The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Community News Network

January 4, 2013

Slate: The horrors of online dating

LOS ANGELES — Meet Jacob, a thirtysomething, single Portlander on the prowl. He describes himself as "average-looking." Girlfriends have called him "lazy, aimless, and irresponsible with money." He doesn't care much about "a solid credit score," "a 40-hour workweek" or settling down. Thanks to online dating sites, Jacob pursues dates with "one or two very pretty, ambitious women a week." He recently ended a two-year relationship with a 22-year-old; he's currently juggling flings with "a paralegal and a lawyer who work at the same law firm, a naturopath, a pharmacist and a chef."

Jacob, as Atlantic writer Dan Slater frames him, is the embodiment of a new dating market where the allure of "online romance is threatening monogamy." Whenever he meets another woman online, Jacob (not his real name) thinks: "This person could be exclusively for me, but so could the other two people I'm meeting this week." Why have a real relationship, Slater asks, when there are so many attractive, successful partners waiting online?

I don't know — maybe because we're not all aimless and lazy thirtysomething straight dudes? Jacob may be meeting a buffet of sexy professionals and college students through his online dating profiles, but those women are meeting . . . Jacob. Slater doesn't interview the paralegal, the lawyer, the naturopath, the pharmacist, the chef, or the twentysomething about their experiences dating online. They might speak to an alternate narrative of online dating: This Jacob could be exclusively for me, but so could the other two Jacobs I'm meeting this week — Oh, God. Why settle down when there are so many other unsuccessful, unattractive partners with whom you could make a horrific, lifelong mistake?

Alexis Madrigal has already administered a takedown of Slater's central assertion that online dating has turned plugged-in yuppies into commitment-phobes. Marriage will live on, no matter how valiantly Jacob scams on women.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014