The search for love in any context is a lottery, of course. What are the chances of two compatible people turning up in the same place at the same time?Internet dating is meant to tip those odds in our favour – and it can work, of course it can.In 1966, The Supremes explained to us that you can't hurry love.Sixteen years later Phil Collins concurred: "You just have to wait," he sang, additionally noting that love don't come easy.Internet dating presents you with rock-solid evidence. You start seeing the same faces across multiple sites, and some people (especially men) will start to play the percentage game, firing off multiple cut-and-paste emails in the hope that someone will reply.One friend of mine was even sent a cheery message of introduction from a man who she had already had a disastrous date with via another dating website.I've got a number of friends and acquaintances who share my feelings about the way online dating plays fast and loose with your emotions.These people are relatively undamaged and sane, without many skeletons in their cupboards.
And when you're the one being rejected, it can hurt. You join thinking you'll be nice and civilised and honest with people, but once people don't reply to your emails, you start doing the same to other people." Rejection may be a strong word to use.e Harmony likes to stress how many members get married as a result of being matched via the service (236 every day, according to data gathered in the US in 2008.) did a survey last year indicating that an impressive 58,500 people found a partner on the site over a 12-month period – and they still offer a six-month guarantee of "finding love", albeit underlined (understandably) by a 500-word list of conditions. When Time Out magazine recently ran a cover story offering free online dating for every reader, it was dangling a huge metaphorical carrot. But you rarely hear from those who, having failed to find a partner online, back away from the computer shaking their heads at the way the process distorts social conventions and leaves you slightly shell-shocked.Those 58,500 lucky members of were vastly outnumbered by the 286,000 unlucky ones.After all, when I meet someone in real life that I like, I tend not to say, "Hi, I'm Rhodri, and here's a list of food I don't like eating." The rules of attraction are just too complex to be held in a database and analysed by a computer.Thomas: "The idea that someone likes to spend weekends mountain biking or, I dunno, shaving lions – that's the kind of thing that would send me up the nearest bell tower with a sniper rifle." But we're forced to filter the mass of potential datees, and we do it savagely.
It doesn't approach the horror of being told by a partner that they don't love you any more.