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So dramatically, in fact, that it no longer exists. “Dating is a drain on energy and intellect,” a young woman named Alicia tells Stepp.

Yet it’s the state of our love lives that will have the most effect on our happiness and well-being.

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They just skip to the end and wonder why they’re dissatisfied. “The Dating Project” shows that ‘paying for it’ has equally unfortunate implications. But the Green Grass Syndrome, or the tendency to believe there’s something better “out there,” is debilitating.

Indeed, it’s not an exaggeration to say the entire process of dating—getting excited about someone you meet and letting him or her know via flirtation, waiting for the man to make the first move and then the woman accepts and the two go out somewhere for the evening—is gone. Instead, young people text each other to come over and “hang out.” Then they get naked. No one gets everything they want wrapped up in one person. As Chris eventually concedes, he’s just as flawed as the women he dates. All of these narratives—combined with social media, the decline in religion, rampant divorce and a transient lifestyle—keep love at bay.

SEE ALSO: Traditional Courtship Takes the Spotlight in The Dating Project Those five people include Matt and Shanzi, two college students; Cecilia, a twentysomething woman who’d been single for years; Rasheeda, a thirtysomething television producer who put work before relationships; and Chris, a fortysomething actor who felt commitment “limited” him. D., a Boston College philosophy professor who was alarmed by the lack of dating on campus and the substitution of ‘hookups,” a vague term that can mean anything from two people watching television together to having sex.

What it definitely does not mean is having any kind of real relationship, or genuine human connection, with a member of the opposite sex.

Online dating does work — it did for us :)» more John & Christie: «It still gets better every day! We have never imagined dating online could be this great and lead to a long-lasting relationship.

But now I have someone care about me and look out for my well being as much as I do for her — this is much more than we both hoped for!

That’s because young people are no longer groomed for marriage, which is essentially what dating is (or was): a necessary selection process for the purpose of making a final choice in a mate. They forge ahead with the sex because that part’s easy. “I can say for myself that it was empowering to question the status quo of hookup culture and the relationship ideals we are bombarded with today,” writes Sample. Here are three: SEE ALSO: 10 Christian Series We Need to Reboot 1. This moment of vulnerability speaks volumes: For a host of different reasons, Americans are broken. That’s what makes “The Dating Project,” in my estimation, the most important documentary in recent years—for what jumps off the screen is our culture’s abdication of love as even a concept, let alone a reality.

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