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After two years, when Rachel informed Jacob that she was moving out, he logged on to the same day. Messages had even come in from people who couldn’t tell he was no longer active.

The site had improved in the two years he’d been away. And the population of online daters in Portland seemed to have tripled.

At that point in my life, I would’ve overlooked everything else and done whatever it took to make things work.

Did online dating change my perception of permanence? When I sensed the breakup coming, I was okay with it.

“That’s just how it is.” Another online-dating exec hypothesized an inverse correlation between commitment and the efficiency of technology. But that thinking was based on a world in which you didn’t meet that many people.” “Societal values always lose out,” says Noel Biderman, the founder of Ashley Madison, which calls itself “the world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters”—that is, cheating.

“I think divorce rates will increase as life in general becomes more real-time,” says Niccolò Formai, the head of social-media marketing at Badoo, a meeting-and-dating app with about 25 million active users worldwide. It’s exhilarating to connect with new people, not to mention beneficial for reasons having nothing to do with romance. “Premarital sex used to be taboo,” explains Biderman.

Whatever the flaws in their relationship, he told himself, being with her was better than being single in Portland again. Now in his early 30s, Jacob felt he had no idea how to make a relationship work. Would permanence simply happen, or would he have to choose it? All of a sudden I was going out with one or two very pretty, ambitious women a week. They dated for a few months, and then she moved in.

“Look, if I lived in Iowa, I’d be married with four children by now,” says Blatt, a 40‑something bachelor in Manhattan. People always said that the need for stability would keep commitment alive.You know what to do with women, how to treat them and talk to them.Add to that the effect of online dating.” He continued, “I often wonder whether matching you up with great people is getting so efficient, and the process so enjoyable, that marriage will become obsolete.” “Historically,” says Greg Blatt, the CEO of Match.com’s parent company, “relationships have been billed as ‘hard’ because, historically, commitment has been the goal.Jacob was single for two years and then, at 26, began dating a slightly older woman who soon moved in with him.She seemed independent and low-maintenance, important traits for Jacob.“I went from being someone who thought of finding someone as this monumental challenge, to being much more relaxed and confident about it.Rachel was young and beautiful, and I’d found her after signing up on a couple dating sites and dating just a few people.” Having met Rachel so easily online, he felt confident that, if he became single again, he could always meet someone else.He’d never imagined that so many single people were out there.“I’m about 95 percent certain,” he says, “that if I’d met Rachel offline, and if I’d never done online dating, I would’ve married her.But most of the online-dating-company executives I interviewed while writing my new book, Love in the Time of Algorithms, agreed with what research appears to suggest: the rise of online dating will mean an overall decrease in commitment.“The future will see better relationships but more divorce,” predicts Dan Winchester, the founder of a free dating site based in the U. “The older you get as a man, the more experienced you get.

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