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I got endless matches, all right, but I also didn’t know which matches were worth my time. Within 48 hours of joining Tinder, I had about 200 matches — which, as a writer/professional hermit, is probably more than I’d meet in five years doing the meet-and-greet method.

Are we now too afraid to approach interesting people in real life because we know we can just go back to the comparative “ease” of approaching people online?

App and online dating is literally a mile-long buffet, with something to satisfy any craving.

Even someone who is really, really good at meeting potential matches in person (which is, uh, not me) would only be able to meet a few people a day, max, says Marisa T.

But I had a sneaking suspicion that this 21st-century way of dating might actually be stunting our personal growth.

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Like tons of other singles, I’ve signed up for the apps and websites that promise easy, endless matches: Match, e Harmony, Tinder, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, OKCupid — you name it, I’ve tried it. What are the pitfalls — and why might it be better than IRL dating? If you prize options above all else, online and app dating delivers that in spades.

Cohen, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at St.

Francis College and co-founder of the Self-Awareness and Bonding Lab.

(Photo: Getty Images)When you’re young and not yet experienced with dating, your view of the whole process is likely pretty straightforward. Dating, as we once knew it, feels pretty much over. “Laid-back guy, who likes sports and craft beer, just looking for a girl to have fun with” — you and every other man, apparently. I get it — online dating is the new “normal” in today’s day and age.

You meet a nice person, who you ask on a date (or maybe he/she asks you on the date). You make things “official.” Before you know it, you’re both on the road to happily-ever-after. Walk through any bar or restaurant on a Saturday night, and you’re more likely to see singles swiping their phone screens instead of talking to real-life potential matches. But I’m also a person who values her time and emotional investment (like most people).

online dating allows us to ‘meet’ people without ever leaving home or the office.”This is the major pro of virtual dating methods, says Dylan Selterman, Ph D, a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland.

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