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Occasionally, I’d see colleagues and acquaintances on Ok Cupid and wonder, in embarrassment, if they’d seen me, too.The swiping and the searching is, for the most part, mindless (I would swipe right on almost every girl, just to see who was interested in me—a form of self-validation). “I really enjoyed going out with you,” she said via text, “but I’ve just decided to start seeing someone exclusively.”Then there was the 28-year-old divorcée (liked craft beer) I met for drinks in Williamsburg in April.Sometimes it seems like the supply is a threat to settling down, as are the apps themselves, which, while you’re using them, can feel as consuming as Facebook or Twitter or email.I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent swiping through Tinder, in a state of confused arousal, to find matches—in the bathroom, at work, walking down the street, even on Tinder dates—a sea of names and faces and random pornbots sloshing around in my brain.That one petered out almost as quickly as the rest.I certainly didn’t set out to meet as many women as possible, an exhausting goal.
I was, however, looking for a relationship—long- or short-term, as the online dating argot goes—which, I guess, requires you to do things that make you uncomfortable.
I am, as the Jerome Kern tune goes, old-fashioned, even though I’m 26, and I like old-fashioned girls.
If I could bend the world into another reality, I would mold it after Woody Allen’s great musical comedy But I can’t, so last summer I joined Ok Cupid, the online dating site.
This is a major, and ridiculously exhausting, shift in how we mate as a species, the biggest, it seems, since birth control.
As online dating becomes less stigmatized—just 21 percent of Internet users think online dating is “desperate,” down eight points since 2005, according to the Pew Research Center—more and more singles, hoping to meet their match, are turning to the digital world.