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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.In a new paper awaiting publication, Rosenfeld finds that the online-dating phenomenon shows no signs of abating.According to data collected through 2017, the majority of straight couples now meet online or at bars and restaurants.want partners, and online dating seems to be serving that need adequately. “In the past, even if mom was supportive of her gay kids, she probably didn’t know other gay people to introduce them to,” Rosenfeld said.The rapid adoption of online dating among the LGBTQ community speaks to a deeper truth about the internet: It’s most powerful (for better and for worse) as a tool for helping minorities of all stripes—political, social, cultural, sexual—find one another.In almost any other period, this project would have been an excruciating bore.

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

This is the age of DIY-everything, in which individuals are charged with the full-service construction of their careers, lives, faiths, and public identities.

When in the 1840s the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard called anxiety “the dizziness of freedom,” he wasn’t slamming the door on modernity so much as foreseeing its existential contradiction: All the forces of maximal freedom are also forces of anxiety, because anybody who feels obligated to select the ingredients of a perfect life from an infinite menu of options may feel lost in the infinitude. Our friends and moms were underserving us.”Historically, the “underserving” was most severe for single gay people.

We seek “spiritual, intellectual, social, as well as sexual soul mates,” the sociologist Jessica Carbino told podcast.

She said she regarded this self-imposed ambition as “absolutely unreasonable.”If the journey toward coupling is more formidable than it used to be, it’s also more lonesome.

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