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"Your parents would do so for you." Today, of course, most people date based on personal preference and seek their own mates for themselves.

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But the reasons may be rooted in a social science phenomenon known as the "mismatch problem," Apostolou told Live Science.

Though humans are generally skilled at adapting to new conditions, it can take many generations to dramatically alter our behavior, he said.

So, by the time humans properly adapt to one set of new conditions, their environment may have already changed significantly, in ways that they're not prepared for.

For modern daters, the social and technological advances of the last 200 years may be a greater amount of change than humans are equipped to deal with, Apostolou said.

"There are reasons to believe that most of the adaptations we carry with us today evolved in an environment where mate choice was more regulated — i.e., marriages were arranged," Apostolou said.

(Arranged marriages were a worldwide norm before the 18th century, according to the Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, and they are still common in many cultures today.) "The environment has changed drastically and recently, so we had no time to adapt to modern conditions," he added. For many people, rejection and disappointment are necessary evils of dating.These feelings can be discouraging, but a new study suggests that the emotions may be far more common than they seem on those loneliest of nights.In the study, the researchers found that roughly 50 percent of people have trouble finding or keeping a romantic partner.And if this characterization applies to your life, the study authors offer a glimmer of encouragement: It's not you — it's evolution.In the new study, which was published online in the journal Personality and Individual Differences in October, Apostolou and his colleagues surveyed nearly 1,900 university students about their personal performance in dating.

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