Avoid the minefield of small talk and niceties with a stranger who may make you regret ever leaving your house by heading to a dating site that is more suited for you
The first dating site, Match.com, was launched in 1995. Since then, Match.com has grown to be one of the biggest dating sites, and today it operates in 25 countries. A plethora of dating sites and mobile apps have since been created - now totaling about 2,500 services - catering to millions of love-seeking users.
With more than 1,400 dating sites catering to the UK, singles can be sure to find the match they're looking for without being required to fly to the other site of the planet. The options range from mainstream sites, such as EliteSingles and Zoosk, to niche-specific sites targeting a specific sexual orientation, age or demographic group.
The motivations for using dating sites are varied: some people are on the lookout for shared interests or backgrounds, while others take a special interest in professionals, army veterans or, simply, good looks. The goals for scouring love online also vary - from dating to long-term relationships through to an all-white wedding.
Dating sites and apps use a variety of methods to match users. Some sites are geared with a filtering feature, allowing users to specify preferences - age, location, hobbies, political views, marital status, religious affiliation and physical appearance, to name a few. The users are then presented with a pool of potential candidates that meet those preferences.
Other dating sites apply personality-defining algorithms: Members are encouraged to fill out questionnaires regarding their character, hobbies, opinions and behaviour. The answers are compiled, processed and used for matching with other like-minded users. Personality-based sites use emotional and psychological information to determine compatibility, so they are better suited for those seeking long-term relationships.
Online dating offers a quick and convenient way to screen more connections from an increasingly growing pool of potential matches, in a limited time, with the ease and accessibility enabled by the screen. The good news is that the numbers game of the dating scene brings together countless couples, creating true love in the digital age.