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For an activity undertaken over such a long period of time, dating is remarkably difficult to characterize.The term has outlasted more than a century’s worth of evolving courtship rituals, and we still don’t know what it means.“I had not sought so much choice for myself,” she writes, “and when I found myself with total sexual freedom, I was unhappy.”of a dating revolution.

Five decades ago, 72 percent of men and 87 percent of women had gotten married by the time they were 25.

By 2012, the situation had basically reversed: 78 percent of men and 67 percent of women were unmarried at that age.

Like any other freelance operator, you have to develop and protect your brand.

At its worst, as Moira Weigel observes in her recent book, Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating, dating is like a “precarious form of contemporary labor: an unpaid internship.

Though it is probably too soon to say exactly how, Witt and Weigel offer a useful perspective.

They’re not old fogies of the sort who always sound the alarm whenever styles of courtship change.Nor are they part of the rising generation of gender-fluid individuals for whom the ever-lengthening list of sexual identities and affinities spells liberation from the heteronormative assumptions of parents and peers.The two authors are (or in Weigel’s case, was, when she wrote her book) single, straight women in their early 30s.Tinder’s creators modeled their app on playing cards so it would seem more like a game than services like Ok Cupid, which put more emphasis on creating a detailed profile.But vetting and being vetted by so many strangers still takes time and concerted attention.Witt, an intrepid journalist and mordantly ambivalent memoirist, looks forward rather than back.

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