The truth about online dating services

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It didn't take very long for internet savvy entrepreneurs to commodify online dating into a massive industry that seems to keep growing.It may have been an admission of failure in “normal” relationships to join an online dating site at one time, but with new apps like Tinder and sites like OKCupid plus hundreds more, it's now socially acceptable to at least give online dating a try.She’s recently come out of a long relationship with a famous actor. Still, he politely dined her, chatted about his life, his work and made oblique references to his remote but idyllic house in the wilds of Northumberland. A couple of weeks later, he’s alone in his weekend place on a stormy Friday night when the front doorbell goes. She’s Googled long and hard, located his second home, got a train up from London, then commandeered a mini cab and is now demanding to come in. That means I’ve broached the tricky subject of terminating our respective dating accounts (cyberlove etiquette for ‘this is getting serious’). In cyberspace, even when you’ve signed off and stopped the direct debit, your photo and biog remains.It’s almost 11pm so he gives in, saying she’ll have to go home first thing in the morning. "F*** me," she says, storm clattering away outside. Three months after I’ve broken up with it, my dating service still pines for me, sending me tempting missives, photos, biogs messages, pokes and flirts."She’ll appreciate your direct attitude, the way you like to take a chance, the way you take control of the situation."He’s alone in his weekend place on a stormy Friday night when the front doorbell goes. She’s Googled long and hard, located his second home, got a train up from London and is now demanding to come in Buoyed by my newly attributed skill set, I take to internet dating with gusto. Two lunches, two early evening drinks, two dinners. I travel to West Sussex to see a willowy, super hot Brazilian, health food nut who looks just like the foxy Colombian chanteuse Shakira. Last time, I heard, Audrey had landed herself a new job.After a month, the intensity of it is beginning to consume me. I go to Eastbourne for a date with a properly stunning, divorced hairdressing salon owner. The more I indulge, the more activity I commit to with ‘likes’ and searches and messages etc, the more traffic I seem to attract. I am, it transpires, her sixty-something internet date. As a consultant for an upmarket internet dating service. The great thing about internet dating is, one is never lost for conversational subject matter because if the chit-chat flags, you can always rely on the communal theme of, well… This is, indeed, a rich and colourful vein of anecdotage. I tell my dates about the terribly nice, middle class reformed cocaine addict I had drinks with who left her husband after he, during a bout of toxic psychosis, had tried to murder her with a pillow-over-her-face in her sleep."Simply everyone is doing it." According to figures released by You Gov, 50 per cent of the UK’s single classes have now tried out internet dating via one of Britain’s 1,500 websites (there are an estimated 5,000 sites in Europe alone) while 20 per cent of relationships in the UK now begins online, with meeting on the internet now third in popularity only to meeting through mutual friends, or barflying it around in pubs and discos. On paper - or on an i Pad tablet screen, if you will - I appear to be a perfect candidate. In my mid-forties, suddenly single, heart-broken, emotionally wrecked, world weary, cynical, profoundly discombobulated and reduced of esteem and circumstance, maybe incapable of ever loving again. I begin an exchange with an Australian girl, living in North London. We meet in a louche, Soho dive bar and are at each other’s tongues by the second cocktail. Goodbye."Mildly devastated – I thought we’d seemed rather compatible when her tongue was down my throat - I bravely steel myself for this kind of cold and callously abrupt rejection. Doug’s school is in the social calibration business dealing with a typical male customer; very shy, awkward males, fluent in logistics and technicalities – the IT sector is a major target market - but lacking in social skills.In the US 40 million – that’s 40 per cent of the population - are actively cyber dating. Almost 18 months of abortive attempts to "move on", of "getting back out there", of overspending on dinners and drinks and some frankly undignified late nights in establishments (the aforementioned London boite included) has wielded little except a series of regrettably large bar bills, stinking hangovers, one night stands and a very necessary skill for blocking numbers on my i Phone. A glorious interlude of blind drunk, French kissing and British fumbling in an alley way ensues when the pubs shut. Cyber dating is, I decide, a brutally Darwinian environment, where love is won and lost in seconds, at the click of a mouse, at the conveyance of a text message. These cash rich / personality poor types pay out around £850 to have the school’s team educate them in a holistic manner, coaxing out confidence, teaching (mainly) men to be charming, not just to the women they fancy, not in an exclusively predatory sense, but towards pretty much everyone they encounter…

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As soon as her horsiness walks in, I feel like bolting. She tells me rather proudly how she has decided to dedicate the rest of her life to perfecting the fine art of fellatio, practising intensively, locally, servicing all comers (pardon the pun) at her village pub. Spelled out in the wonky cipher of the prestige plates lexicon, where sevens can be Ls and eights can represent Bs, are - and I shit you not - the words "B7OW JO8". " she says., the neatly philosophical quippage that wrestles with the restlessly conflicting notions of convention, acceptance, self worth, shame, honesty, social success and personal failure?

People that date online are most likely to be: Kaspersky Lab warned that the online dating world is also rife with false information – something that may cause yet more problems for those actually looking for love.

Over half (62%) of people locally admitted to lying while dating online – faking information to make themselves look better than they do in real-life, or even to try and catch their partners cheating.

The latest research from Kaspersky Lab suggests that people looking for “the one” online might be disappointed – many have come across fake information and photos, malicious links, scammers trying to extort information from them, or other people lying about what they are looking for in a relationship.

The research found that those searching for their soulmate on online dating platforms – such as the likes of Tinder, Bumble, OK Cupid, Badoo and more – are in the minority, with just 10% locally using online dating to actually find a marriage partner.

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