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Why Online Dating Can Feel Like Such an Existential Nightmare

Teen theatlantic.com

Matchmaking sites have officially surpassed friends and family in the world of dating, injecting modern romance with a dose of radical individualism. Maybe that’s the problem.
'My maternal grandparents met through mutual friends at a summer pool party in the suburbs of Detroit shortly after World War II. Thirty years later, their oldest daughter met my dad in Washington, D.C., at the suggestion of a mutual friend from Texas. Forty years after that, when I met my girlfriend in the summer of 2015, one sophisticated algorithm and two rightward swipes did all the work. My family story also serves as a brief history of romance. Robots are not yet replacing our jobs. But they’re supplanting the role of matchmaker once held by friends and family. For the last ten years, Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld has been compiling data on how couples meet one another. In almost any other period, this project would have been an excruciating bore. That’s because for centuries, most couples met the same way: They relied on their families and friends to set them up. In sociology-speak, our relationships were “mediated.” In human-speak, your wingman was your dad. [ Derek Thompson: The future of the city is childless ] But dating has changed more in the last two decades than in the previous 2,000 years, thanks to the explosion of matchmaking sites like Tinder, OKCupid, and Bumble. A 2012 paper co-authored by Rosenfeld found that the share of straight couples who met online rose from about zero percent in mid-1990s to about 20 percent in 2009. For gay couples, the figure soared to nearly 70 percent. Source: Michael J. Rosenfeld, “Searching for a Mate: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary” ( American Sociological Review , 2012) In a new paper awaiting publication , Rosenfeld finds that the online dating phenomenon shows no signs of abating. According to data collected through 2017, the majority of straight couples now meet online or at bars and restaurants. As the co-authors write in their conclusion, “Internet dating has displaced friends and family [as] key intermediaries.” We used to rely on intimates to screen our future partners. Now that's work we have to do ourselves, getting by with a little help from our robots. Last week, I tweeted the main graph from Rosenfeld’s latest, a decision we both mildly regret, since it inundated my mentions and ruined his inbox. “I think I got about one hundred media requests over the weekend,” he told me ruefully on the phone when I called him on Monday. ( The Atlantic could not secure permission to publish the graph before the paper’s publication in a journal, but you can see it on page 15 here .) [ Read: The 5 years that changed dating ] I figured my Twitter audience—entirely online, disproportionately young, and intimately familiar with dating sites—would accept the inevitability of online matchmaking. But the most common responses to my post were not hearty cheers. They were lamentations about the spiritual bankruptcy of modern love. Bryant Scott Anderson , for example, suggested that the rise of online dating “may be an illustration of heightened isolation and a diminished sense of belonging within communities.” It is true, as Rosenfeld’s data shows, that online dating has freed young adults from the limitations and biases of their hometowns. But to be free of those old crutches can be both exhilarating and exhausting. As the influence of friends and family has melted away, the burden of finding a partner has been swallowed whole by the individual—at the very moment that expectations of our partners are skyrocketing. Once upon a time, wealthy families considered matrimonies akin to mergers; they were cold-hearted business opportunities to expand a family’s financial power. Even in the late 19th century , marriage was more practicality than rom-com, whereas today’s daters are looking for nothing less than a human Swiss Army knife of self-actualization. We seek “spiritual, intellectual, social, as well as sexual soul mates,” the sociologist Jessica Carbino told The Atlantic ’s Crazy/Genius podcast. She said she regarded this self-imposed ambition as “absolutely unreasonable.” If the journey toward coupling is more formidable than it used to be, it’s also more lonesome. With the declining influence of friends and family and most other social institutions, more single people today are on their own, having set up shop at a digital bazaar where one’s appearance, one’s interestingness, one’s charm and sense of humor and texty banter, one’s sex appeal, one’s photo selection, one’s worth , is submitted for 24/7 evaluation before an audience of indifferent or cruel strangers, who are undergoing the same appraisal. [ Read: A psychologist’s guide to online dating ] This is the part where most writers name-drop the \'paradox of choice\'—a dubious finding from the annals of behavioral psychology, which claims that decision-makers are always paralyzed when faced with an abundance of options for jam, or hot sauce, or future husbands. ( They aren’t .) But the deeper issue isn’t the number of options in the digital dating pool, or any specific life category, but rather the sheer tonnage of life choices , more generally. Gone are the days when young generations inherited religions and occupations and life paths from their parents as if these were unalterable strands of DNA. This is the age of DIY-everything, in which individuals are charged with the full-service construction of their careers, lives, faiths, and public identities. When in the early 1800s the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard called anxiety “the dizziness of freedom,” he wasn’t slamming the door on modernity so much as foreseeing its existential contradiction: All the forces of maximal freedom are also forces of anxiety, because anybody who feels obligated to select the ingredients of a perfect life from an infinite menu of options may feel lost in the infinitude. Rosenfeld isn’t so existentially vexed. “I don’t see something to worry about here,” he told me on the phone. “For people who want partners, they really, really want partners, and online dating seems to be serving that need adequately. Your friends and your mom know a few dozen people. Match.com knows a million. Our friends and moms were underserving us.” Historically, the “underserving” was most severe for single gay people. “In the past, even if mom was supportive of her gay kids, she probably didn’t know other gay people to introduce them to,” Rosenfeld said. The rapid adoption of online dating among the LGBT community speaks to a deeper truth about the Internet: It’s most powerful (for better and for worse) as a tool for helping minorities of all stripes—political, social, cultural, sexual—find one another. “Anybody looking for something hard to find is advantaged by the bigger choice set. That’s true whether you’re looking for a Jewish person in a mostly Christian area, or a gay person in a mostly straight area, or a vegan mountain climbing former-Catholic anywhere,” Rosenfeld said. [ Derek Thompson: What is pornography doing to our sex lives? ] Online dating’s rapid success got an assist from several other demographic trends. For example, college graduates are getting married later, using the bulk of their 20s to pay down their student debt, try on different occupations , establish a career, and maybe even save a bit of money. As a result, today’s young adults likely spend more time being single. With these years of singledom taking place far away from hometown institutions, like family and school, the apps are acting in loco parentis . By the way, the fact that Americans are marrying later is not necessarily a bad thing. (Neither, perhaps, is avoiding marriage altogether.) Almost 60 percent of marriages that begin before the age of 22 end in divorce, but the same goes for just 36 percent of those who marry between ages 29 and 34 . “Age is important for so many reasons,” Rosenfeld said. “You know about yourself, but also you know more about the other person, because they know more about themselves . You’re marrying each other after you’ve each figured some stuff out.” In this interpretation, online dating didn’t disempower friends, or fission the nuclear family, or gut the church, or stultify marriage, or tear away the many other social institutions of neighborhood and place that we remember, perhaps falsely , as swathing American youth in a warm blanket of Norman Rockwellian wholesomeness. It just came along as that dusty old shroud was already unraveling.'

Charlie Heaton & Natalia Dyer's Quotes About Each Other Are So Sweet, They'll Melt Your Heart

Teen Elite Daily

There's nothing I love more than on-screen couples creating real-life love stories of their own, and Charlie Heaton and Natalia Dyer from Stranger Things, aka Jonathan Byers and Nancy Wheeler, are no exception. If you thought the intense on-screen…
'There's nothing I love more than on-screen couples creating real-life love stories of their own, and Charlie Heaton and Natalia Dyer from Stranger Things, aka Jonathan Byers and Nancy Wheeler, are no exception. If you thought the intense on-screen chemistry between these two just had to be real, you were right. They've been quietly dating since early 2017, and have kept their off-screen romance on the extra low DL. But that doesn't make Charlie Heaton and Natalia Dyer's quotes about each other any less sweet. In fact, they'll have you rooting for them as hard as you root for Jonathan and Nancy. The rumor mill started turning about Heaton and Dyer 's possible relationship when he posted his first picture with her on Instagram in September 2016. Granted, there was someone else in the picture, but anything is enough to cause fans to speculate about a romance brewing. A few days later Dyer posted her first picture of Heaton and trolled him in the caption, writing, \'Wow congrats @charlie.r.heaton on his new one man show Stranger Wings!! Sure gonna miss you s2 but happy you're doing what you love.\' Over the next few years, Dyer and Heaton continued to post pictures of or with each other on social media, but they never verbally confirmed their relationship to paparazzi or interviewers. In March 2017, TMZ asked Dyer and Heaton if they were dating, and they responded as coyly as humanly possible. \'Whether people are dating or just hanging out, I think our cast is just cool with each other,\' Dyer told the publication. A few months later, in October 2017, the two were spotted holding hands in New York, Cosmopolitan reports. In January 2018, Dyer coyly told Us Weekly that Heaton is \'all right, I guess. He doesn't mess up our scenes too much! No, he's great. He's talented, like everybody in the cast. They're all super, just great to work with.\' In the months that followed, they began attending red carpets together, and even held hands on a carpet in September 2018. But it wasn't until February 2019 that Heaton verbally confirmed his relationship with Dyer during an interview with V Man Magazine , saying, \' Because we work in the same industry and have had similar trajectories, weve gone through it together. Sharing that does bring you closer.\' See below for more adorably heartwarming things these two have said about each other. , She likes the fact that she gets to go home with him after a long day of filming. It's an interesting thing to work with somebody who you go home with. It's always really fun. We're really comfortable with each other, so we can play and feel more free, and we can talk about it before. Natalia Dyer to Refinery 29 He feels the same way. There are times when you do get stressed. So to go home with someone you work with, and say, \'I think they hate me..\' They'll say, \'No they don't.\' You can break the walls down with your partner. Charlie Heaton to V Man She likes to keep her private life private, hence the whole \'not confirming it all those years\' thing. That's something important to me with my family, with my friends, I really like to keep it for me. Natalia Dyer to Refinery 29 , on her personal life Working together has brought them even closer. Because we work in the same industry and have had similar trajectories, we've gone through it together. Sharing that does bring you closer. They understand something that maybe no one else would. You go into high-pressure situations together, but you can share those insecurities or whatever they are. The great, happy times, too.. Really f*cking sweet! Charlie Heaton to V Man If you needed any more reasons to love the real-life Jonathan and Nancy, there you have it. These two seem to be really happy together, and I'm living for it. I can't wait to see what comes next, for both Heaton and Dyer, and Stranger Things Season 4.'

What Led to the Governor of Puerto Rico’s Downfall? Insights From His Former Mentor.

Teen Blue Virginia

The following is from a good friend of mine, Yosem Companys, who is from Puerto Rico and who also used to be friends with/mentor to Ricardo Rossello, now Governor of Puerto Rico. Yosem, who I first met in 2003 when he was working on the Wesley Clark
'The following is from a good friend of mine, Yosem Companys , who is from Puerto Rico and who also used to be friends with/mentor to Ricardo Rossello, now Governor of Puerto Rico. Yosem, who I first met in 2003 when he was working on the Wesley Clark for President campaign, is one of the smartest people I know and certainly has a lot of insight into what the heck happened with Ricardo “Ricky” Rossello, who is now in the middle of a scandal over corruption and lewd texts, and is being pressed to resign . So yeah, this isn’t directly Virginia-related, but I think it deserves wide readership. My Stanford colleague Phil Zimbardo wrote in “The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil,” “If you put good apples into a bad situation, you’ll get bad apples.” I believe that’s what happened to my once mentee and now Governor  Ricardo Rossello  (or Ricky, as I knew him) during the past decade. As Ricky’s mentor, I helped him secure and supervised him at his 1st job in national politics. Later, as Ricky’s one-time business partner, I coached and advised him when he founded his first and only Silicon Valley startup. Ricky seemed like a good egg. Most would agree that Ricky was dealt a good hand in life: He came from a prominent Puerto Rican family. His father had become Governor of Puerto Rico. He went to a good school. He seemingly had a good life. At the same time, however, Ricky never had to take responsibility for any of his actions over the course of his life because his parents — and everyone else for that matter — always rescued him at the first sign of trouble. Unlike most, I always felt sorry for Ricky for — unlike his older brothers Luiso Rossello and Jay — he had grown up for the most part only knowing his father as Governor. Growing up as the Governor’s son means he had no perspective when picking his friends because most of these so-called “friends” were so as a result of their having ingratiated themselves to him. Ricky’s parents saw Ricky as the most brilliant member of the family, albeit an absent minded one, and Ricky didn’t want to disappoint them. I witnessed firsthand how the pressure to seem perfect at all times in the eyes of others led Ricky to develop a need for adulation, a penchant for secrecy, a compulsion to lie to save face, and a tendency to blame and lash out at others (including me) whenever he made a mistake in public. Ricky’s reaction to criticism, even when delivered constructively, was to vilify the source. Meanwhile, his so-called “friends” were always champing at the bit to encourage Ricky to throw his critics under the bus just so they could climb on his pecking order. As a result, Ricky tended to purge those who had the greatest potential to enable his personal growth and development and instead tended to surround himself with “yes men” who inhibited it. This also means Ricky trapped himself in a bubble of his own making. This was no team of rivals. In contrast to people’s beliefs that human personalities are encoded in genes, social psychologists have long shown that situational effects are much more powerful. As Phil wrote in his book, “each of us has the potential, or mental templates, to be saint or sinner, altruistic or selfish, gentle or cruel, submissive or dominant, sane or mad, good or evil. Perhaps we are born with a full range of capacities, each of which is activated and developed depending on the social and cultural circumstances that govern our lives.” Of course, the passage above is not meant to condone Ricky’s behavior in the present scandal as his having simply been a product of circumstance. It is also not meant to free Ricky from his responsibility and accountability for this mess. As Phil acknowledges, Ricky could have at any moment of his life chosen a different path — that of the hero: “Heroes are those who can somehow resist the power of the situation and act out of noble motives, or behave in ways that do not demean others when they easily can.” Unfortunately, as Ricky got older, he didn’t get wiser. Instead, Ricky chose a path of evil, which according to Phil “consists in intentionally behaving in ways that harm, abuse, demean, dehumanize, or destroy innocent others—or using one’s authority and systemic power to encourage or permit others to do so on your behalf.” As the scandal has unfolded, I have often wondered whether there was something I could’ve done to have helped steer Ricky away from such evils and help put him back on the right course. But as the old saying goes: “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”'

Keanu Reeves Surprises a Fan After Noticing a 'Breathtaking' Sign in Their Yard, & We’re in Love

Teen SheKnows

Internet boyfriend Keanu Reeves is up to it again — and by it, we clearly mean being so sweet and downright adorable that it’s impossible not to swoon. His latest crush-worthy behavior? While on the way to the Bill and Ted Face the Music set, Reeves
'Internet boyfriend Keanu Reeves is up to it again — and by it, we clearly mean being so sweet and downright adorable that it’s impossible not to swoon. His latest crush-worthy behavior? While on the way to the Bill and Ted Face the Music set, Reeves surprised a fan by leaving a note on their yard sign. And that’s not all the thoughtful actor gave the unsuspecting Louisiana fan. On Thursday, Bill and Ted Face the Music writer Ed Solomon took to Twitter to reveal an excellent adventure he recently shared with Reeves. The two were apparently on their way to set when they happened upon a yard sign that read “You’re breathtaking.” The sign served as a subtle shout-out to Reeves, who had the exact same thing shouted at him by a crowd member (YouTuber Peter Sark) during an E3 video game conference in June. Reeves’ very Reeves-y response, of course, was to tell the crowd, “You’re breathtaking. You’re all breathtaking.” Fast forward to Solomon and Reeves’ carpool to set. “So yesterday this sign was out on a lawn on the way to set. Keanu jumped out of the car and did this,” Solomon captioned his post, alluding to Reeves autographing the sign and leaving a sweet and oh-so-apropos note: “You’re breathtaking!” So yesterday this sign was out on a lawn on the way to set. Keanu jumped out of the car and did this. pic.twitter.com/OI1bQJ1nfy — Ed Solomon (@ed_solomon) July 18, 2019 Wow! Yesterday was a dream come true! We knew @KeanuReevess_ was filming up the street so my son said we need to make a sign that says \'you're breathtaking\' so we did! A few cars stopped but then a car stopped and there he was!! He actually stopped! Oh my heavens! @ed_solomon pic.twitter.com/TBGvAC8kEO — Sjhunt305@gmail.com (@sjhunt305) July 18, 2019 Thanks to the power of social media, the internet also got to hear the real happy ending of this hero’s tale when the family who made the sign shared photos of Reeves’ posing with them. “Wow! Yesterday was a dream come true! We knew @KeanuReevess_ was filming up the street so my son said we need to make a sign that says ‘you’re breathtaking’ so we did!” the homeowner wrote, continuing, “A few cars stopped but then a car stopped and there he was!! He actually stopped! Oh my heavens!” By now, Reeves’ “Keanussance” is in full swing, thanks largely to little gestures like this. The 54-year-old actor’s kindness has taken on a sort of folkloric quality, with fans and even fellow cast members sharing stories of the nicest things Reeves has done. From buying ice cream for the sole purpose of signing a receipt for the cashier to giving stranded plane passengers an impromptu tour of Bakersfield, California, this guy obviously has a heart of gold. Or, in honor of his latest act of kindness, we’ll just say Reeves really is the breathtaking one and leave it at that.'