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A couple of months ago, I was sitting at a bar minding my own business when the woman next to me did something strange.Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it coyly beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder.The interview has been edited for length and clarity.You have one of the most unique data sets about modern romance. Well, one of the first things you have to know to understand how dating — or really courtship rituals, since not everyone calls it dating — has changed over time is that the age of marriage in the United States has increased dramatically over time.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.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.There are online sites that cater to hookups, sure, but there are also online sites that cater to people looking for long-term relationships.
The rise of phone apps and online dating websites gives people access to more potential partners than they could meet at work or in the neighborhood.
It’s harder to feel alone when you’re 23, because everyone is a potential partner.
But when you get to 40, most people your age are already settled down.
People used to marry in their early 20s, which meant that most dating that was done, or most courting that was done, was done with the intention of settling down right away.
And that’s not the life that young people lead anymore.It makes it easier for someone who is looking for something very specific in a partner to find what they are looking for.