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But other sites, which can cost up to £3,000 a year to join, offer their clients a bespoke selection of potential partners to share your love of sushi, dachshunds or The Apprentice.There are dedicated websites for every religion, for the unhappily married, for the beautiful – where existing members decide if you merit joining their ranks – the overweight, Oxbridge graduates, country lovers – not to mention Telegraph readers (dating.uk). Using slogans such as “love is no coincidence” they test samples of your saliva in order to make the best DNA match for you – claiming that these couples are more likely to have enduring relationships, satisfying sex lives and higher fertility rates.“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.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.
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.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.These algorithms can probably pick up some key things – for example, it’s true we’re more likely to be friends with people with the same values as us, who share our cultural milieu.“But you can’t predict what googlies life’s going to throw at a relationship, for example one of the biggest predictors of being divorced is being made redundant and no one knows if that is going to happen to them or not.” “Overall,” he adds.
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.