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Imagine a simpler time: A well-dressed single gentleman pulls up to the front of a single lady’s home in the early evening, steps out of his car, and approaches her front door.

The two of them were introduced to one another by a mutual friend at a social function some weeks prior. As she steps outside, he offers an umbrella to shield her from rain showers, walks with her to the passenger side of the car, and opens the door for her. The pair takes a scenic route to a special destination: a reserved table at an elegant restaurant.

Accompanying her to her door, he thanks her with a warm smile and departs.

This may be repeated on a regular basis, and could eventually lead to courtship and marriage as the two get to know one another through hours of conversation, spread over months.

This could lead to them getting to know each other better and potentially moving in together.

After a few months or years pass, this could also lead to them getting married or (more likely) splitting up to find someone else with whom to start the whole process again.

In 2008 just 3% of all Americans said that they had used an online dating site; by 2009 that figure had risen to 6% of all Americans, and today 9% of the adult population has used an online dating site.”Being able to connect with so many possible matches at the touch of a button should have simplified the already difficult process and made it even easier to find a “soul mate.” Yet it has instead complicated it, resulting in less solid relationships than ever before.“Traditional courtship—picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date—required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings),” The New York Times reported in the article “The End of Courtship?

” “Not so with texting, e-mail, Twitter or other forms of ‘asynchronous communication,’ as techies call it.

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After dessert, the gentleman pays for the meal and then drives the lady home.To older readers, the scenario above may have at least a vague, distant familiarity.But to younger readers, it may be utterly foreign, antiquated and unrealistic—like viewing a scene from an old black-and-white film in a world accustomed to the rapid-fire images of a high-definition action movie.I like to have them join in on what I’m doing—going to an event, a concert.’”For the average 20- or 30-year-old, a traditional date includes using a smartphone app to locate someone of the opposite sex whose physical appearance is appealing, texting him or her, meeting in a bar, mumbling through conversation with the person in between texting friends, and then possibly returning to the other’s apartment for a late-night tryst.If there is any type of connection, the two may decide to text each other later to “hang out” or “hook up” again.

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