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When Rhonda Lynn Way was in her 50s and on the dating scene for the first time since she was 21, she had no idea where to start.


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I figured my Twitter audience—entirely online, disproportionately young, and intimately familiar with dating sites—would accept the inevitability of online matchmaking.

Why online dating can feel like such an existential nightmare

Neither, perhaps, is avoiding marriage altogether. In a new paper awaiting publicationRosenfeld finds that the online-dating phenomenon shows no s of abating. The Atlantic Crossword. According to data collected throughthe majority of straight couples now meet online or at bars and restaurants.

What it’s like to date after middle age

In Subscribe. 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.

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They were lamentations about the spiritual bankruptcy of modern love. Popular Latest.

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My family story also serves as a brief history of romance. But to be free of those old crutches can be both exhilarating and exhausting. Read: The 5 years that changed dating. Your friends and your mom know a few dozen people.

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Almost 60 percent of marriages that begin before the age of 22 end in divorce, but the same goes for just 36 percent of those who marry from the ages of 29 to It merely came along as that dusty old shroud was already unraveling. 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. This is the age of DIY-everything, in which individuals are charged with the full-service construction of their careers, lives, faiths, and public identities.

By the way, the fact that Americans are marrying later is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, college graduates are getting married later, using the bulk of their 20s to pay down their student debt, try on different occupationsestablish a career, and maybe even save a bit of money.

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In almost any other period, this project would have been an excruciating bore. Derek Thompson: The future of the city is childless.

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For the past 10 years, the Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld has been compiling data on how couples meet. My maternal grandparents met through mutual friends at a summer pool party in the suburbs of Detroit shortly after World War II. Thirty years later, their oldest daughter met my dad in Washington, D.

Forty years after that, when I met my girlfriend in the summer ofone sophisticated algorithm and two rightward swipes did all the work. But the most common responses to my post were not hearty cheers. Source: Michael J. With these years of singledom taking place far away from hometown institutions, such as family and school, the apps are acting in loco parentis.

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Our friends and moms were underserving us. But dating has changed more in the past two decades than in the 2, years, thanks to the explosion of matchmaking sites such as Tinder, OKCupid, and Bumble.

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A paper co-written by Rosenfeld found that the share of straight couples who met online rose from about zero percent in the mids to about 20 percent in For gay couples, the figure soared to nearly 70 percent. Robots are not yet replacing our jobs.