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(John, who was white, pursued only Asian women, leaving his girlfriends with the icky sense that they’d been fetishized as well as deceived.) Still, romantic scammers aren’t an invention of modern courtship and its digital devices.They’re a staple of Jane Austen novels: John Willoughby, who caddishly breaks Marianne’s heart in “Sense and Sensibility”; George Wickham, who reels in both Lizzy and Lydia Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice”; Frank Churchill, in “Emma,” who flirts with Miss Woodhouse while being secretly engaged to her frenemy, Jane Fairfax. As a twenty-first-century guy living in one of the most culturally liberal of American cities, he had options available to him that men in Regency England did not..boxy-content a.term-action, button.term-action a.term-action:hover, button.term-action:hover .term-action-bg .term-uex .term-cite .term-fc .term-edit .boxy-dflt-hder .definition .definition a .definition h2 .example, .highlight-term a.round-btn, a.round-btn.selected:hover a.round-btn:hover, a.round-btn.selected .social-icon a.round-btn .social-icon a.round-btn:hover a.round-btn .fa-facebook a.round-btn .fa-twitter a.round-btn .fa-google-plus .rotate a a.up:hover, selected, a.down:hover, selected, .vote-status .adjacent-term .adjacent-term:hover .adjacent-term .past-tod .past-tod:hover .tod-term .tod-date .tip-content .tooltip-inner .term-tool-action-block .term-link-embed-content .term-fc-options .term-fc-options li .term-fc-options li a .checkmark .quiz-option .quiz-option-bullet .finger-button.quiz-option:hover .definition-number .wd-75 .wd-20 .left-block-terms .left-block-terms .left-block-terms li .no-padding .no-padding-left .no-padding-right .boxy-spacing @media (min-width: 768px) @media (max-width: 768px) @media print { a:link:after, a:visited:after nav, .term-action, #wfi-ad-slot-leaderboard, .wfi-slot, #related-articles, .pop-quiz, #right-block, .a young woman in San Francisco, met a man—call him John—on the dating site OKCupid. More notably, he indulged in the kind of profligate displays of affection which signal a definite eagerness to commit.

Every so often, one of his paramours would catch on and alert the others.The luxury- and self-obsessed yuppies of the “greed is good” eighties demanded that the romantic market deliver partners tailored to their niche specifications, developing early versions of the kinds of matchmaking services that have been perfected in today’s digital gig economy, where the personal is professional, and everyone self-brands accordingly.Dating is therefore a powerful force of social control—but what do we actually mean by “dating”?Then he’d block them all on social media and begin the whole thing again.In one sense, this is a story about the exploitative possibilities of online matchmaking: the opportunities to flagrantly misrepresent oneself, the ease of trawling for specific targets.

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