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The apps have been surprisingly successful -- and in ways many people would not expect.
In fact, by several measures, online dating has proved even more useful — both to individuals and society — than the traditional avenues it has replaced.
I spoke with Rosenfeld to hear more about his research, to learn about the ways in which the rise of online dating is defining modern love, and to talk about the biggest misconceptions people have about online dating.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
I felt a deep sense a rejection -- not personally, but on behalf of everyone at the bar.
Instead of interacting with the people around her, she chose to search for a companion elsewhere online.
In fact, people who meet their partners online are not more likely to break up — they don’t have more transitory relationships.
The idea is that if you’re faced with too many options you will find it harder to pick one, that too much choice is demotivating.
We see this in consumer goods — if there are too many flavors of jam at the store, for instance, you might feel that it’s just too complicated to consider the jam aisle, you might end up skipping it all together, you might decide it's not worth settling down with one jam. I don’t think that that theory, even if it’s true for something like jam, applies to dating.
Part of what you have uncovered during your research is how drastic the rise of online dating has been.
That's something not everyone thinks this is a good thing. The worry about online dating comes from theories about how too much choice might be bad for you.
It also helps the people who use the apps by allowing them to enjoy a pattern of regular hookups that don’t have to lead to relationships.