Why Everyone on Tinder Is an ‘Oxford Comma Enthusiast’

A series of hearts separated by commas

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On an internet occupied by as many finger-wagging “grammar Nazis” as slovenly texters who prefer emoji to verbal displays of emotion, the Oxford comma has become a cause célèbre. This is especially true on dating apps, where many users have deemed the punctuation mark something they “can’t live without”—a designation that’s put it in the same lofty category as cheese, the beach, and Game of Thrones.

Also known as the serial comma, the Oxford comma is the one that goes before “and” (or “or”) in a list of three or more things: “The American flag is red, white, and blue.” Fans of the Oxford comma think it prevents ambiguity.

Recently, the Oxford comma has found a spot on the Bingo card of online-dating profiles, alongside mainstays like “no hookups,” “no drama,” and “420 friendly.” Whether you’re mindlessly grazing on Tinder or Bumble, OkCupid or Match.com, you’re now as likely to learn someone’s thoughts on the Oxford comma as you are their job title or their penchant for tacos. On the Tinder subreddit, which has 1.8 million subscribers, one user lamented that the Oxford comma features in “like a quarter of bios ’round my parts.” Another said, “It’s everywhere.”

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The Fragile Male Ego Has Ruined Online Dating

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Virtually every woman who’s ever tried online dating in the past decade has encountered the dangerously fragile male ego. Online dating isn’t what it used to be back when it first began and was email-based. Back then, people answered questions and wrote letters. Today, it’s all about mobile apps and messaging. And the men are decidedly more fragile and entitled.

It doesn’t matter which app you use–Tinder, OkCupid, Bumble, FetLife and more all host their own mix of men who feel so entitled to a woman–any woman–that they are not ashamed to curse out a female who tells them she’s not interested.

What Can an Online Dating Coach Do for You?

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Over video, chat and text — though rarely IRL — digital dating coaches help you create a more attractive online profile, decipher your date’s cryptic text message and boost your confidence after an unsuccessful Tinder fling.

These are not substitutes for a licensed therapist, but they’re convenient. “We strive for instant gratification,” said Liron Shapira, 30, the co-founder of a chat-based Silicon Valley start-up called Relationship Hero. “We give 24-7 service. If you want advice at 4 a.m., you can get it.”

People Are Actually Using a Joke Dating Site That Matches People Based on Their Passwords

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Finding love has never been easier—at least if you judge by the sheer number of dating apps available on the internet today. But it’s just as hard as it’s always been to find your real soulmate, someone who really understands your quirks (and may even share them), someone who shares your passions, and your password.

Wait, what?

How Women of Color Face Racism on Online Dating Apps

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“If you accept the premise that most people are people of goodwill, which I think is reasonable, I don’t think people are adopting these preferences because they really dislike other races or out of a racial thing,” says Rudder. “But it’s just a thing that happens because of the way the culture is set up—the way whiteness or blonde-ness, or whatever, is glorified in the media, for example, and entertainment—and they’ve absorbed it, consciously or otherwise.”

It feels a bit simplistic to conclude that men racially profile more openly than women based on a handful of interviews, and, indeed, Tessler confirms that. “I think men and women are equally superficial about race and about other things,” she says. “Men care a ton about women’s weight. Women care a ton about men’s height. They both care a ton about how white you are.”

Tessler suggests we approach racism in the dating world in the same way that Bumble focused on the harassment of women. “They built an app especially around that problem,” she says. “I don’t think that this is going to be fixed without someone doing something like that, specifically starting a dating app or a dating company addressing it.”

Rudder is less optimistic. “There is no way to change racism in dating without changing it outright in every way,” he says. “This is depressing, but it shouldn’t be a revelation.”

First Evidence That Online Dating Is Changing the Nature of Society

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Loose ties have traditionally played a key role in meeting partners. While most people were unlikely to date one of their best friends, they were highly likely to date people who were linked with their group of friends; a friend of a friend, for example. In the language of network theory, dating partners were embedded in each other’s networks.

Indeed, this has long been reflected in surveys of the way people meet their partners: through mutual friends, in bars, at work, in educational institutions, at church, through their families, and so on.

Online dating has changed that. Today, online dating is the second most common way for heterosexual couples to meet. For homosexual couples, it is far and away the most popular.

That has significant implications. “People who meet online tend to be complete strangers,” say Ortega and Hergovich. And when people meet in this way, it sets up social links that were previously nonexistent.