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She now lives in another city and never calls me or replies to messages unless they are expressly about meeting up; she has a long-term partner who doesn’t know I exist.After our most recent interaction I found myself googling “symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder,” which says even more about my catastrophically low self-esteem than it does about her interpersonal ethics.
My body image has collapsed in the last two years, and that’s true for more and more men.
One question has been preoccupying me lately: How does one separate the thread of one’s own past from broader trends in history?
I’m talking about the “Dating Apocalypse.” Like many of the commitment-phobic perennially single, I’m on and off “the apps” a lot—swinging from full-blown frenzy to total cold turkey in a matter of days.
None of them turned into anything long-term, despite my occasional desire to the contrary. My training taught me that to write history is always to make a political claim in the present.
Most stories about the past are only ever ways to assuage the feelings we’re having about what’s happening today.
The I was told it might be a consequence of the hookup culture, of crushing economic pressures, of surging anxiety rates, of psychological frailty, of widespread antidepressant use, of streaming television, of environmental estrogens leaked by plastics, of dropping testosterone levels, of digital porn, of the vibrator’s golden age, of dating apps, of option paralysis, of helicopter parents, of careerism, of smartphones, of the news cycle, of information overload generally, of sleep deprivation, of obesity.