A few weeks later, I drove a friend’s rented camper van from New York to Los Angeles, as a favor. I ended up staying in California for six months. Days would pass without anyone asking where I was or what I was doing, and I turned more of my attention to Feeld. It was an old strategy: when life doesn’t deliver on a promised expectation, I look for alternatives, and what I found on this app seemed like an alternative to the fantasy of family I was letting go of. “Feeld is for a new type of human,” Dimo Trifonov, the app’s founder, once wrote. “A human belonging to a new world, one of creativity, openness, respect and exploration.” This was one way to make my unwanted future tolerable, to at least make it interesting for myself: to pretend that there was such a possibility as a new kind of person in a new kind of world.
This is a woman who’s hitting her forties, her fertility dwindling, and the best thing she can think to do is…hook up with random couples on an iPhone app, so she can be their sexual plaything for a bit? She’s totally unmoored and disconnected from human society and doesn’t try to moor herself to anyone, or anything. She drifts, lonesomely, towards old age. The whole article is written like this, and it’s titled, “A Hookup App for the Emotionally Mature: Modern romance can feel cold and alienating.” Ha. “Emotionally mature?” Is she high?
Honey, you are not “emotionally mature,” and Feeld is for horny people to f**k. Emotionally mature people form real relationships and have families. Emotionally stunted women are in their 40s and still can’t form relationships.
“Modern romance can feel cold and alienating,” but it can also feel warm and enveloping, depending on the person doing the romance. If you have an avoidant attachment style and are in the grip of hypergamy and can’t compromise effectively and have strong narcissistic tendencies, yeah, sure, modern romance will feel cold and alienating. But that is you embracing narcissism, feminism, and women’s studies departments, not an intrinsic state of modern life.
It’s easier to blame the conditions than to look within yourself.
That phrase, “the fantasy of family” is revealing: instead of taking concrete steps to form adult relationships and do the basic things normal people want to do, she fantasizes. This is a writer who thinks she knows everything and yet she understands nothing. She has everything in life except perspective. A lifetime of reading leads to a heavy veil of ignorance. Instead of f**king around on Feeld, she should be writing about co-parenting.
Co-parenting is a useful movement for the optionality obsessed, who are playing out the last bits of their fertility but still want to have a family. By now, there are probably Feeld-style apps for co-parenting. She could write about one guy being too dumb, another guy too thin, another guy works for Google and, although she likes his money, she worries about his “values,” or whatever. All the dumb stuff chicks talk about in dating, but applied to a sexless parenting relationships. She is an Eloi, not a Morlock, and she could have a sexless Eloi relationship with reduced messiness around reproduction.
Life doesn’t “deliver” things… you make them happen, or you don’t. There are no “promises” in life, so “when life doesn’t deliver on a promised expectation” is borderline incoherent. What “promised expectation” is she talking about, exactly? What would delivery look like? A UPS delivery guy? Someone from Amazon? This woman’s lack of agency is astounding. It should be astounding. Years of education lead her to think that life is something that just happens to her, instead of something she does.
If you are reading The New Yorker you are bathing in undiagnosed narcissism… which probably says bad things about me, since I read the article… it is extremely cringe and I cringed while I read it… but more than cringe, it is sad,
I have several unmarried and childless female friends who also started using Feeld during the pandemic. We were none of us very young; all of us had been “hooking up” with people for large swaths of our adult lives
You can grow old before you grow up, I guess. “Sex with people outside of our everyday social circles offered the freedom to remain undefined.” Yeah, cause the worst thing in the world is to be “defined.” The horror! Definition! Whatever being “defined” means. This article is like living in a pop song. The lyrics of pop songs are deliberately vague and aping them is a horrible way to conduct one’s life over time. This woman, the writer, is going bad places and is in denial.
This is the sort of article The Last Psychiatrist used to poetically analyze… his first posts are from July 2005, his last in 2014, and in that time New Yorker writers and editors have learned zero. Every person associated with The New Yorker should first have to read The Last Psychiatrist’s greatest hits. “Come, join us, on superiority island, where we alienate everyone around us while pretending to be sophisticated,” New Yorker people say. There is great ironic comedy in people who have no idea what’s going on, pretending they’re in the know.
This writer, Emily Witt, is the 40-year-old version of the Japanese elderly in this story, whose bodies are eaten by their cats, because no one notices their deaths for months after those deaths occur. Being single and barren is not an achievement. It’s not maturity. It’s actually the opposite. She is on the path to nowhere, rationalizing the whole way. In fantasy novels, knowing the secret word for a thing gives the speaker power over the thing. In reality, words are just words and it’s the underlying reality that matters. Claiming “maturity” doesn’t make a person mature. Sorry. One day, she may be contemplating her life and thinking, “Why didn’t I do the most important thing I could have done with my life?” She’ll look in the mirror and see the said answer looking back at her.
6 thoughts on “The saddest paragraph you’ll read today”
As you point out, the critical sentence in the whole piece is “It was an old strategy: when life doesn’t deliver on a promised expectation, I look for alternatives, and what I found on this app seemed like an alternative to the fantasy of family I was letting go of.”
Where to even begin. First, Feeld is an alternative to family all right, in the same way that meth is an alternative to a healthy dinner. Second, life is not here to deliver promised expectations to you. Nothing is promised in life, and you shouldn’t expect anything. Third, the alternative to real human connection will not be found on a fucking iPhone. People are not supporting characters in the movie that is your life. They are flesh and blood human beings that have their own needs and desires and you must actually treat them as such to have real meaningful connection. You can’t order a family like you can an Uber.
Corey Booker has a great line, “Cynicism is the refuge of cowards.” The entire NYT sets’ ironic sophisticated cynicism toward having a partner is cowardice on a grand scale.
> People are not supporting characters in the movie that is your life. They are flesh and blood human beings that have their own needs and desires and you must actually treat them as such to have real meaningful connection.
I recall RQ writing in one of last couple months’ post that he believes most people only think of themselves as well as can’t relate to others unless it’s in their own benefit. They do not think about what other people want, need, or think.
Ever since I remember, I was always trying to lead a spiritual, actualized life, where I *do* take other people’s needs into account. It is the logical and right thing to do, and actually profits both me and others, even just being aware of these things.
Yet, I am repeatedly shocked at just how little I think of others and how self-absorbed I am. Despite having been born and living in Eastern Europe where Western Culture’s narcissism isn’t as prevalent, I am very much influenced by it, prolly because of my personal curiosity about the Western Culture, but I can’t shake myself of feeling that to a degree, this is just how I am. I am immature and unreliable to others though, I had some glimpses of what’s possible, the potential for maturity and being socially desired and “good”. So I am not losing hope.
That bit about most people thinking of themselves came from xbtusd…I’m a bit more optimistic.
I never entirely know what a spiritual, actualized life entails. I try to make rent/mortgage and get pussy.
Overall there’s a balance between thinking about others versus yourself. A comment is the wrong place to explore this dynamic, but, the greater your skills and abilities, the more others will want to be around you. It’s good to do things that others value, but, simultaneously, you also want to avoid mooches and giving too much value away. Building a world of reciprocity is good, but real reciprocity also means having skills and abilities others value.
That’s a start.
In the context of you RQ repeatedly calling out sex club and nonmonogamy people immature or on Peter Pan syndrome, how do you reconcile that with yourself doing the same as those people? Do you see yourself as Peter Pan?
I don’t think I’d use or have used the “calling out” terminology but understand what you’re getting at. The key issue is the difference between men and women. A 41-year-old man can easily go get a 32-year-old woman and have a couple of kids…happens all the time. A 41-year-old woman is on the verge of infertility. Those ages are examples but still illustrative.
Many guys need to go through a player phase to be able to hit https://theredquest.wordpress.com/2019/04/15/kids-the-player-and-the-red-pill-comprehensive-statement/, and long-term relationships have their own challenges. I don’t have final answers, but anyone who is paying attention in similar worlds to mine will see similar dynamics. Many of them are anti-social and so don’t get much talked about. I’m interested in talking about the dark things most people want to pretend don’t exist.
This post reminds me of an old post from Dalrock’s blog when he was active about a 35-year-old woman wanted to get married so she set a date without a husband, and then tried to find a man to fill the spot. She included a corny song she wrote.
She took down the song by making it private on YouTube, but someone else re-posted it.
Needless to say, she didn’t find a man using this method.