He’d never imagined that so many single people were out there.
“I’m about 95 percent certain,” he says, “that if I’d met Rachel offline, and if I’d never done online dating, I would’ve married her.
It didn’t seem like there was going to be much of a mourning period, where you stare at your wall thinking you’re destined to be alone and all that.
Jacob was single for two years and then, at 26, began dating a slightly older woman who soon moved in with him.
She seemed independent and low-maintenance, important traits for Jacob.
“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.
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.
Having lived in New York and the Boston area, he was accustomed to ready-made social scenes.
In Portland, by contrast, most of his friends were in long-term relationships with people they’d met in college, and were contemplating marriage.
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.