One in five relationships in the UK starts online, according to recent surveys, and almost half of all British singles have searched for love on the internet.Just today, nine million Britons will log on looking for love.“A secondary problem to this is feeling you don’t match up to your competition because the longer you spend on sites, the more you realise you’re up against vast numbers of singles.Many singles I’ve met report starting out fairly confidently on online dating sites but then begin to feel they’re simply not good enough.” Lucy Wilkinson, has only one regret about her online dating adventures.The researchers interviewed 20,000 people who had married between 20.Just over a third had met their spouse online – and their marriages were 25 per cent more likely to last than those of couples who’d met via traditional routes – in a bar, at work, or via family and friends.Moreover, couples who’d first met face-to-face reported slightly less satisfaction with their relationships than their online counterparts.
“Although I felt a bit of a loser, I joined an online dating agency.
But can something as nebulous as everlasting love really be found via a computer chip?
Yes, according to psychologists at Chicago University who last week reported that marriages that begin online – whether on an online dating site or via social networking sites like Facebook – stood a greater chance of success than those that began in the “real world”.
The result is that, rather than being someone that defies all calculation, love is now big business worth an annual billion internationally and growing at 70 per cent a year – with high-tech venture capitalists, psychologists and software engineers reaping vast rewards.
Academics, meanwhile, are fascinated by the data being gathered — and largely kept secret — by the dating industry.