Of course, no one knows exactly how many partnerships are undermined by the allure of the Internet dating pool.
But most of the online-dating-company executives I interviewed while writing my new book, Love in the Time of Algorithms, agreed with what research appears to suggest: the rise of online dating will mean an overall decrease in commitment.
What if it raises the bar for a good relationship too high?
Jacob also felt pressure from his parents, who were getting anxious to see him paired off for good.
Although a younger girlfriend bought him some time, biologically speaking, it also alienated him from his friends, who could understand the physical attraction but couldn’t really relate to Rachel.
“I’ve never been able to make a girl feel like she was the most important thing in my life,” he says.
“It’s always ‘I wish I was as important as the basketball game or the concert.’ ” An only child, Jacob tended to make plans by negotiation: if his girlfriend would watch the game with him, he’d go hiking with her.
He’d been called lazy, aimless, and irresponsible with money.
Before long, his new relationship fell into that familiar pattern.
In the past, Jacob had always been the kind of guy who didn’t break up well. His desire to be with someone, to not have to go looking again, had always trumped whatever doubts he’d had about the person he was with. “I feel like I underwent a fairly radical change thanks to online dating,” Jacob says.
“I went from being someone who thought of finding someone as this monumental challenge, to being much more relaxed and confident about it.
“I’m about 95 percent certain,” he says, “that if I’d met Rachel offline, and if I’d never done online dating, I would’ve married her.
At that point in my life, I would’ve overlooked everything else and done whatever it took to make things work.
I was eager to see what else was out there.”of online dating are clear: the Internet makes it easier for single people to meet other single people with whom they might be compatible, raising the bar for what they consider a good relationship.