Dating and online dating

In almost any other period, this project would have been an excruciating bore.

That’s because for centuries, most couples met the same way: They relied on their families and friends to set them up.

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When in the 1840s the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard called anxiety “the dizziness of freedom,” he wasn’t slamming the door on modernity so much as foreseeing its existential contradiction: All the forces of maximal freedom are also forces of anxiety, because anybody who feels obligated to select the ingredients of a perfect life from an infinite menu of options may feel lost in the infinitude. Our friends and moms were underserving us.”Historically, the “underserving” was most severe for single gay people.

(They aren’t.) But the deeper issue isn’t the number of options in the digital dating pool, or any specific life category, but rather the sheer tonnage of , more generally.

Gone are the days when young generations inherited religions and occupations and life paths from their parents as if they were unalterable strands of DNA.

C., at the suggestion of a mutual friend from Texas.

Forty years after that, when I met my girlfriend in the summer of 2015, one sophisticated algorithm and two rightward swipes did all the work.

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