Percentage of singles online dating

02 Feb

Anna Wilkinson has been married for seven years, has two young children, and – although exhausted – is delighted with her lot.

“I was 33, had just broken up with my boyfriend and was beginning to think I’d never have a family life.

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.

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.

“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.

“We’d love to get hold of more of it, but they’re not keen to share though we’re in discussion with a few of them,” says Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University and author of The Science of Love and Betrayal.

“They have a huge database and they also can follow couples’ stories through, which hasn’t been possible so far.” For most of history, using a third party to help you find love was the norm.

From Romeo and Juliet, to dashing Mr Rochester choosing plain Jane Eyre, we celebrated stories of Cupid’s dart striking randomly.

But since 1995 when the first online dating site was launched, the tables have completely turned.