Atlantic magazine internet dating

Back in the ‘90s, Iyengar noticed something odd about her local luxury grocery store.

Though the shop was “renowned for its huge selection of produce, packaged foods, and wine,” Iyengar “often walked out empty-handed, unable to settle on just one bottle of mustard or olive oil when she had hundreds of options.” The experience fueled Iyengar’s research into the psychology of choice. means only that the single person’s wasteland is that much more vast: New York City’s 305-square-mile expanse offers over 8 million people to pick over.

‘s series on our doomed generation (see August’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” and May’s “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? It somehow has to be proof of our desensitization to basic human functions like socializing. I’m not, of course, trying to say that the Internet hasn’t changed dating.

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“As a result, they are more likely to make careless decisions than they would be if they had fewer options.” Amid the rapidfire rejection that comes with Internet romance, this is quite a nice theory to hang our hats on. I don’t know anyone who cradles in the arms of OKCupid or the way that Jacob does.) Meeting a potential love interest halfway for a nightcap means being stranded in a no-man’s-land that can prove both inconvenient and awkward. “That means nobody's picking anyone up, nobody's dropping anyone off—you meet there.A goodnight kiss might require some forethought because you have to factor in, ‘will we be saying goodbye on the subway?What she discovered were “neurological limits on humans’ ability to process information” that meant “the task of having to choose is often experienced as suffering, not pleasure.” Iyengar concluded that “the explosion of choice has made it more difficult overall for people to identify what they want and how to get it.” Like a shelf stocked full with fancy mustards, too many potential mates makes it harder to settle on just one. After a near decade of dating experience in that environment, my friend Joe Berkowitz tells me, the sheer volume of young singles in the city “gives you the sense that you could meet someone at any time.Most of the time, though, you don’t.” Another friend who uses an online dating site in the city says that the buffet of options means “everyone is looking out for someone better.” That endless search can prove to be a logistical nightmare.

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