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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.

Medium height, thinning brown hair, nicely dressed and personable, but not immediately magnetic or charming.Throw in the fact that people now get married later in life than ever before, turning their early 20s into a relentless hunt for more romantic options than previous generations could have ever imagined, and you have a recipe for romance gone haywire.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.As of this writing, 38% of Americans who describe themselves as “single and looking” have used an online-­dating site.It’s not just my ­generation—boomers are as likely as college kids to give online dating a whirl.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.Our phones and texts and apps might just be bringing us full circle, back to an old-fashioned version of courting that is closer to what my own parents experienced than you might guess.Where Bozos Are Studs Today, if you own a smartphone, you’re carrying a 24-7 singles bar in your pocket.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?

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  1. Read the comedian's essay for TIME on changing the world of online dating. Read the comedian's essay for TIME on changing the world of online dating. MY ACCOUNT SIGN IN SIGN OUT SUBSCRIBE SUBSCRIBE. Home U. S. Politics World Business Tech Health TIME Health Motto Entertainment Science Newsfeed Living Sports History The TIME Vault Magazine Ideas TIME

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