But can something as nebulous as everlasting love really be found via a computer chip?Yes, according to psychologists at Chicago University who last week reported that marriages that begin online – whether on an online dating site or via social networking sites like Facebook – stood a greater chance of success than those that began in the “real world”.Others employ dozens of scientists to create sophisticated, top-secret algorithms to match customers with similar personality traits (as opposed to shared interests, which are a far less significant predictor of compatibility), ignoring the adage “opposites attract”. “One suspects a lot of their claims are hype,” says Professor Dunbar.
I’d always been attracted to mavericks, handsome men, who – after a year or so – made it clear they had no intention of settling down.
“Although I felt a bit of a loser, I joined an online dating agency.
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.
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.
“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 starting out fairly confidently on online dating sites but then begin to feel they’re simply not good enough.” Lucy Wilkinson, has only one regret about her online dating adventures.
But in the 20th century this all changed, with young people deciding they wanted to be in charge of their own domestic destinies.