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 Messages had even come in from people who couldn’t tell he was no longer active.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.
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.“I went from being someone who thought of finding someone as this monumental challenge, to being much more relaxed and confident about it.Rachel was young and beautiful, and I’d found her after signing up on a couple dating sites and dating just a few people.” Having met Rachel so easily online, he felt confident that, if he became single again, he could always meet someone else.“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.Although a younger girlfriend bought him some time, biologically speaking, it also alienated him from his friends, who could understand the physical attraction but couldn’t really relate to Rachel.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.At that point in my life, I would’ve overlooked everything else and done whatever it took to make things work.Did online dating change my perception of permanence? When I sensed the breakup coming, I was okay with it.Before long, his new relationship fell into that familiar pattern.