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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.
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.
I filled forms about my interests, my opinions and my personal goals – which was having a family – something I’d been too frightened to mention to my exes in the early days for fear of scaring them off.
Matchmakers were viewed as hook-nosed crones from Fiddler on the Roof or pushy Mrs Bennet at the Pemberley ball.But other sites, which can cost up to £3,000 a year to join, offer their clients a bespoke selection of potential partners to share your love of sushi, dachshunds or The Apprentice.There are dedicated websites for every religion, for the unhappily married, for the beautiful – where existing members decide if you merit joining their ranks – the overweight, Oxbridge graduates, country lovers – not to mention Telegraph readers (dating.uk). Using slogans such as “love is no coincidence” they test samples of your saliva in order to make the best DNA match for you – claiming that these couples are more likely to have enduring relationships, satisfying sex lives and higher fertility rates.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.
From Romeo and Juliet, to dashing Mr Rochester choosing plain Jane Eyre, we celebrated stories of Cupid’s dart striking randomly.