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Almost a quarter of online daters find a spouse or long-term partner that way. It provides you with a seemingly endless supply of people who are single and looking to date.

Let’s say you’re a woman who wants a 28-year-old man who’s 5 ft.

If she were at a bar and smiled at him, Derek of 1993 would have melted.

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.

10 in., has brown hair, lives in Brooklyn, is a member of the Baha’i faith and loves the music of Naughty by Nature.

Before online dating, this would have been a fruitless quest, but now, at any time of the day, no matter where you are, you are just a few screens away from sending a message to your very specific dream man. Throughout all our interviews—and in research on the subject—this is a consistent finding: in online dating, women get a ton more attention than men.

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.

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.

If he walked into a bar, you’d probably go, “Oh, there’s a white guy.” At our focus group on online dating in Manhattan, Derek got on Ok Cupid and let us watch as he went through his options.

These were women whom Ok Cupid had selected as potential matches for him based on his profile and the site’s algorithm.

Whether it’s where I’m eating, where I’m traveling or, God forbid, something I’m buying, like a lot of people in my generation—those in their 20s and 30s—I feel compelled to do a ton of research to make sure I’m getting every option and then making the best choice.

If this mentality pervades our decision­making in so many realms, is it also affecting how we choose a romantic partner?

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.

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