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But what if online dating makes it too easy to meet someone new?What if it raises the bar for a good relationship too high?Past girlfriends had complained about his lifestyle, which emphasized watching sports and going to concerts and bars.He’d been called lazy, aimless, and irresponsible with money.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 Messages had even come in from people who couldn’t tell he was no longer active.The site had improved in the two years he’d been away.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.She placed a high value on things he didn’t think much about: a solid credit score, a 40-hour workweek.Jacob also felt pressure from his parents, who were getting anxious to see him paired off for good.

In the past, Jacob had always been the kind of guy who didn’t break up well. His desire to be with someone, to not have to go looking again, had always trumped whatever doubts he’d had about the person he was with. “I feel like I underwent a fairly radical change thanks to online dating,” Jacob says.on the East Coast and spending a few years bouncing around, Jacob moved back to his native Oregon, settling in Portland.Almost immediately, he was surprised by the difficulty he had meeting women.“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.

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