The researchers interviewed 20,000 people who had married between 20.Just over a third had met their spouse online – and their marriages were 25 per cent more likely to last than those of couples who’d met via traditional routes – in a bar, at work, or via family and friends.

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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.

“I’ve known of people who end up spending countless hours on internet dating sites convinced they’ll find the perfect person.

My message is no one is perfect so this is a futile endeavour.

The result is that, rather than being someone that defies all calculation, love is now big business worth an annual $4 billion internationally and growing at 70 per cent a year – with high-tech venture capitalists, psychologists and software engineers reaping vast rewards.

Academics, meanwhile, are fascinated by the data being gathered — and largely kept secret — by the dating industry.

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.

“But the men I was introduced to were told what I wanted and shared those dreams. From the off we were on the same page and then it was only a matter of finding someone I also found physically attractive and that was Mark, the third man I met.” Wilkinson is far from alone.

These algorithms can probably pick up some key things – for example, it’s true we’re more likely to be friends with people with the same values as us, who share our cultural milieu.

“But you can’t predict what googlies life’s going to throw at a relationship, for example one of the biggest predictors of being divorced is being made redundant and no one knows if that is going to happen to them or not.” “Overall,” he adds.

“A secondary problem to this is feeling you don’t match up to your competition because the longer you spend on sites, the more you realise you’re up against vast numbers of singles.