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"And mostly they're pretty unfounded." Rosenfeld, who has been keeping tabs on the dating lives of more than 3,000 people, has gleaned many insights about the growing role of apps like Tinder.They are important today — roughly one of every four straight couples now meet on the Internet.On her screen, images of men appeared and then disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she wiped.I felt a deep sense a rejection -- not personally, but on behalf of everyone at the bar.It’s harder to feel alone when you’re 23, because everyone is a potential partner.But when you get to 40, most people your age are already settled down.
It also helps the people who use the apps by allowing them to enjoy a pattern of regular hookups that don’t have to lead to relationships.
In fact, by several measures, online dating has proved even more useful — both to individuals and society — than the traditional avenues it has replaced.
I spoke with Rosenfeld to hear more about his research, to learn about the ways in which the rise of online dating is defining modern love, and to talk about the biggest misconceptions people have about online dating.
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.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.