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“I’ve known of people who end up spending countless hours on internet dating sites convinced they’ll find the perfect person.
My message is no one is perfect so this is a futile endeavour.
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.
Others employ dozens of scientists to create sophisticated, top-secret algorithms to match customers with similar personality traits (as opposed to shared interests, which are a far less significant predictor of compatibility), ignoring the adage “opposites attract”. “One suspects a lot of their claims are hype,” says Professor Dunbar.
“Do they really know what the criteria are that make a successful long-term relationship, when it’s not something that the scientists still know that much about?
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.
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.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.I filled forms about my interests, my opinions and my personal goals – which was having a family – something I’d been too frightened to mention to my exes in the early days for fear of scaring them off.“But the men I was introduced to were told what I wanted and shared those dreams. From the off we were on the same page and then it was only a matter of finding someone I also found physically attractive and that was Mark, the third man I met.” Wilkinson is far from alone.Moreover, couples who’d first met face-to-face reported slightly less satisfaction with their relationships than their online counterparts.Professor John Cacioppo, who led the study, said the sheer number of available potential partners online could be among the reasons for the results.Cash-rich, time-poor professionals who already do everything from shop to socialise online, now see a search engine as the obvious gateway to love.Scarred by their parents’ (or their own) divorces, this generation approaches affairs of the heart with the same pragmatism as it might buying a car or booking a holiday.“I only wish I’d signed up years earlier, then Mark and I might have met sooner.Nobody’s perfect, but for me, he’s as close as it comes.” Follow Telegraph World News on Twitter As the internet plays an ever greater part in our social lives, with sites such as Facebook helping us to keep in touch with our friends, it's inevitable that we also use it to help us run our love lives as well.