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My maternal grandparents met through mutual friends at a summer pool party in the suburbs of Detroit shortly after World War II.

Thirty years later, their oldest daughter met my dad in Washington, D.

As the co-authors write in their conclusion, “Internet dating has displaced friends and family [as] key intermediaries.” We used to rely on intimates to screen our future partners.

Now that’s work we have to do ourselves, getting by with a little help from our robots.

My family story also serves as a brief history of romance. But they’re supplanting the role of matchmaker once held by friends and family.

For the past 10 years, the Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld has been compiling data on how couples meet.

C., at the suggestion of a mutual friend from Texas.

For gay couples, the figure soared to nearly 70 percent.With the declining influence of friends and family and most other social institutions, more single people today are on their own, having set up shop at a digital bazaar where one’s appearance, interestingness, quick humor, lighthearted banter, sex appeal, photo selection—one’s is submitted for 24/7 evaluation before an audience of distracted or cruel strangers, whose distraction and cruelty might be related to the fact that they are also undergoing the same anxious appraisal.Read: A psychologist’s guide to online dating This is the part where most writers name-drop the “paradox of choice”—a dubious finding from the annals of behavioral psychology, which claims that decision makers are always paralyzed when faced with an abundance of options for jam, or hot sauce, or future husbands.Online dating’s rapid success got an assist from several other demographic trends.For example, college graduates are getting married later, using the bulk of their 20s to pay down their student debt, try on different occupations, establish a career, and maybe even save a bit of money.

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In sociology-speak, our relationships were “mediated.” In human-speak, your wingman was your dad.

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  1. She also said that those bits were “genuinely in love with one another.” Alright, before all The Office fans go crazy again, I will admit that it would be pretty easy to take Jenna Fischer’s words the wrong way.