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Love etc

Dating the Nextdoor neighbour

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The Nextdoor app is not supposed to be romantic, says Ashley Bardhan in Mel magazine. It’s essentially a Facebook for neighbourhoods – you enter your address, join your area’s group and post whatever you like. Most people flog old furniture or complain about noisy neighbours, but some are using the app to find love.

The general vibe of Nextdoor dating is “polite and only vaguely predatory”. There are lonely-hearts men looking for “a nice lady” and middle-aged women in search of “genuine connections”. A few are more risqué. One man offered his van to his neighbours to have sex in. “We will take you on a drive while you and your partner go at it in our camper,” he wrote. “We will have refreshments and other amenities.” He was charging $500 an hour. There’s heartbreak too. In one post a wife asks if anyone knows any good local divorce attorneys. She was writing from the account she shared with her husband.

I can’t understand it, says the founder of the viral Twitter account Best of Nextdoor, Jenn Takahashi. The whole point of the app is that it allows you to see just how crazy your neighbours are – as they bicker about who leaves dog poo in the park or makes noise past 10pm. “You want to date them?!”

The joys of unrequited passion

Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. Bazmark Films/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

Thank God for unrequited love, says Hugo Rifkind in The Times. Without it there would be no literature. Take F Scott Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, who desires Daisy “like a fatal disease”, or the Greek nymph Echo, who dies pining after Narcissus. Unrequited love is everywhere. And the authors were just as unlucky in love as their characters. Dante was so devoted to a woman called Beatrice, he wrote an entire book about her, La Vita Nuova, and gave her a starring role in The Divine Comedy. “He did this despite meeting her only twice: once when they were both nine years old and once in passing in the street.”

It’s no surprise. After all, there’s a certain glamour to unrequited love. In a one-sided relationship you don’t have to live together, bicker in the supermarket “or negotiate whose turn it is to worm the dog”. The love is perfect, because it isn’t there. No wonder it’s the source of so much creativity: “It is the beauty you make, all by yourself.”