Addiction to internet dating sites

Research shows it may be just as popular with older adults.

Online dating requires some courage and thoughtful planning.

Over the past decade, she’s tried ten websites, had dates with 40 men and chatted — online or over the phone — to countless other potential suitors.

But after one serious heartbreak and hundreds of pounds spent on subscription fees, love still eludes her.‘In many ways, internet dating is a great way to meet people, but it’s such a whirlwind of highs and lows,’ she says.

But is this a trend that could change the very nature of romance and turn long-term commitment into a thing of the past? There is striking evidence to suggest that the web is causing social change.

Traditionally, women might have had one or two boyfriends before getting married; now, they are encouraged to date lots of people in a quest to find a perfect partner.

‘It’s left men and women on a never-ending hunt for the perfect partner, thinking: “A few more dates and I’ll find The One.” In my work, I’ve met plenty of women who think there’s always a better guy out there.‘The danger is that it results in a string of meaningless flings.

If you're going to play the game, you might as well do it right, you know?

With an unlimited number of other people on offer via the internet, there’s little incentive to work it out if things get tough.

And with the cloak of anonymity the net provides, it’s never been easier to be unfaithful.‘The internet has opened up this sense of “Where do I stop? ‘In previous generations, people met a partner and accepted they wouldn’t be perfect in every aspect, but internet dating is like a chocolate box that never stops giving.

‘I’ve met some lovely men, but I’ve also met many who lied about themselves and their intentions.’Her experiences are mirrored by many women, who find that internet dating is great if you want a casual fling, but not for anything longer lasting because there are so many dishonest men seeking cheap thrills.

Today, nine million Britons will log on to look for love.

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