But too many filters and rigid check-boxes can have you dismiss huge numbers of people at once – something that apps like Bumble, Happn and Tinder tried to do away with (though that brings its own set of issues).
And there’s no sense in ruling someone out for reasons that may become insignificant once you’ve met in real life.
‘Only show me people without children’ ‘Only show me men over 6ft 1in’ ‘Only show me vegetarians’ ‘Only show me people who don’t want kids’ The tick-boxes on many dating sites are a common part of the structure of the sites – and people often fill them in and make their choices quickly, based on in-the-moment gut feeling, prejudice or a past bad experience.
e Harmony is another massive player, with 3 million users signed up.
But size isn’t everything – as anyone who has just wrapped up a three-hour swiping session on Tinder will attest.
You can’t browse pictures or profiles – you wait to be matched by the mystery algorithm after answering the 400 questions – then you are guided through a contact process.
Some may think it lacks the spontaneity of other dating sites – and you certainly can’t use it to get a quick date for the weekend.
Another friend is about to marry the short, bald banker with absolutely no ‘online dating’ message-type chat she met at a party.
As a 5ft 9in glamorous cocktail type who says she hates bankers, she freely admits she’d have swiped right past him on Tinder or blocked him on Match – and he may well have done the same.
This week marks the biggest online dating week of the year (combined with the biggest divorce week of the year).
Whether it’s a failed relationship or the urge for a new beginning that has propelled you into the dating wilderness, online dating almost certainly has someone waiting for you. Match group now owns Tinder, Plenty Of Fish, Ok Cupid and, of course, Match, making it the biggest player in the online and app dating industry.
Yet many friends of mine who had previously ruled out anyone with children on a dating site are now happily dating (or married to) single parents they met in real life.