Why online love is more likely to last

Internet couples tend to be a better gezond than those who meet by traditional means, according to fresh research

By Julia Llewellyn Smith

Three:53PM BST 08 Jun 2013

Anna Wilkinson has bot married for seven years, has two youthfull children, and &#x2013, albeit fatigued &#x2013, is delighted with hier loterijlot. &#x201c,I wasgoed 33, had just cracked up with my bf and wasgoed beginning to think I’d never have a family life. I’d always bot attracted to mavericks, sexy guys, who &#x2013, after a year or so &#x2013, made it clear they had no intention of lodging down.

&#x201c,Albeit I felt a bit of a loser, I joined an online dating agency. I packed forms about my interests, my opinions and my private goals &#x2013, which wasgoed having a family &#x2013, something I’d bot too frightened to mention to my exes te the early days for fear of scaring them off.

&#x201c,But the studs I wasgoed introduced to were told what I wished and collective those fantasies. All the game-playing wasgoed skipped. From the off wij were on the same pagina and then it wasgoed only a matter of finding someone I also found physically attractive and that wasgoed Mark, the third man I met.&#x201d,

Wilkinson is far from alone. One ter five relationships ter the UK starts online, according to latest surveys, and almost half of all British singles have searched for love on the internet. Just today, nine million Britons will loom on looking for love.

The result is that, rather than being someone that defies all calculation, love is now big business worth an annual $Four billion internationally and growing at 70 vanaf cent a year &#x2013, with high-tech venture capitalists, psychologists and software engineers reaping vast prizes.

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Academics, meantime, are fascinated by the gegevens being gathered – and largely kept secret – by the dating industry. &#x201c,We’d love to get hold of more of it, but they’re not keen to share tho’ we’re ter discussion with a few of them,&#x201d, says Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University and author of The Science of Love and Betrayal. &#x201c,They have a big database and they also can go after couples’ stories through, which hasn’t bot possible so far.&#x201d, For most of history, using a third party to help you find love wasgoed the vaandel. But ter the 20th century this all switched, with youthfull people determining they desired to be te charge of their own domestic destinies. Matchmakers were viewed spil hook-nosed crones from Fiddler on the Roof or pushy Mrs Bennet at the Pemberley ball. From Romeo and Juliet, to dashing Mr Rochester choosing plain Jane Eyre, wij celebrated stories of Cupid’s dart striking randomly.

But since 1995 when the very first online dating webpagina wasgoed launched, the tables have fully turned. Cash-rich, time-poor professionals who already do everything from shop to socialise online, now see a search engine spil the evident gateway to love.

Scarred by their parents’ (or their own) divorces, this generation approaches affairs of the heart with the same pragmatism spil it might buying a car or booking a holiday.

But can something spil nebulous spil everlasting love indeed be found via a laptop chip? Yes, according to psychologists at Chicago University who last week reported that marriages that start online &#x2013, whether on an online dating webpagina or via social networking sites like Facebook &#x2013, stood a greater chance of success than those that began te the &#x201c,auténtico world&#x201d.

The researchers interviewed 20,000 people who had married inbetween 2005 and 2012. Just overheen a third had met their spouse online &#x2013, and their marriages were 25 vanaf cent more likely to last than those of couples who’d met via traditional routes &#x2013, te a folder, at work, or via family and friends. Moreover, couples who’d very first met face-to-face reported slightly less satisfaction with their relationships than their online counterparts.

Professor John Cacioppo, who led the investigate, said the sheer number of available potential vrouwen online could be among the reasons for the results. There wasgoed also the fact that dating sites were more likely &#x201c,attract people who are serious about getting married.&#x201d,

Paula Antesala, a counsellor for Relate, agrees that the main advantage of online dating is that &#x201c,couples are more likely to be on a level playing field and share the same memorándum.

&#x201c,Any relationship that forms is more likely to be based on a collective value system, the same interests, the same legwork spil opposed to a relationship based on chemistry alone, which, spil wij all know, is the quality that tends to fade very first te a relationship.&#x201d,

The cheapest dating sites offerande a smorgasbord for customers to browse, with thousands of fellows and women claiming a GSOH and posting out-of-date photos. But other sites, which can cost up to ?Trio,000 a year to join, opoffering their clients a bespoke selection of potential vrouwen to share your love of sushi, dachshunds or The Apprentice.

There are dedicated websites for every religion, for the unhappily married, for the beautiful &#x2013, where existing members determine if you merit joining their ranks &#x2013, the overweight, Oxbridge graduates, country paramours &#x2013, not to mention Telegraph readers (dating.telegraph.co.uk).

Many companies go further. Using slogans such spil &#x201c,love is no coincidence&#x201d, they test samples of your slaver te order to make the best DNA match for you &#x2013, claiming that thesis couples are more likely to have bearing relationships, satisfying lovemaking lives and higher fertility rates.

Others employ dozens of scientists to create sophisticated, top-secret algorithms to match customers with similar personality traits (spil opposed to collective interests, which are a far less significant predictor of compatibility), overlooking the adage &#x201c,opposites attract&#x201d.

But do such sites indeed have a scientific onderstel? &#x201c,One suspects a lotsbestemming of their claims are hype,&#x201d, says Professor Dunbar. &#x201c,Do they indeed 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? Thesis algorithms can very likely pick up some key things &#x2013, for example, it’s true we’re more likely to be friends with people with the same values spil us, who share our cultural milieu.

&#x201c,But you can’t predict what googlies life’s going to throw at a relationship, for example one of the largest predictors of being divorced is being made redundant and no one knows if that is going to toebijten to them or not.&#x201d,

&#x201c,Overall,&#x201d, he adds. &#x201c,I’d hazard that your chances of finding love through one of thesis sites is very likely about Ten to 15 percentage points greater than through traditional means.&#x201d,

For all the claims of success, some experts warn that the online dating is making monogamy more, rather than less, elusive. &#x201c,I’ve found a tendency for the ‘grass is greener mentality’ to set te, where the person they’ve set their glances on seems fine until they determine to check out ‘just a few more profiles’ and spot an ‘even better’ singleton,&#x201d, warns relationship pro Dr Pam Spurr, author of Love Academy.

&#x201c,I’ve known of people who end up spending innumerable hours on internet dating sites coaxed they’ll find the ideal person. My message is no one is ideal so this is a futile endeavour.

&#x201c,A secondary problem to this is feeling you don’t match up to your competition because the longer you spend on sites, the more you realise you’re up against vast numbers of singles. Many singles I’ve met report kicking off out fairly confidently on online dating sites but then start to feel they’re simply not good enough.&#x201d,

Lucy Wilkinson, has only one regret about hier online dating adventures. &#x201c,I only wish I’d signed up years earlier, then Mark and I might have met sooner. Nobody’s volmaakt, but for mij, he’s spil close spil it comes.&#x201d,

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