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What I’m about to say is going to sound very mean, but Derek is a pretty boring guy.

Medium height, thinning brown hair, nicely dressed and personable, but not immediately magnetic or charming.

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.

I read dozens of studies about love, how people connect and why they do or don’t stay together.

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.

Today’s generations are looking (exhaustively) for soul mates, whether we decide to hit the altar or not, and we have more opportunities than ever to find them.

The biggest changes have been brought by the .4 billion online-­dating industry, which has exploded in the past few years with the arrival of dozens of mobile apps.

Eric and I weren’t digging into ­singledom—we were trying to chip away at the changing state of love.

As of this writing, 38% of Americans who describe themselves as “single and looking” have used an online-­dating site.

It’s not just my ­generation—boomers are as likely as college kids to give online dating a whirl.

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

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

The first woman he clicked on was very beautiful, with a witty profile page, a good job and lots of shared interests, including a love of sports.

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