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.
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.
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.
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.
I felt a deep sense a rejection -- not personally, but on behalf of everyone at the bar.But the fear that online dating is changing us, collectively, that it's creating unhealthy habits and preferences that aren't in our best interests, is being driven more by paranoia than it is by actual facts."There are a lot of theories out there about how online dating is bad for us," Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford who has been conducting a long-running study of online dating, told me the other day.In fact, people who meet their partners online are not more likely to break up — they don’t have more transitory relationships.Once you’re in a relationship with somebody, it doesn’t really matter how you met that other person.