He wouldn’t have walked up and said, “Oh, wait, you like the Red Sox?! ” before putting his hand in her face and turning away.
But Derek of 2013 simply clicked an X on a web-browser tab and deleted her without thinking twice.
In the course of our research, I also discovered something surprising: the winding road from the classified section of yore to Tinder has taken an unexpected turn.
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.The first girl, he said, was “a little too tall,” and the second girl was “a little too short.” Then he met my mom. Let’s look at how I do things, maybe with a slightly less important decision, like the time I had to pick where to eat dinner in Seattle when I was on tour last year.People even let me into the private world of their phones to read their romantic texts aloud onstage.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.But that doesn’t mean that men end up standing alone in the corner of the online bar. Take Derek, a regular user of Ok Cupid who lives in New York City.
What I’m about to say is going to sound very mean, but Derek is a pretty boring guy.Eric and I weren’t digging into singledom—we were trying to chip away at the changing state of love.Today’s generations are looking (exhaustively) for soul mates, whether we decide to hit the altar or not, and we have more opportunities than ever to find them.Plan ahead, prepare yourself, and most important of all, be yourself and have a great time. If you want to move beyond a first date, it is important to let your date know, though you should avoid too much physical contact unless the events of the evening warrant it. Eye contact is great, though overly intense staring from either party can seem creepy. 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 read dozens of studies about love, how people connect and why they do or don’t stay together.