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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.Then one day I had my wisdom teeth pulled and my cheeks became grapefruits.Figuring this was not a great first-date look, I made no weekend plans.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.Scruff’s founder, Eric Silverberg, told me the company added the feature when they noticed lots of users were already posting travel itineraries in their profiles; now one in four members posts a new trip every year.

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.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.The site held a similar philosophy when it came to distance, and we employees would sometimes joke we needed to add a special filter for New Yorkers that let them specify,.At the time, I loved the concept of online dating and went out with other Manhattanites almost every weekend. I found myself always distracted, thinking more to myself about how to make a graceful exit than about whatever my date was saying.

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