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.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.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.
“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.
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.
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.
“I’ve known of people who end up spending countless hours on internet dating sites convinced they’ll find the perfect person.