He sounds a bit like your proverbial grandma cautioning that a man will never buy the cow if he’s getting the milk for free.like: “She wishes to be a free rider—in this case, to find a good man—without contributing to the kinds of normative relationship behavior that make men better. It can’t work.”He goes on: “In the domain of sex and relationships men will act as nobly as women collectively demand.

To be happy is to be tied.”When it comes to romance, Americans are freer than they’ve ever been. Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, thinks a lot about the price of human relationships.

Freer to marry, freer to divorce, freer to have sex when and with whom they like with fewer consequences, freer to cohabitate without getting married, freer to remain single, freer to pursue open relationships or polyamory. His new book, is all about how the modern dating scene has been shaped by sexual economics, a theory which sees human mating as a marketplace.

There is a long history of what he calls the “exchange relationship,” in which women control men’s access to sex.

In order to get it, men bring to the table resources, commitment, and fidelity.

Regnerus asserts that modern mating dynamics make it hard for people to find a relationship that seems worth committing to; Finkel argues that when marriages manage to live up to today’s lofty expectations, they can be extremely fulfilling.

One may be more optimistic than the other, but both show how increasing romantic freedom has changed romance itself.* * *Regnerus’s description of sexual economics relies on a stark division of gender roles: Men provide the demand and women are the supply.

Am I naïve to think that companionship and attention should have some place in this equation?

If the modern mating market has made people more isolated, and if smartphones and other technology are increasingly mediating human relationships and driving us to distraction, shouldn’t the value of a present and proximate companion increase?

Regnerus also argues that the easy availability of sex makes men less motivated in their professional lives, because they don’t need to become successful, i.e., marriageable, to woo women to their beds.

While this may sound dubious, there is an established precedent for this theory in the field.

This forces women to be choosier about who they say yes to.