The new dating story
I think it’s genuine enough as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far.
That Robert is smart and witty is true, but does the fact that someone’s smart and witty mean that he won’t murder you (as Margot wonders more than once), or assault you, or say something nasty to you if you reject him?
Certainly, many have a USP —some let women make the first move, others are for vegans, or people who voted Brexit.
But broadly, online love runs thus: as a dater, you pick potential mates based on jobs, blurry group shots from Glastonbury 2015 and gym selfies.
The incident got me thinking about the strange and flimsy evidence we use to judge the contextless people we meet outside our existing social networks, whether online or off.
Especially in the early stages of dating, there’s so much interpretation and inference happening that each interaction serves as a kind of Rorschach test for us.
She thinks (or tells herself) that she isn’t afraid that Robert will “force” her, and I think, on one level, that’s true: she has no evidence that he’d be violent toward her.
At the same time, she’s already speculated about the possibility that he could kill her and has become anxiously aware that she’s entirely in his territory, that he could have rooms full of “corpses or kidnap victims or chains.”Louis C.
The online dating scene is in a state of flux —and the new frontier is making dating feel more personalised, and more authentic.The profile picture function is more expressive, too: instead of a static photo, users can upload a profile video.Like most dating apps, Happii matches users based on factors like sex, age and location, but it goes further, also matching you according to education, career, children, smoking and drinking.Of course it doesn’t, and the vertigo that Margot feels at several points in the story is the recognition of that uncertainty: it’s not that she knows that Robert is The first draft of the story came fairly easily—I wrote it in a feverish burst—but I did feel self-conscious, afterward, about the verisimilitude of the texts, especially because Margot is younger than I am and there’s nothing more embarrassing than someone older trying to mimic the communication style of a slightly different generation.There are fewer of her texts in the story for that reason.
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