Romance

Internet Dating a la Russe

This man wants a teen bride to share his gold and fur with

This man is looking for a wife. A woman "with no bad habits, with good external characteristics, and the presence of intellect." A woman "who knows the meaning of loyalty, fidelity, and love," a woman "without an intimate past," a woman "between the ages of 16 and 20." (You should not write, he adds, if you are "an egomaniac" or are "the illiquid assets of the marriage market.")This man is 39, this man is lonely. This man says "my kingdom is growing but I don't have a worthy Cinderella with whom to share it."

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Last week, the Pacific Standard made the intriguing claim that online dating is worsening America's political polarization. Scanning the headline, it seemed possible. Match.com, OKCupid, and the like give all their lonely hearts access to a lot of demographic data—age, race, income, hometown—that can serve as a surrogate for party affiliation, and some users even slap their political views up on their profiles.

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Cupid's Cursor

We're still trying to convince ourselves that online dating is OK

Does online dating make romance more democratic—or does it just invite us to discriminate more precisely?

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