Meet Jacob, a thirtysomething, single Portlander on the prowl. He describes himself as “average-looking.” Girlfriends have called him “lazy, aimless, and irresponsible with money.” He doesn’t care much about “a solid credit score,” “a 40-hour workweek,” or settling down. Thanks to online dating sites, Jacob pursues dates with “one or two very pretty, ambitious women a week.” He recently ended a two-year relationship with a 22-year-old; he’s currently juggling flings with “a paralegal and a lawyer who work at the same law firm, a naturopath, a pharmacist, and a chef.”
Jacob, as Atlantic writer Dan Slater frames him, is the embodiment of a new dating market where the allure of “online romance is threatening monogamy.” Whenever he meets another woman online, Jacob (not his real name) thinks: “This person could be exclusively for me, but so could the other two people I’m meeting this week.” Why have a real relationship, Slater asks, when there are so many attractive, successful partners waiting online?
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