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As of this writing, 38% of Americans who describe themselves as “single and looking” have used an online-­dating site.

It’s not just my ­generation—boomers are as likely as college kids to give online dating a whirl.

Throw in the fact that people now get married later in life than ever before, turning their early 20s into a relentless hunt for more romantic options than previous generations could have ever imagined, and you have a recipe for romance gone haywire.

In the course of our research, I also discovered something surprising: the winding road from the classified section of yore to Tinder has taken an unexpected turn.

But Derek of 2013 simply clicked an X on a web-browser tab and deleted her without thinking twice.

Watching him comb through those profiles, it became clear that online, every bozo could now be a stud.

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After looking the page over for a minute or so, Derek said, “Well, she looks O. I’m just gonna keep looking for a while.” I asked what was wrong, and he replied, “She likes the Red Sox.” I was completely shocked. Imagine the Derek of 20 years ago, finding out that this beautiful, charming woman was a real possibility for a date.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.Eric and I weren’t digging into ­singledom—we were trying to chip away at the changing state of love.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.Our phones and texts and apps might just be bringing us full circle, back to an old-fashioned version of courting that is closer to what my own parents experienced than you might guess.

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