Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it coyly beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder.

On her screen, images of men appeared and then disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she wiped.

I felt a deep sense a rejection -- not personally, but on behalf of everyone at the bar.

And that’s not the life that young people lead anymore.

The age of first marriage is now in the late twenties, and more people in their 30s and even 40s are deciding not to settle down.

Of course, others have worried about these sorts of questions before.

But the fear that online dating is changing us, collectively, that it's creating unhealthy habits and preferences that aren't in our best interests, is being driven more by paranoia than it is by actual facts.

We’ve found the nine top free online dating sites that don’t skimp on the experience.

has been the king of online dating sites since 1995 because they’re reputable, successful, and, of course, very affordable.

They are important today — roughly one of every four straight couples now meet on the Internet.

(For gay couples, it's more like two out of every three).

It also helps the people who use the apps by allowing them to enjoy a pattern of regular hookups that don’t have to lead to relationships.