotic killers or grifters or anything else unsavory. After some more actual dates....they got married. 10 years later, they are still married and enjoying travel, gardening, cooking and chilling with the various kids and grandkids from both previous marriages.

They are perfectly matched. They would never ever have met without the internet.

:-D

MadisonMan said...

Photos lie. You can't even see how people move or talk

or smell. The nose knows. (Sorry althouse)

Peter said...

I dunno about the "monogamy = sacrifice" part (as with most choices, there are trade-offs) but isn't going through life with a "there's got to be someone better than the person I'm seeing right now" attitude a formula for perpetual dis-satisfaction?

rhhardin said...

Romantic rather than political marriage was new around Shakespeare's time, hence Antony and Cleopatra.

readering said...

I thought Cleopatra was political

Virtually Unknown said...

I hope she does the world a favor and stays single. Lot's of guys need to get laid once in a while, and it would be too harsh to saddle one man with her.

Bill Peschel said...

From my perch at 57, I'd cut her some slack and chalk her opinions up to youth and inexperience. Shame she didn't learn that she can't have "no-strings" affairs if after six weeks she wants to move in with the guy.

I'll have to blame the University of Chicago, however, for not teaching her to kill her poodles. Her similes are awkwardly bad: "Dating apps are the courtship equivalent of next-day shipping, where you don’t have to twiddle your thumbs and wait for an adequate romantic prospect to drift by."

Really?

Fen said...

I enjoyed the artical, and I think some are being too hard on her.

I had a girl like her once. We had a chemistry that was exciting. But it was just for fun, or so she said.

I remember asking to stay over just to sleep cuddled together. She refused saying women tend to fall in love with men they wake up with. She was protecting her heart but it was too late.

A better anology thEn travel is food, and I explained it to her hoping to help her better understand how men are. You love chocolate cake and would have it every night if you cohld. Except every now and then you crave strawberry icecream. Or lemon icebox pie. That's how most men are with casual hookups.

A few months later she started going out with a guy, and I decided to end our casual hookups. I didn't want to marry her and I was just wasting her time and giving her a false sense of security. She was growing older into that window where if she didn't find a lifetime companion soon she would be alone the rest of her life. So I cut her loose.

Fen said...

Smartphone autocorrects to "artical".... really?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...You can travel the world and still have a home town, and the town lets you live there, no matter how often you go elsewhere and how long you stay away, and the town doesn't get jealous and betray you when you're gone. You can have a home town — even 2 or 3 home towns — and come back to them whenever you want homey comforts and familiarity.

But "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”

Or maybe "You can't go home again."

Plus there's This is not my beautiful house! / This is not my beautiful wife!

And on the other hand there's Home is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Henry said..."Which means that monogamy requires more sacrifice than ever. If offered free travel, why would anyone settle for one place when it’s possible to tour the entire world?"

Because you can't escape yourself.


Dang, good point, Henry. I wish I'd said that.

Like: "Wherever you go, there you are."

Meade said...
"This can't be that complicated, right?"

Well the more of those wild oat seeds of yours that find purchase, the more complicated it might be.


This is your one stooge-related warning for the thread, Meade. Let's steer clear!

Static Ping said...

"Free travel" is apt. When I tried a dating site, it seemed that about half the women had recently and suddenly decided their main hobby was world travel, many of them very enthusiastic about it.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk Parker said...

BAG,

Please tell me that's a parody.