I've been reading a lot of stuff lately about people frustrated with dating.It comes from both sides of the aisle: women who are frustrated that they simply can't find dateable men, and men who are frustrated that women are far too picky, and complaining there aren't any dateable men, when they seemingly just skip right over these all men who, on paper, meet all of those girls' supposed requirements. I researched dating and romantic history quite heavily for the relationship book I was writing last year (that I've since put on hold - I'm not in a position to effectively market another book just yet), and while a lot of male-female complaints are as old as time itself, I can tell you that this one - that there just aren't any dateable men, and that the women themselves are far too picky - is one I haven't encountered in the literature prior to the advent of the modern dating and relationship system in the early 20th century.
Dating, as we now know it, first began in the United States as a product of the Second Industrial Revolution, when masses of young people migrated to the cities and, unmoored from families who could impose traditional social norms and in need of an escape from the dreary drudgery of 10- or 12-hour days working in factories and textile mills, working class women started accepting invitations from working class men to go on "dates" - formerly a word used to mean an encounter with a prostitute. Before film, TV, and radio, there was only print media - books and newspapers and the like.
This new fad spread from the lower class to middle- and upper-class teenagers, who started "dating" for fun in high school... The style of storytelling then was sometimes outlandish - but if it was outlandish, you knew it was outlandish.
and by the 1920s dating was a firmly entrenched part of American culture. Much of the rest of the storytelling was downright Dickensian - it followed the rise and fall of a hero.
Songs were either joyful drinking songs, or tales of religious faith, or about pain and loss.
Fairy tales were terrifying stories about eyes plucked out of people's heads, and terrible fates for little children who didn't listen to their mothers. There was a sudden, nearly universal shift in preference from warnings about the harshness and danger of the real world, bent on tempering enthusiasm and expectations, .
Wonderful, uplifting words of encouragement, those - and the type of thinking children have been inculcated with in the West since childbirth for the better part of a century.However, as we saw in "" from a reader who suggested that I sterilize myself for being a Republican spewing Republican propaganda dressed up as dating advice.Actually, I'm a conservative-leaning independent who votes Democrat (but probably would vote Republican if not for all the fear-mongering and scare tactics, a manipulative tactic I cannot stand); but thanks for playing.This sort of reaction to the message of that article - which was about how despite the attestations of modern society that everyone is perfect, just the way they are - all the people who don't bother to improve themselves much it. That is somewhat the fault of those people - there are enough sources out there preaching the benefits of targeting yourself as your main focus for improvement and upgrades that if you ignore the fault of society at large - somehow, somewhere along the way, we lost something.It used to be that the advice given to children was, "Go work hard and make something of yourself." Now it's, "You're perfect - just the way you are!" With the implied corollary: "And people will just give you whatever your heart desires - just wish upon a star and you'll get it!