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Others employ dozens of scientists to create sophisticated, top-secret algorithms to match customers with similar personality traits (as opposed to shared interests, which are a far less significant predictor of compatibility), ignoring the adage “opposites attract”. “One suspects a lot of their claims are hype,” says Professor Dunbar.“Do they really know what the criteria are that make a successful long-term relationship, when it’s not something that the scientists still know that much about?These algorithms can probably pick up some key things – for example, it’s true we’re more likely to be friends with people with the same values as us, who share our cultural milieu.“But you can’t predict what googlies life’s going to throw at a relationship, for example one of the biggest predictors of being divorced is being made redundant and no one knows if that is going to happen to them or not.” “Overall,” he adds.Moreover, couples who’d first met face-to-face reported slightly less satisfaction with their relationships than their online counterparts.Professor John Cacioppo, who led the study, said the sheer number of available potential partners online could be among the reasons for the results.“I only wish I’d signed up years earlier, then Mark and I might have met sooner.Nobody’s perfect, but for me, he’s as close as it comes.” Follow Telegraph World News on Twitter The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.

Many singles I’ve met report starting out fairly confidently on online dating sites but then begin to feel they’re simply not good enough.” Lucy Wilkinson, has only one regret about her online dating adventures.

Anna Wilkinson has been married for seven years, has two young children, and – although exhausted – is delighted with her lot.

“I was 33, had just broken up with my boyfriend and was beginning to think I’d never have a family life.

“I’d hazard that your chances of finding love through one of these sites is probably about 10 to 15 percentage points greater than through traditional means.” For all the claims of success, some experts warn that the online dating is making monogamy more, rather than less, elusive.

“I’ve found a tendency for the 'grass is greener mentality’ to set in, where the person they’ve set their sights on seems great until they decide to check out 'just a few more profiles’ and spot an 'even better’ singleton,” warns relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr, author of Love Academy.

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