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Lonely and alone on a Saturday night, I started scrolling through Ok Cupid and, out of boredom and curiosity, expanded my search options to include users anywhere in the world.
I was drawn in by the profiles of some of these new, distant matches and messaged a few asking if they’d like to chat on the phone.
Reading through them, I noticed something odd: Many of Ok Cupid’s successful users first met when they were living across the country—or the world—from each other.
I read stories of couples who chatted online for months before flying from California to Georgia, Michigan to Washington, Ohio to Peru, Cyprus to Lebanon to see each other for the first time.
“I was young and stupid when I made the trip,” wrote another.
That was the second long-distance relationship she’d had through the forum: Her first, with a guy from Florida, lasted two years.
Online-dating companies are privy to the fact that people use them for travel.
Seventy years ago, the Yale sociologist John Ellsworth Jr.
was researching marriage patterns in small towns and concluded: “People will go as far as they have to to find a mate, but no farther.” This still seems to be the case in 2018.