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Dan Sheehan, a 27-year-old writer in Los Angeles, has felt a palpable shift in the dating world over the last six months compared to the last time he was single two years ago.
When the bill comes on a first date, he doesn’t jump to grab it first.
Drinks with a potential partner can feel like a “job interview,” he said, and people on dating apps are flaking on meet-ups more often.
That’s partly due to the monotony of online dating, but the tense political climate, the depressing news cycle, and the discourse surrounding #Me Too — a movement meant to highlight women’s experiences with sexual assault and unwanted sexual advances — have put a damper on the dating experience, he said. “In and of itself dating is kind of exhausting even when there isn’t a larger political movement around it, so I think having to do it in addition to being reminded of this terrible stuff going on is hard,” he said.
That #Me Too-fueled chilling effect adds another layer of dreariness to the already monotonous and soul-crushing world of online dating, which is now a billion-dollar industry.
It pays to have singletons coming back for more dates and swiping in location-based apps, but it also makes dating far more random, tedious, and perilous.
Men and women must navigate new rules on dates Single Americans say they are “extremely confused” about dating, particularly in the past three months following the #Me Too movement, a recent survey of 3,000 singletons by dating service Three Day Rule found.
What if a man reaches across the dinner table and takes her hand, or moves in for a kiss across the bar without warning?
Is that natural behavior on a date after a few drinks or totally unacceptable?