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The whole romantic process was starting to feel forced, perfunctory, dehumanizing and, yes, expensive.“It never felt natural,” said a 28-year-old copywriter (likes Don De Lillo) who lives in Brooklyn and recently deleted his Ok Cupid and Tinder accounts in favor of offline encounters.“I felt like I was working as a machine, pumping data into a function and hoping to find the right results.” “I used to think online dating was the best thing to ever come along, but now I think it’s almost a curse,” said a 43-year-old photo editor (really good at: swimming, cartwheels, eating French fries).After a while, I got tired of explaining, over and over again, how journalists come up with story ideas—by going on online dates, of course!—and pretending that I like living in Bed-Stuy, so as not to seem too negative.Sometimes it seems like the supply is a threat to settling down, as are the apps themselves, which, while you’re using them, can feel as consuming as Facebook or Twitter or email.I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent swiping through Tinder, in a state of confused arousal, to find matches—in the bathroom, at work, walking down the street, even on Tinder dates—a sea of names and faces and random pornbots sloshing around in my brain.But there are 400,000 Ok Cupid users in New York City alone, and while I’d like to imagine that they’re all finding love, what’s more likely is that they are just burning themselves out going on date after date.“Everybody is a box of cereal,” said another 30-year-old online dater (likes dried organic mango slices, no sulfur), a tech entrepreneur, who jumped into serial courtship last year to get over an ex-girlfriend.He went on as many as six first dates a week for half a year, spending

The whole romantic process was starting to feel forced, perfunctory, dehumanizing and, yes, expensive.“It never felt natural,” said a 28-year-old copywriter (likes Don De Lillo) who lives in Brooklyn and recently deleted his Ok Cupid and Tinder accounts in favor of offline encounters.“I felt like I was working as a machine, pumping data into a function and hoping to find the right results.” “I used to think online dating was the best thing to ever come along, but now I think it’s almost a curse,” said a 43-year-old photo editor (really good at: swimming, cartwheels, eating French fries).After a while, I got tired of explaining, over and over again, how journalists come up with story ideas—by going on online dates, of course!—and pretending that I like living in Bed-Stuy, so as not to seem too negative.Sometimes it seems like the supply is a threat to settling down, as are the apps themselves, which, while you’re using them, can feel as consuming as Facebook or Twitter or email.I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent swiping through Tinder, in a state of confused arousal, to find matches—in the bathroom, at work, walking down the street, even on Tinder dates—a sea of names and faces and random pornbots sloshing around in my brain.But there are 400,000 Ok Cupid users in New York City alone, and while I’d like to imagine that they’re all finding love, what’s more likely is that they are just burning themselves out going on date after date.“Everybody is a box of cereal,” said another 30-year-old online dater (likes dried organic mango slices, no sulfur), a tech entrepreneur, who jumped into serial courtship last year to get over an ex-girlfriend.He went on as many as six first dates a week for half a year, spending $1,000 a month on his string of first encounters.

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The whole romantic process was starting to feel forced, perfunctory, dehumanizing and, yes, expensive.“It never felt natural,” said a 28-year-old copywriter (likes Don De Lillo) who lives in Brooklyn and recently deleted his Ok Cupid and Tinder accounts in favor of offline encounters.

“I felt like I was working as a machine, pumping data into a function and hoping to find the right results.” “I used to think online dating was the best thing to ever come along, but now I think it’s almost a curse,” said a 43-year-old photo editor (really good at: swimming, cartwheels, eating French fries).

After a while, I got tired of explaining, over and over again, how journalists come up with story ideas—by going on online dates, of course!

—and pretending that I like living in Bed-Stuy, so as not to seem too negative.

Sometimes it seems like the supply is a threat to settling down, as are the apps themselves, which, while you’re using them, can feel as consuming as Facebook or Twitter or email.

I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent swiping through Tinder, in a state of confused arousal, to find matches—in the bathroom, at work, walking down the street, even on Tinder dates—a sea of names and faces and random pornbots sloshing around in my brain.

But there are 400,000 Ok Cupid users in New York City alone, and while I’d like to imagine that they’re all finding love, what’s more likely is that they are just burning themselves out going on date after date.“Everybody is a box of cereal,” said another 30-year-old online dater (likes dried organic mango slices, no sulfur), a tech entrepreneur, who jumped into serial courtship last year to get over an ex-girlfriend.

He went on as many as six first dates a week for half a year, spending $1,000 a month on his string of first encounters.

,000 a month on his string of first encounters.

If I could bend the world into another reality, I would mold it after Woody Allen’s great musical comedy But I can’t, so last summer I joined Ok Cupid, the online dating site.

Soon enough, intoxicated by the possibility these services offer, I’d downloaded Tinder, the location-based dating app, and the Jew-finding app JSwipe (“Mazel Tov! Each one happened at a bar, which is not a bad place for a first date.

But it’s also a terrible place, as you are forced to sit and stare at a person you barely know for a long period of time without the option of looking away when awkward silences arise—and they always do.

There was a time, not so long ago, when I could look back on my relatively barren romantic life and count, one by one, the half dozen first dates I’d experienced.

That was last year, before I casually sauntered into the wide and anarchic world of online dating, overwhelming my senses with the vast number of available women in New York who were willing to meet for drinks or dinner or perhaps an afternoon walk.

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