'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

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
  Life
Quora
Oct. 21 2014 11:37 AM What Was It Like to Work at the Original Napster?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 11:34 AM Germans Really Are More Punctual. Just Ask Angela Merkel.
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  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.