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With the rise of the digital age, it is no surprise that people have flocked to the Internet as a way to take control of their dating lives and find their “soul-mate.” But is online dating essentially different than conventional dating, and does it promote better romantic outcomes? Communicating online can foster intimacy and affection between strangers, but it can also lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment when potential partners meet in real life.

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How do the Internet and social media technology affect our romantic lives?

Critics of the Internet’s effect on social life identify the overabundance of choice of potential partners online as a likely source of relationship instability.

The fact that more people over thirty are dating has revolutionized the dating procedures.

Unlike many of their younger counterparts, over thirty daters are much more conscious of the time and resource costs of searching for a partner.The void left by the rejection of traditional “meat market” arenas resulted in a need for better ways to target potential partners.Over the last two decades or so, the void has been filled with new services spawned by technology.Historically, the average age for a woman to get married had been only 21, however, the average age for a woman to get married is now over twenty-five .This, combined with the increased divorce rate and alternate decisions, has resulted in more and more people over thirty to be dating.Rather, I suggest that the data are more consistent with a positive or neutral association between Internet technology and relationships than with a negative association between the Internet and romantic relationships. Rosenfeld: Department of Sociology, Stanford University Email: [email protected]: This project was generously supported by the National Science Foundation, grants SES-0751977 and SES-1153867, M.

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