Does online dating work?

UK campaign raises awareness about online dating fraud

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Online dating: sniffing out your next romantic match

As the meal for one pings in the microwave, and Adele warbles in the background about a lost love, it is probably about time you re-evaluated your life and went back "in the game".

At times, online dating can feel just exactly like that: a game. One false move, one misstep can result in GAME OVER and you have to start again from afresh.

More than half (53%) of single people have created a dating profile. The way we are meeting new people is changing: 40% of bachelors and bachelorettes have been on a first date with someone they met online, whereas only 25% have met a first date through a friend.

However, according to a Canadian relationship expert, people have a better chance of a long-term relationship if they meet in an environment where it's easier to evaluate each other face-to-face.

Dr. Syrus Derksen argues that the chances of meeting “the one” increases when you can see the person, take note of their mannerisms and if you can get a whiff of how they smell.

He said: “There’s a lot of scientific research that suggests a link between human attraction and body odour.

“And you can’t get a sense of that online or over the phone.

“An algorithm isn’t going to help you to feel a real spark.

“I think being around people and doing something fun and interesting allows you to meet, talk and actually get to know someone.”

Online dating still produces serious relationships, stench or not, with 44% of those who have use it have ended up in long-term relationships or even, marriage.

According to the Telegraph, the industry generates more than $1.7 billion (£1.17bn) annually.

Tinder is the most popular dating app, with an estimated 50 million people using it each month, recording an average of 12 million matches per day.

The first dating profile appeared in an agricultural journal in 1635, with an advert that read: "A Gentleman about 30 years of age, that says he has a very good estate, would willingly match himself to some good young Gentlewoman that has a fortune of £3,000 or thereabouts."

Dating profiles still require age and details in the digital age. A "good young Gentlewoman" may be the GSOH equivalent, whilst having a "a very good estate" cries out "ambitious, young professional" proudly advertised on OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, et al.

Whether or not you sniff them out - both nasally and digitally - there is a growing, diverse online dating community. All it takes is a swipe of a screen, and you could be introduced to your future beloved. It's probably a better alternative that pouring heaploads of sauce to disguise the bland taste of your microwave meal for one - not speaking from experience, of course.

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The Business Desk

Meet the experts: How to find success at online dating

Match.com, OKCupid, eHarmony, Tinder, Plenty of Fish...the list continues.

Just a few years ago, online dating was a taboo subject. Those who used it, would never admit to it and those who didn't, assumed most people just met in bars. However, the rise of dating apps and the culture of now being able to say yes, or no, to anyone in your chosen location, has changed the world of dating and people's approach to finding 'the one', writes Bethan Tolley.

It is just a few days until Valentine's Day and now, according to the experts, is the 'hot season' for dating.

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