As of this writing, 38% of Americans who describe themselves as “single and looking” have used an online-dating site.
But dealing with this new digital romantic world can be a lot of work.
Answering messages, filtering profiles—it’s not always fun.
Almost a quarter of online daters find a spouse or long-term partner that way. It provides you with a seemingly endless supply of people who are single and looking to date.
Let’s say you’re a woman who wants a 28-year-old man who’s 5 ft.
10 in., has brown hair, lives in Brooklyn, is a member of the Baha’i faith and loves the music of Naughty by Nature.
Before online dating, this would have been a fruitless quest, but now, at any time of the day, no matter where you are, you are just a few screens away from sending a message to your very specific dream man. Throughout all our interviews—and in research on the subject—this is a consistent finding: in online dating, women get a ton more attention than men.
The question nagged at me—not least because of my own experiences watching promising relationships peter out over text message—so I set out on a mission.
I read dozens of studies about love, how people connect and why they do or don’t stay together.
I quizzed the crowds at my stand-up comedy shows about their own love lives.
People even let me into the private world of their phones to read their romantic texts aloud onstage.
I learned of the phenomenon of “good enough” marriage, a term social anthropologists use to describe marriages that were less about finding the perfect match than a suitable candidate whom the family approved of for the couple to embark on adulthood And along with the sociologist Eric Klinenberg, co-author of my new book, I conducted focus groups with hundreds of people across the country and around the world, grilling participants on the most intimate details of how they look for love and why they’ve had trouble finding it.