'50s Dating Horrors

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Nov. 3 2009 1:47 PM

'50s Dating Horrors

Hanna , I am the product of the "simpler" '50s dating culture. My parents were young, hot for each other, met their families' requirements of looks (her) and potential earning capacity (him), and married at ages 19 and 20. Their union produced four children, lasted 20 years, and was a nightmare for all concerned. So I do not share David Brooks’ nostalgia for a time when dating had 'guardrails.' I dated for decades in the pre-cell phone era, and it wasn’t technology that gave me an ironic, contingent feeling about my adventures. One of my male friends once said to me, "Sometimes I think you deliberately go on bad dates just so you have a story to tell." Also, one doesn't have to do more than read Jane Austen to understand that it’s not the advent of SMS technology that make males and females circling each other strike poses, make harsh, comic judgments, and wish for someone more appealing.

Yet I am interested in another effect of modern technology that Brooks doesn't get into: the phenomenon of simultaneously dating and reporting on the experience. So, you young, single XX ers-is it true you run to the ladies room to text and tweet your way through the evening? I understand the desire, but isn’t it better to let the evening simply unfurl without having to judge it minute by minute for your forum?

Emily Yoffe is a regular Slate contributor. She writes the Dear Prudence column. 

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse

An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 11:51 AM It Seems No One Is Rich or Happy: I Looked
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 23 2014 12:48 PM Track Your Bag and Charge Your Phone With This Carry-On Smart Suitcase
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 12:01 PM Who Is Constantine, and Should You Watch His New Show?
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.