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You did your best.” This makes dating sound a lot like a recurring anxiety dream. candidate in comparative literature, film, and media at Yale; “Labor of Love,” a perceptive and wide-ranging investigation into the history of dating in America, is her first book, sprouted from the seed of unpleasant personal experience.You’d have to be a masochist not to try to wake yourself up. At twenty-six, she was involved with an older man who was torn between her and an ex he hadn’t lost interest in.In our consumer society, love is perpetually for sale; dating is what it takes to close the deal.Her second conclusion is that the way we consume love changes to reflect the economy of the times.

On the other hand, if women stayed in they couldn’t bump into eligible bachelors.

Every so often, one of his paramours would catch on and alert the others.

Then he’d block them all on social media and begin the whole thing again.

The pursuit of leisure cost more than most single working-class women (paid a fraction of what men were) could readily afford.

Weigel quotes a 1915 report by a New York social worker: “The acceptance on the part of the girl of almost any invitation needs little explanation, when one realizes that she often goes pleasureless unless she accepts ‘free treats.’ ” To have fun, a woman had to let a man pay for her and suffer the resultant damage to her reputation.

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