It used to be that you could find a suitable mate through family, friends or activities out in the community that brought you in contact with people who shared something in common with you — whether it be a mutual acquaintance or a mutual love of softball. If you were desperate, you could always turn to the classifieds section for some long walks on the beach, pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
By comparison, dating in the 21st century is pretty complicated. While some can still find love the old-fashioned way, many of us — particularly those of us who are well north of 40 — are too busy and too tethered to the demands of work, family and always-on technology to do much face-to-face socializing, so we settle instead for social media scrolling.
The same can be said about online dating. Last year alone, 30.4 million Americans used online dating services; almost half say they met or know someone who met a romantic interest using such platforms; and the industry garnered $912 million in revenue. And that was before Covid-19 brought many singles’ love lives to a screeching halt. For some, online dating has become a very literal activity, complete with virtual dates and (let’s admit it) virtual sex.
So how can we best navigate dating in such a strange, new world? We’ve gathered together several books on modern dating, ranging from funny “war stories” to straightforward advice to wonkish takes on finding love in the era of big-data matchmaking. Happy hunting!