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On her screen, images of men appeared and then disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she wiped.
But when you get to 40, most people your age are already settled down.Is it creating a new reality in which people actively avoid real-life interactions?Of course, others have worried about these sorts of questions before.A couple of months ago, I was sitting at a bar minding my own business when the woman next to me did something strange.Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it coyly beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder.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.This environment, mind you, is just like the one we see in the offline world.There’s no obvious pattern by which people who meet online are worse off. For people who have a hard time finding partners in their day-to-day, face-to-face life, the larger subset of potential partners online is a big advantage for them.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.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.