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