When to give up in dating
“Now, we’re starting to see real cultural manifestations of people not feeling that pull any longer.” My dear friend Paola, a 33-year-old Toronto journalist, hasn’t felt this pull for some time.She does want a long-term relationship, but she just doesn’t see it happening.The most commonly told narrative of the (heterosexual) woman, she points out, is this: she spends her life with other women until her mid-twenties, pauses to have a family, then she either divorces or her partner dies, landing her back in the company of women friends til she meets her own demise.“I see a reprioritization around the enjoyment of life or the things that one enjoys doing, rather than the feeling that you’re a social pariah if you don’t marry,” she says.
Later the same week, when the brother of a man I’d slept with months before invited me to a games night attended mainly by people who were strangers to me, I went. People of all genders are guilty of bad behaviour, but women are taught from childhood that they need to monitor and be responsible for other people’s feelings. They don’t care if we get off, and they don’t care if our feelings get hurt.
Rachel and Quinn, the lead characters of the hyper-meta show about producing a reality dating show, embody exactly the ethos I was obsessed with: do you, do your work and don’t give a f-ck about men. We still want to believe in love, sure (though claims of having found it are met at the brunch table with barely suppressed eyerolls).
This attitude is reflected in so many of the women characters we love right now. So, dutifully we Tind while watching said shows, wading through the faux-polyamorous fedora-clad mansplainers, the “Sun’s Out! ” tee-shirt-wearers and the tranquilized-tiger-snugglers, hoping to find someone vaguely palatable.
So we’re deprioritizing love, relegating men to utilitarian side dish and investing in our friends instead.
Judith Taylor, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Women & Gender Studies Institute who researches women and friendship, says women’s renewed focus on community over men is a pragmatic choice.
She got angry—and he accused her of unfairly escalating the situation.