The problem, however, is not him, and his desire for a "low-maintenance" woman who is hot, young, interested in him, and doesn't mind that he is callow and doesn't care very much about her.
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And yet, divorce rates among this exact group have been declining for 30 years. If technology were the problem, you'd expect that people who can afford to use the technology, and who have been using the technology, would be seeing the impacts of this new lack of commitment. Does it follow that within this wealthy, educated group, online daters are less likely to commit or stay married? Like I said, there's no data to prove that question one way or the other. AOne result of the increasing importance of the Internet in meeting partners is that adults with Internet access at home are substantially more likely to have partners, even after controlling for other factors.
Partnership rate has increased during the Internet era (consistent with Internet efﬁciency of search) for same sex couples, but the heterosexual partnership rate has been ﬂat. "The Internet's potential to change matching is perhaps greatest for those facing thin markets or difﬁculty in meeting potential mates." This could increase marriage rates as people with smaller pools can more easily ﬁnd each other.
How about the increasing acceptance of homosexuality across the country, particularly in younger demographics?
All of these things could bring about changes in the likelihood of people to meet and stay in relationships.
Now, let's stipulate that there is no dataset that perfectly settles the core question: Does online dating increase or decrease commitment or its related states, like marriage?
But I'll tell you one group that I would not trust to give me a straight answer: People who run online dating sites.
How about changes that arose in the recent difﬁcult economic circumstances?
How about changes in where marriage-age people live (say, living in a walkable core versus the exurbs)?
It should also be noted: There isn't a single woman's perspective in this story. Or someone who was into polyamory before online dating.
Or some kind of historical look at how commitment rates have changed in the past and what factors drove those increases or decreases.
The paper also proposes that perhaps people would be *better* matched through online dating and therefore have higher-quality marriages.