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We had an intensely painful conversation until we finished our drinks. I feel the same way.” My date and I had met for a drink, and within the first few sips, I knew I’d made a dreadful mistake.

This arrangement affords more freedom but can end badly.

Two summers ago, when I caught the guy I was hanging out with hanging out with someone else, I threw a tantrum worthy of a Real Housewife of Atlanta.

I can vet potential dates in any free moment: in the checkout line, waiting on a friend, in the bathroom.

Looking at it as a form of entertainment, not a surefire matchmaker, keeps me from getting my hopes up or feeling burnt out, and—as with meeting people IRL (in real life)—I appreciate it that much more when I genuinely connect with someone.

For a generation that grew up with the Internet, online dating has lost the stigma it once had.

A few years ago, when I started dating a guy I met on Tinder, I told people that we met when he installed cable at my house.

Sometimes this leads to romance, sometimes to friendship, and sometimes nowhere.

Despite its flaws, Internet dating is a convenient boredom killer.

Online matchmaking gives me options outside my physical grasp by connecting me with hundreds of potential mates.

My friends and I trade hilarious stories of mismatched connections, but I’ve also found wonderful people whom I never would have met otherwise.

On Tinder I use photos I feel represent my personality—or what I want it to be: People commonly use group photos in a misguided attempt to look popular, but this is a horrible idea.