In some respects, for the masses of grownups seeking mates, either for a night or for life, dating is an attempt to approximate the collegiate condition—that surfeit both of supply and demand, of information and authentication.

A college campus is a habitat of abundance and access, with a fluid and fairly ruthless vetting apparatus.

As for romantic love, it was an almost mutually exclusive category of human experience.

As much as it may have evolved, in the human animal, as a motivation system for mate-finding, it was rarely given great consideration in the final reckoning of conjugal choice.

Civilization, in its various guises, had it pretty much worked out.

Society—family, tribe, caste, church, village, probate court—established and enforced its connubial protocols for the presumed good of everyone, except maybe for the couples themselves.

Or you see someone until someone better comes along.

The term for this is “trading up.” It can lead you to think that your opportunities are virtually infinite, and therefore to question what you have. For some, of course, there is no end game; Internet dating can be sport, an end in itself.You fall prey to the tyranny of choice—the idea that people, when faced with too many options, find it harder to make a selection.If you are trying to choose a boyfriend out of a herd of thousands, you may choose none of them.The criteria for compatibility had little to do with mutual affection or a shared enthusiasm for spicy food and Fleetwood Mac.Happiness, self-fulfillment, “me time,” a woman’s needs: these didn’t rate.They’d heard about some students at Harvard who’d come up with a program called Operation Match, which used a computer to find dates for people. She makes Quiche Lorraine, plays chess, and like me she loves to ski. ”One day, a woman named Patricia Lahrmer, from 1010 WINS, a local radio station, came to to do an interview.