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Some find this a barrier to join, fans say it weeds out the casual chancer from those truly looking for love – and means you don’t have to wait to broach tricky topics.Pricier – it’s £44.95 for a month, but that drops to £12.95 per month if you sign up for a year.It seems unavoidable that if we have filters and tick-boxes for features and likes or dislikes, we could be cutting off literally thousands of potential suitors because of something we might have thought minor or irrelevant if we met in the flesh.And, by the way, the tick-box that chooses whether you’re shown people with children or not can have an even more dramatic result, with 90% of the people I asked (a straw poll of 10 in the office) saying they’d chosen not to be shown people with children.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.With judgemental tick-boxes they would have filtered out the very person they are in love with now.There are no compatibility filters, so once you’ve filtered by the basics, there’s no way of narrowing it down.However, perhaps controversially, arguably this is more of a pro than a con – as the saying goes, opposites attract!

‘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.

The price and process mean only the dedicated remain – but equally, can lead to people dropping out mid-process.

Controversy swirled in 2010 around its lack of same-sex matching resulting in a site launched later for gay and bisexual daters called Compatible Partners, but e Harmony now offers matching for both mixed and same sex couples from the main homepage.

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.

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