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Women are especially likely to enlist a friend in helping them craft the perfect profile—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.I learned of the phenomenon of “good enough” marriage, a term social anthropologists use to describe marriages that were less about finding the perfect match than a suitable candidate whom the family approved of for the couple to embark on adulthood And along with the sociologist Eric Klinenberg, co-author of my new book, I conducted focus groups with hundreds of people across the country and around the world, grilling participants on the most intimate details of how they look for love and why they’ve had trouble finding it.Eric and I weren’t digging into singledom—we were trying to chip away at the changing state of love.
The biggest changes have been brought by the .4 billion online-dating industry, which has exploded in the past few years with the arrival of dozens of mobile apps.
I asked my dad about this experience, and here’s how he described it: he told his parents he was ready to get married, so his family arranged meetings with three neighboring families. That’s how my dad decided on the person with whom he was going to spend the rest of his life.
I am perpetually indecisive about even the most mundane things, and I couldn’t imagine navigating such a huge life decision so quickly. Happily so—and probably more so than most people I know who had nonarranged marriages.
One factor behind the substantial growth among younger adults is their use of mobile dating apps.
About one-in-five 18- to 24-year olds (22%) now report using mobile dating apps; in 2013, only 5% reported doing so.