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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.

The question nagged at me—not least because of my own experiences watching promising relationships peter out over text message—so I set out on a mission.

But Derek of 2013 simply clicked an X on a web-browser tab and deleted her without thinking twice.

Watching him comb through those profiles, it became clear that online, every bozo could now be a stud.

But dealing with this new digital romantic world can be a lot of work.

Answering messages, filtering profiles—it’s not always fun.

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.

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.

I quizzed the crowds at my stand-up comedy shows about their own love lives.

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