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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.
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.
“Do they really 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?
“We’d love to get hold of more of it, but they’re not keen to share though we’re in discussion with a few of them,” says Robin Dunbar, professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University and author of The Science of Love and Betrayal.
“They have a huge database and they also can follow couples’ stories through, which hasn’t been possible so far.” For most of history, using a third party to help you find love was the norm.
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.