Internet dating for singles

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

You have one of the most unique data sets about modern romance. Well, one of the first things you have to know to understand how dating — or really courtship rituals, since not everyone calls it dating — has changed over time is that the age of marriage in the United States has increased dramatically over time.

Instead of interacting with the people around her, she chose to search for a companion elsewhere online.

Once you’re in a relationship with somebody, it doesn’t really matter how you met that other person.

We see this in consumer goods — if there are too many flavors of jam at the store, for instance, you might feel that it’s just too complicated to consider the jam aisle, you might end up skipping it all together, you might decide it's not worth settling down with one jam. I don’t think that that theory, even if it’s true for something like jam, applies to dating.

I actually don’t see in my data any negative repercussions for people who meet partners online.

That's something not everyone thinks this is a good thing. The worry about online dating comes from theories about how too much choice might be bad for you.

The idea is that if you’re faced with too many options you will find it harder to pick one, that too much choice is demotivating.

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It makes it easier for someone who is looking for something very specific in a partner to find what they are looking for.

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