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But to be free of those old crutches can be both exhilarating and exhausting.As the influence of friends and family has melted away, the burden of finding a partner has been swallowed whole by the individual—at the very moment that expectations of our partners are skyrocketing.Once upon a time, wealthy families considered matrimonies akin to mergers; they were coldhearted business opportunities to expand a family’s financial power.Even in the late 19th century, marriage was more practicality than rom-com, whereas today’s daters are looking for nothing less than a human Swiss Army knife of self-actualization.A 2012 paper co-written by Rosenfeld found that the share of straight couples who met online rose from about zero percent in the mid-1990s to about 20 percent in 2009.For gay couples, the figure soared to nearly 70 percent.
Forty years after that, when I met my girlfriend in the summer of 2015, one sophisticated algorithm and two rightward swipes did all the work.
In sociology-speak, our relationships were “mediated.” In human-speak, your wingman was your dad.
Derek Thompson: The future of the city is childless But dating has changed more in the past two decades than in the previous 2,000 years, thanks to the explosion of matchmaking sites such as Tinder, OKCupid, and Bumble.
(They aren’t.) But the deeper issue isn’t the number of options in the digital dating pool, or any specific life category, but rather the sheer tonnage of , more generally.
Gone are the days when young generations inherited religions and occupations and life paths from their parents as if they were unalterable strands of DNA.As the co-authors write in their conclusion, “Internet dating has displaced friends and family [as] key intermediaries.” We used to rely on intimates to screen our future partners.