Through online dating

The age of first marriage is now in the late twenties, and more people in their 30s and even 40s are deciding not to settle down.

through online dating-35

For folks who are meeting people everyday—really younger people in their early twenties—online dating is relevant, but it really becomes a powerful force for people in thin dating markets.

In a 2012 paper, I wrote about how among heterosexuals, the people who are most likely to use online dating are the middle-aged folks, because they’re the ones in the thinnest dating market.

I think these things are definitely characteristic of modern romance.

Part of what you have uncovered during your research is how drastic the rise of online dating has been.

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.

There are online sites that cater to hookups, sure, but there are also online sites that cater to people looking for long-term relationships.

What’s more, many people who meet in the online sites that cater to hookups end up in long-term relationships.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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