Looking for love online is now common
Internet dating is now the second most common method of matchmaking in America, research has shown.
Only introductions made through friends help more people in the US to find love. But claims by dating sites that they employ “sciencebased” methods cannot be trusted, say scientists.
A review of more than 400 psychology studies and surveys found there was no longer any stigma attached to internet dating. According to one industry estimate, dating sites attracted 25 million users worldwide in April last year alone.
The researchers said internet dating was a great help to single people in Western societies, for whom matchmaking was “grossly inefficient” after leaving school or university.
Professor Harry Reis, from the University of Rochester in the US, one of the study's five coauthors, said: “Online dating is definitely a new and muchneeded twist on relationships.”
But he cautioned that comparing large numbers of potential dates may encourage a “shopping mentality”, leading people to become over-picky and focused on narrow criteria.
In the early 90s, fewer than 1pc of the US population met partners through printed personal advertisements or dating agencies, Prof Reis and his colleagues reported.
The latest research, by Professor Michael Rosenfield, from Stanford University, California, showed that between 2007 and 2009, 22pc of heterosexual couples, and 61pc of same-sex couples, had met on the internet.