When to give up in dating

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.“Get a cat,” she said over the phone from Montreal—at home on a Friday night. I recommend the Hitachi Magic Wand.” We were both unabashedly staying in.

When she caught feelings in return and asked him for exclusivity after a few months, he said yes.

“Even if a guy treats you poorly,” she says, “they often come back to you wanting you to reassure them that they’re still good people. So not only do you have to accept that your needs are not being met, you have to then go and make a man feel good about himself.” Now, because men can’t seem to hack interpersonal relationships, Paola identifies her friendships as her primary relationships—and she doesn’t see that changing.

My friend Shana, a 31-year-old graphic designer, had a similar wakeup call in the summer.

When he saw her, he proceeded to in order to avoid being accountable for his lie. It was raining, so she asked her date whether they could meet closer to her house, since she was walking and he was driving.

Obeying her mother’s sage advice, she called him until he picked up and demanded answers. He said no, and when they met, he explained that regardless of what she might think her needs are, in reality, he couldn’t acquiesce to her wishes because that would defy preset gender norms, and then she wouldn’t be attracted to him.

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