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.The biggest changes have been brought by the $2.4 billion online-dating industry, which has exploded in the past few years with the arrival of dozens of mobile apps. I asked my dad about this experience, and here’s how he described it: he told his parents he was ready to get married, so his family arranged meetings with three neighboring families. That’s how my dad decided on the person with whom he was going to spend the rest of his life. I am perpetually indecisive about even the most mundane things, and I couldn’t imagine navigating such a huge life decision so quickly. Happily so—and probably more so than most people I know who had nonarranged marriages.
Let’s say you’re a woman who wants a 28-year-old man who’s 5 ft.I checked the website Eater for its Heat Map, which includes new, tasty restaurants in the city. The stunning fact remained: it was quicker for my dad to find a wife than it is for me to decide where to eat dinner.This kind of rigor goes into a lot of my decisionmaking.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.
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.