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Limitless options and dwindling patience are threatening to end love as we know it.

Millions of people around the world are trying to find love online as we speak. For years I was one of them. In the wake of my divorce in 2007, over a period of five years, I went on hundreds of dates — most of which went on to involve a sexual liaison of some kind — because I was searching for someone to replace my wife, and because it was easy and I was trying to outrun my pain. Click and you’re on.

I expected to be able to find something perfect out there in the ether, beyond my laptop. I went halfway around the world looking for the perfect woman: from Sydney to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles. A burlesque dancer. An escort. An actress. All incredible women with so much to give but who couldn’t deliver the instant bolt of love I had convinced myself was a prerequisite for any long-term relationship to blossom.

When I did get that “glimpse of eternity”, to borrow a great line from Stephen Vizinczey’s In Praise of Older Women, with an eccentric but beautiful artist who lived just around the corner from where I live in Sydney, our love affair ended after six months.

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