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Dating During #MeToo

Young single Americans are tired, confused and scared about dating during #Metoo

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 #MeToo - 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.

"There is a weird apathy on both sides," 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.

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 #MeToo movement, a recent survey of 3,000 singletons by dating service Three Day Rule found. The October 2017 revelations of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein touched off the global #MeToo movement, which led to conversations about what is appropriate both inside and outside the workplace.

Men are concerned about crossing boundaries, having their actions misinterpreted, or even adhering to traditional gender roles like paying for a date, said Three Day Rule chief executive officer and founder Talia Goldstein. Meanwhile, some women said they were too worn out by inappropriate behavior or triggered by the news to want to spend time with men, and some worry about how and when to call out men they're dating for harassment.

"I have definitely seen fatigue, for so many reasons," Goldstein said. "It's partially due to the #MeToo movement, but partially because people have been online dating for so long it really is exhausting."


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