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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.
I think these things are definitely characteristic of modern romance.
Part of what you have uncovered during your research is how drastic the rise of online dating has been.
This environment, mind you, is just like the one we see in the offline world.
The apps have been surprisingly successful -- and in ways many people would not expect.
In fact, people who meet their partners online are not more likely to break up — they don’t have more transitory relationships.
Once you’re in a relationship with somebody, it doesn’t really matter how you met that other person.
For folks who are meeting people everyday—really younger people in their early twenties—online dating is relevant, but it really becomes a powerful force for people in thin dating markets.
In a 2012 paper, I wrote about how among heterosexuals, the people who are most likely to use online dating are the middle-aged folks, because they’re the ones in the thinnest dating market.