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Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  192 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Romance and love are in a state of crisis: Statistically speaking, young women today are living romantic lives of all kinds—but they’re still feeling bogged down by social, cultural, economic, and familial pressures to love in a certain way. Young women in the modern world have greater flexibility than ever when it comes to who we choose to love and how we choose to love t
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Seal Press (first published July 2nd 2011)
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Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
I read this book in just a few hours. I was hoping it would be an enlightening feminist guide to dating, but it was more of a debunking of the "romance industrial complex" and the myriad ways dating is socialized along gender roles. For an avowed feminist and someone who stays on top of this stuff, it didn't offer a whole lot of new insight and material. It felt more like one really long blog entry, especially with the citing of Facebook and Twitter as sources (to be fair that only happened occa ...more
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gender
I picked up this book because I was intrigued by Samhita Mukhopadhyay's Occupy V-Day project and thought it would be interesting to hear a more thorough critique of "the romantic industrial complex" from her. The book ended up taking me weeks to slog through. The majority of her critiques -- of pick-up artists, dating manuals, and familial pressures -- are important but not new. As other reviewers have pointed out, if you're immersed in the feminist blogosphere or were, at some point, a gender s ...more
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Dear Samhita,

Thank you for writing this book. I cannot believe how much I have been wanting this book and have needed to read this.

IN this book, one of the editors of Feministing takes a look at dating, the dating book and magazine industry and some of our ideas about dating, romance etc, and how they are misogynistic and sexist. Some of the myths perpetuated are harmful to both men and women, and the current standards and assumptions we have about sex, single women and how men and women think a
If you've been immersed in the feminist blogosphere for any length of time, nothing here is particularly revolutionary, and most of the first half felt very 101, but I enjoy the simple fact that this book exists. I wanted it to go a bit further, and the "I'm going to tell you, I just told you, as you recall in chapter whatsit" was a little wearing, but, again, overall I liked the balance she struck of personal to larger trends.

One picky little point entirely unrelated to the quite nice content
Melissa Ooten
Sep 30, 2011 rated it liked it
I don't know that I'll finish this one. I was reading it to see if it had potential use in a women's studies classroom. I find it much too basic and repetitive but 18 year olds might respond differently...
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am a sucker for feminist dating books.
Joshunda Sanders
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm writing a piece for Bitch Magazine on this book, so I'll save most of my opinions for that. But I loved it.
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
It seems a cliche to say I found this book empowering, but I did. Very straightforward look at how the romance "industry" has not caught up to those who are living in the new mainstream.
Silvio Curtis
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A short book that covers a lot of ground and ends up kind of scattered. The point is to debunk the most traditional romantic understanding of dating, where everything is supposed to escalate towards marriage and your value as a person is dependent on what progress you're making. Explicitly addressed to female readers, and implicitly to straight or straightish ones; I'm male, but I found the early chapters informative about how those narrowly romantic norms get transmitted - mostly through TV sho ...more
Hillary Watson
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A little dated by now (no pun intended), but a critical groundwork book in examining culture and dating through a sex-positive, growth-mindset, feminist lens. Would love to see more books in this vein of analysis, inspiration, validation, and feminism. It was a pleasant surprise to come across it, and I hope to find more like it.
Logan Hughes
Sep 22, 2013 rated it liked it
A critique of the modern dating narrative presented by pop culture (particularly self-help books, but also TV, movies, magazines, etc.) This is stuff I've ranted about for years, and it's precisely this widespread and infuriating sexist baggage that made me give up on dating straight people. (Luckily, I had other options.) In many places the book had me saying "Right on!!"

Here's the problem: this book has no audience, other than me. I'm ignorant enough about feminist theory that this was more or
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This is probably the longest rant I have ever read, and it's repetitive. Not that there's anything wrong with that--I love a good rant now and again, and I've been known to indulge in a decent amount of wallowing myself, but I expecting something more than the obvious. This book contained nothing I haven't already heard and read in shorter articles. Simply put, this book is too repetitive and basic.

I picked this up because a friend recommended it to me, and honestly, a little because the author
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a crucial book for anyone interested in changing the way gender relations are playing out in 21st Century America, and beyond. Ms Mukhopadhyay courageously (and sassily) takes on the Dating Industrial Complex and asks some hard questions about the state of the game for young women. The book does a great feminist critique of the dating-advice market, but beyond that digs into masculinity issues and issues of sexual freedom and identity. While Dating While Feminist may be really freaking h ...more
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think this is actually a good book to read even if one doesn't quite identify as a feminist and might be a little uncomfortable with the word. It makes it really approachable and explains that feminism means equality and fairness for us all, not just for women. Instead of issuing blanket statements about what is right or wrong, it questions certain behaviors and practices so that we can be critical of our own actions and really think about why it is we do the things that we do. There was a lot ...more
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
ambivalent on this one. i could see almost any 1--5 star rating. Feminist take on various aspects of dating, love, sexuality, relationships by single 33-year old Indian American woman. Somewhat interesting personal stories about how her approach to casual sex has changed since early 20s, or how people respond to her based on stereotypes about South Asian women.

But mostly a high-minded, general critique/rant covering well-worn material. If it's new to you to consider such possibilities as:

1. "pic
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thank God (and feminism) for books like this one. Writers like Samhita Mukhopadhyay are the only people who don't make me feel like an utter failure. After all, as an unwillingly celibate female (and not, "oh ha ha I haven't done the nasty in six months I'm totally celibate!" celibate. I mean completely celibate) who has never been on a date, been asked out (or asked anyone out for that matter), it's easy for most writers to dismiss me as a failure. In fact, I'm already considered a freak-of-nat ...more
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I appreciated Mukhopadyay's perspective and viewpoint on dating and relationships within our American Society. Separate from a feminist view, I felt she covered several areas about how dating is approached in our culture, and the many ways the mainstream perspective can be damaging to those who view relationships in a less "traditional" way.
I felt the last chapter of the book was most helpful, as she covers several dating topics from the viewpoint of a feminist, and provides wonderful quotes fr
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
Meh. I'm not sure what I was hoping for--maybe theory-informed self-help?--but this didn't quite hit the mark. It's got some facts and analysis, but it feels flimsy at times, more like a long-form blog article than a book. I wouldn't have minded so much, but there wasn't anything new in here--it was just a rehashing of more serious works I've read before. If you're new to feminist works (or are one of those poor misguided souls who declare yourself "not a feminist"), give it a try; otherwise, do ...more
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gender
While for an experienced feminist who is not straight, this text did not have any new concepts or revolutionary ideas; that said, for a middle-aged single femme, it was a very affirming read with a lot of great reminders, especially as I prepare for a move to a less progressive community. I especially liked the way the author discussed self-esteem, how feminism benefits people of all genders, and her (brief) section on polyamory.
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I was in the dating pool, but as a budding psychologist interested in socio/cultural dimensions of behavior, I really enjoyed this book. It is a comprehensive (and often humorous) analysis of modern gender roles and privilege that just happens to take place within the context of dating. Also, even though I am married, being a career oriented, childless woman by choice I still found it highly relatable.
Jen Angel
May 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Most of the book is an overview of how things like the media, culture, and societal pressures influence dating.

What I wanted was more of what is in the chapter "dating while feminist." - what do we do about these things, and how do we date successfully despite them?

She touches on some great things in that chapter (like, how do I define a successful relationship if I don't want marriage?), but doesn't go far enough.

Toni Prekker
Aug 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I couldn't finish this. The first couple of chapters were incoherent and contradictory. I often felt like she was saying that in order to be an "independent" feminist, you have to only want casual, non-monogamous relationships. Or be a lesbian, or have some other "alternative" lifestyle. It read like a ranty, unedited blog of someone with only semi-formed ideas.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This book helped me to realize how much I operate out of gender norms when it comes to dating. It helped me realize how much power I give to guys I date. And it helped me realize that sleeping with a man outside of monogamy does not mean that he will never want to be monogamous again. Yay for feminism!
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book made a lot of good points, but the writing itself wasn't very good--it was overly simple at times, in my opinion. I'd still recommend it, though, but mostly to people who are new to feminism.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This isn't a self-help book at all. She discusses how our expectations are shaped by various aspects in our society. I finished feeling vindicated that being a single woman, by choice, is not weird, abnormal, nor wrong.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-writers, 2012
I have enjoyed Samhita's writing on feministing for years, and I was excited to pick up her book. I agree with most of what she writes here, and wish I had read something similar when I was younger (before having to figure it out for myself).
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I want to give this a much higher rating, but it is simply just too entry level. Very much recommended for younger women and people just beginning to learn about feminism. This would have been mind-blowing to me ten years ago.
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wish that there were more books like this on the market. If you've ever felt stressed about dating and guilty about reading so-called "self-help" books then read this book! Also, if you are a feminist who is currently, has ever, or has plans to someday date - you need to read this book.
Nov 14, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was okay. I really wanted it to go deeper. It felt like a pep talk where I wanted more thoughtful analysis and constructive ideas on how to navigate a relationship and dating while feminist.
Paula Kirman
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This isn't a dating guide for feminists as such, but a philosophy to change how we view the dating scene and romantic relationships in general. it may not help you land a date for Saturday night, but it may make you rethink relationships and life in general.
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“It is hard to feel safe and comfortable when the only measures for what is safe and comfortable are normative ideas you don't abide by.” 14 likes
“Through fetishizing the inequality embedded in the romance story, women have somehow become convinced that being in, or even vying for, a relationship is something we should want -- regardless of whether that relationship might hold equal power or doesn't serve us.” 8 likes
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